CSL North boys swimming & diving championship notebook: A season lost
Updated: March 15, 2013 12:34PM
PARK RIDGE — At this time a year ago, Maine East’s Danny Sieghart was preparing for sectionals.
On Saturday, the senior will attend the Glenbrook North Sectional, but he’ll be there strictly to support classmate Jeremy Rohrman. Sieghart’s season ended after having back surgery on Dec. 26.
“I still come to cheer Jeremy,” said Sieghart, who finished 16th at last year’s state meet. “I know he needs it. I know he still likes me being here; we dove together for almost four years, basically every day. I still come to support him. (Not being able to dive) is rough, but I got through it.”
Sieghart spent the summer and early fall preparing for his senior diving season, practicing his technique at Glenbrook Aquatics. But in October, Sieghart suffered a back spasm that never went away.
Sieghart was diagnosed with spondylolysis. Sieghart developed stress fractures in his lower back as a result, and his back pain occurred because the fractures were irritating his muscles.
The surgery — the doctors “masked over where I had my fractures and put two screws in and a hook to clamp it all together,” Sieghart said — robbed him of his final high school season and the chance to earn a four-year scholarship to college.
A row of ’13s
Niles North’s senior class has already established itself as the best collection of swimmers in school history, but its goal for this season’s final two meets is to leave overwhelming evidence of that in the record book.
“We already know that the goal is, basically when we’re done, that for every (Niles North swimming) record to say ’13, ’13, ’13, all the way down,” Niles North senior Ian Crane said. “We want to break just about all of them.”
The Vikings’ class of 2013 currently holds all but five of the school’s varsity swimming and diving records. The diving records won’t be broken — both were set by 2010 graduate Arsen Sarkisian — and Andy Peterson’s 100-yard backstroke record (53.31 seconds) figures to be safe. But the school’s records in the 100 breaststroke and 500 freestyle will be threatened in the next two weeks.
Chris Riordan has been pursuing Will Ikeda’s school record (58.00) in the breaststroke all season. Riordan swam a 1:00.82 at the CSL North meet on Saturday and figures to drop additional time this week.
Crane is currently chasing Richard Gomez’s record (4:45.19) in the 500 free. Crane swam a 4:53.84 at the CSL North meet, and said he is confident he can break it either at Saturday’s Glenbrook South Sectional or at state.
Ready to fight
Glenbrook North junior Victor Qiao swam in four events at the CSL North meet and finished second to Niles North senior Karol Mlynarski, or a relay led by Mlynarski, in each race.
Although Mlynarski is an all-state swimmer, Qiao approached racing the Cornell University recruit with a fearless attitude.
“I’m not going to be scared, and I’m not going to back down,” said Qiao after the CSL North meet. “It’s like in a fight; you’re not just going to stand there and say, ‘Here, punch me again.’ You’re going to get into the fight. Even if I know he’s going to beat me, I’m going to race him and see what he can do and what I can do.”
Qiao and the Spartans will swim at the Glenbrook North Sectional on Feb. 16.