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Four DeKalb-Sycamore swimmers earn All-American honors

Published: Monday, July 28, 2014 11:38 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, July 28, 2014 11:49 p.m. CDT
Danielle Guerra - dguerra@shawmedia Dekalb-Sycamore sophomore swimmer Daniel Hein was named 2014 Daily Chronicle Swimmer of the Year. Hein finished seventh at state in the 100 butterfly, third in the 100 backstroke, and was a part of the seventh place 200 medley relay team. Sycamore/DeKalb co-op swimmers Hein, Ryan Schultz, Dylan Powers, Holden Mackey recently received All-American awards, a rarity for athletes at the two schools. Prior to this year, only 23 athletes from the two schools combined earned that distinction - including Hein, who got the honor in 2013.

Early on in the 2013-14 prep boys swimming season, the group which made up the DeKalb-Sycamore co-op's 200-meter relay had a goal to place high at the state meet.

Daniel Hein, Dylan Powers, Ryan Schultz and Holden Mackey didn't expect to take seventh. After accomplishing that feat with a mark of 1:35.12, a new goal arrived.

The group knew it had a shot at earning All-American honors from the National Swimming Coaches Association. Earlier this summer, the foursome was named All-Americans in the event after putting up one of the top 100 times in the nation.

"We knew it was going to be close," said Powers, who is currently in Indianapolis, along with the other three members of the medley, competing at the YMCA National Championships. "We were just really hoping that it was going to make it to All-American."

The relay's mark of 1:35.12 ranked as the 83rd best time in the nation.

"After state we realized how fast the time we posted actually was," Hein said. "That's when we started to post up the times from last year to see where we would have ranked last year. They don't change drastically from year to year. I figure we'd have a really good shot at getting top 100 in the nation."

Hein also earned individual All-American honors in the 100 backstroke, due to his mark of 50.28, which ranked 69th in the nation. The honors mark off an impressive year for the co-op, which took 12th at the state meet.

"This year has been all about making history and breaking records and stuff," DeKalb-Sycamore coach Leah Eames said. "Doing things that have never been done before."

Next season, the expectations should be even higher for both Hein and the 200-medley relay.

Hein, who is already visiting Division I colleges, is entering his junior year, while Mackey and Powers return as well. Schultz will swim for Wright State this upcoming season.

Prior to this season, the only other swimmer in the program to earn All-American honors was Hein. He got the nod due to his performance in the 100 butterfly in 2013, which makes him a three-time All-American.

Eames said that she'll find some way to honor this year's group, but that the plans haven't been finalized.

"The All-American (honor) is kind of new," Eames said. "Their name will certainly be up in the walls at DeKalb."

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