Pasquesi has ‘breakout’ meet
In this Feb. 18, 2012, photo, Loyola's Ben Pasquesi swims the 200-yard freestyle at the New Trier Sectional. | Tracy Allen~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 11, 2013 6:48AM
EVANSTON — Ben Pasquesi couldn’t wait for Saturday to arrive.
After two weeks of training during the winter break, the Loyola senior wanted to see the payoff at Evanston’s invitational.
He wasn’t disappointed.
In fact, Pasquesi earned best times of the season in both of his individual races. He took 11th in the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 50.68 seconds) and 14th in the 500 free (5:02.43) as the Ramblers finished fourth in the 18-team field. Two-time defending state champion New Trier won for the fifth year in a row.
“I wanted to see what was possible for me,” said Pasquesi, who lives in Glenview. “I wasn’t going in expecting to drop time, especially because of all the hard work we put in. But that was nice to see.”
Loyola coach Mike Hengelmann said Saturday was a “breakout” performance for Pasquesi.
“He just keeps getting better with every meet,” Hengelmann said. “He’s showed significant improvement in times as well as the way he has swam his races.”
Pasquesi has one last chance to swim at the state meet like his older brother Justin, who finished ninth in the 200 free in 2011 as a senior.
Ben Pasquesi said the state meet is within his reach if he attends to the details in practice, such as tightening up his turns, breakouts and breathing patterns.
Hengelmann also continues to work with Ben Pasquesi on sharpening his stroke.
“With everybody, there’s always room for improvement,” Hengelmann said. “With Ben, we are lengthening his stroke and keeping it straighter.
“I thought he did a nice job with it all Saturday. I like the way he attacked his races.”
Added Ben Pasquesi: “It’s my senior year, and I want to leave everything I have in the pool by the end. I want to have nothing left at the end.”