Boys swimming relies on experience for state meet

Junior Zach Andalman does the backstroke at practice.

Jesse Bond

Junior Zach Andalman does the backstroke at practice.

Billy Krupkin and Billy Krupkin

While the boys swimming and diving State Meet is a unique challenge, the Wildkits are expecting to perform like it’s nothing new.

“At the state level, our biggest strengths are definitely diving and distance [swimming] with Aidan Dillon in there, and our two divers, Harel [Anolick] and Trevor [Nelson],” Head Coach Kevin Auger said.

The Kits return five individual qualifiers and a relay entry to this weekend’s finals which take place at ETHS.

“All of our swimmers that should qualify for state have been there before, so we definitely have a lot of experience already with how the meet goes,” senior Dillon said. “Given that it’s also a home-pool advantage, that should be good as well.”

Dillon, along with junior Rafael de Gouvea, senior Aaron Holzmueller, senior diver Anolick and junior diver Nelson all return to the state meet this weekend, with the competition marking Anolick’s and Holzmueller’s fourth consecutive state meets.

The Kits aim to improve on previous years, and are also determined to build upon last year’s 21st place finish out of 51 total teams.

“Other schools could qualify two [divers] for state, and maybe final two kids, but there’s no other school that’s going to have two kids in that upper section like [Trevor and I] will be,” Anolick said.

A Duke commit, Anolick looks to build upon his impressive fifth-place finish at last year’s state meet. He has a legitimate shot to take first, while Nelson, who on Feb. 17 won the Niles North Sectional competition, looks to climb the podium after finishing ninth last year.

“Harel won the one invitational, Trevor won the other invitational, so they’re battling back and forth,” Auger said. “Right now, they’re either [ranked] one-two, one-three, or two-three in the state depending on who you talk to.”

On the swimming end, Dillon, who recently committed to Minnesota, is gunning for a spot in the finals for the 200-yard Freestyle event.

“The 200 is going to be extremely competitive,” Dillon said. “Last year was definitely one of the fastest years ever, just in terms of getting into finals.”

Dillon adds that last year’s final only included two seniors, so he has his work cut out for him. He will also compete in the 500-yard Freestyle, which is expected to be his best event.

“I think [Aidan’s] experience over the last few years has given him the confidence that he 

can compete at this level,” Auger said.

The State Meet will take place throughout the day Friday and Saturday, with Wildkit swimmers and divers competing on both days.