The DeKalb-Sycamore boys swimming team knows it has a tough road ahead, entering the DuPage Valley Conference, but feels confident in its ability to compete.
“If we’re going to stay here and be in this conference, we’re going to be fast,” senior Gavin Anderson said. “We’re going to keep that tradition going. This year we’re getting thrown into a conference where we might not win. I hope that we’re going to make a statement.”
Anderson finished last year only three spots out of a state final and broke a 30-year-old pool record at a home meet last year.
The team gets back most of the swimmers from last year, so it is hoping to get a boost through experience.
“We’ve got a lot of guys who are returning,” coach Melanie Chambers said. “I think we only [have] five or six new swimmers out of 22, so we’ve definitely got strength in returning numbers. I’m hoping that will carry us.”
The DeKalb-Sycamore co-op was able to score points with its depth last year, and Chambers hopes that continues this year.
“I think in the DVC, it’s definitely going to be tough,” Chambers said. “I think we’ll have a lot more competition than we had in the past. I am hopeful that we can still we can hold our own.”
Some of the other swimmers that will be asked to carry the load for the team are junior Anthony Biundo and the Reutten brothers, David and Paul.
“Anthony Biundo has been doing a really good job lately,” Chambers said. “He swam with the boys over the summer and made it to nationals. We’re really hoping for big things from him; he’s really been on the up and up.”
Another challenge for diving into a new conference is not knowing much about the opponents they’re going to face this year.
“We don’t really know a lot of the teams that we’re going against,” David Reutten said. “I think we want to place well at our conference meet, beating some teams we don’t know real well.”
Anderson likes what he has seen from the team so far from the swimmers who are back.
“I think that it’s going to work out this year,” Anderson said. “We’ve got some really fast swimmers who improved over the past year. We’ve got some guys who have gotten their times down to the point where they could easily place at sectionals.”
No matter the conference, the goal for the team is to push its way into the state tournament.
“We’re hoping to get some relays to state,” Chambers said. “It’s been a couple of years since we had a relay at state. We’re hoping to have some individual state finishers this year.”