Crane, Avdic help Niles North capture CSL North title
Updated: February 9, 2013 10:28PM
PARK RIDGE — Niles North seniors Ian Crane and Javed Avdic felt like they had something to prove entering Saturday’s CSL North boys swim meet at Maine East.
Crane walked away disappointed after his swims in the 200-yard freestyle and 500 free at last year’s conference meet, but he made up for that Saturday by edging Glenbrook North senior Stefan Johnson by .21 seconds to win the 500 free. Crane touched the wall in 4 minutes, 53.84 seconds.
“My 200 free and my 500 free, I didn’t really perform the way I wanted to (last year),” said Crane, who finished fifth in the 200 free and fourth in the 500 free last season. “So this week, I was telling coach and telling myself, ‘Show them what you’re made of. You’ve been working hard, you’ve been traveling everywhere. This is where (the hard work) is going to show.’ And I basically had the meet of my life.”
Crane’s triumph in the 500 free was the fourth of five straight races won by the Vikings, who easily won their third consecutive CSL North title. Niles North finished with 355 points and Deerfield was second with 249 points. Glenbrook North (202 points), Highland Park (169), Maine West (163) and Maine East (119) rounded out the field.
The Vikings’ stretch of five consecutive victories began with back-to-back victories by Avdic in the 50 free (22.11) and 100 butterfly (52.88).
The senior made winning the CSL North’s 50 free a primary goal entering Saturday’s meet after coming up just short as a sophomore and junior. Avdic exploded off the starting blocks in this year’s race and beat Niles North senior Earl Kim, who finished in second place by .4 seconds.
“Every year I’ve been outtouched by less than a half second,” Avdic said. “This kind of meet, (it helps) to really set your mind to something before the race. It motivates you.”
Niles North senior Karol Mlynarski followed Avdic’s victories with a first-place finish in the 100 free (46.99), which was his second individual title of the meet. Mlynarski won the 200 free in 1:44.23, and also swam on the Vikings’ victorious 200 free relay (1:27.46) and 400 free relay (3:16.77). Niles North’s win in the 200 free relay was its fifth victory in a row Saturday.
Highland Park’s 200 medley relay (1:42.65) began the CSL North meet with a .03 second victory over Niles North. The Giants’ Ben Laedlein, a junior, won the 100 backstroke (54.96).
Maine West senior Brian Wasicak also won two conference titles. He finished first in the 200 individual medley (1:58.34) and the 100 breaststroke (59.76).
Before the CSL North’s swim meet began, Deerfield’s Sean Scarry set a meet and pool record Saturday morning. The sophomore recorded an 11-dive score of 482.50.
Pick up your local Pioneer Press newspaper Thursday to read more about the CSL North boys swimming and diving meet.