Naperville area swimmers compete in 2024 Olympic Swimming Trials

Naperville area swimmers compete in 2024 Olympic Swimming Trials. Alex Lakin holds up Naperville Central flag.
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Several Naperville area swimmers competed in the 2024 Olympic Swimming trials, going up against the best the United States have to offer in hopes of Olympic glory in Paris later this summer. A little over 1,000 swimmers will be competing at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for just over 50 available spots on Team USA.

Recent Naperville area alumni earned their trial spots

Naperville North graduate Claire Jansen earned her spot at the trials last summer in the 100 yard backstroke. The former Huskie has enjoyed a record-breaking career as a member of the University of Pittsburgh swimming and diving team, competing at the NCAA championships in her first two seasons. She finished in 29th place overall at the trials in the 100 back.

Another Naperville North grad, Grant Bochenski, who specializes in the freestyle and the backstroke has qualified. After a decorated high school career, Bochenski has broken several school records at the University of Missouri. Competing in the 100 backstroke, Bochenski advanced to the semifinals and had the 12th best time overall at 54.23

2021 Neuqua Valley graduate Connor Boyle who swims for the University of Virginia is competing in his second Olympic trials after qualifying in 2021 as well. Boyle ended his Wildcat career as one of the most successful swimmers in school history, winning multiple state championships in the 50 and 100 freestyle. Boyle finished in a tie for 41st place in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.72.

Another 2021 graduate with previous Olympic trial experience is former Metea Valley and Neuqua Valley star McKenna Stone. The former IHSA state champion just finished her junior season at Cal and competed in the 50 meter freestyle. Stone finished in 72nd place with a time of 26.20 seconds.

The most recent local graduate to compete in the 2024 trials is former Naperville Central standout Alex Lakin. A 2023 graduate who finished as the state runner up in the 100 yard breaststroke as a senior qualified on May 31st in the 100 meter breast at the end of his freshman season at Oakland University. He finished in fifth place in his heat with a time of 1:02.51, although he was later ruled to be disqualified due to using alternating kicks.

Neuqua Valley grad Rachel Stege qualified for the trials in four events

Neuqua Valley graduate Rachel Stege, a rising senior at the University of Georgia qualified for the Olympic trials in four different events. The former Wildcat state champion will compete in the 200 meter freestyle, 400 meter freestyle, 800 meter freestyle, 1500 meter freestyle. During her time with the blue and gold, Stege set IHSA records in the 200 and 500 yard freestyle and helped Neuqua win state championships in 2018 and 2019. She finished in 13th place in the 400 meters with a time of 4:11.23.

In the 1500 meters, Stege finished with the third fastest time in the prelims, advancing to the finals where she finished in sixth place with a new personal best time of 16:10.03.

Stege had an even stronger performance in the 800 meters, advancing to the finals once again where she finished in fifth place with a time of 8:28.77. The winner in all three events that Stege participated in was the legendary Katie Ledecky.

Current high school swimmer Tyler Bardak competes in the 400 IM

Despite still being in high school, Waubonsie Valley rising senior Tyler Bardak earned a spot in the 2024 Olympic trials in the 400 Individual Medley while swimming for the Fox Valley Swim Team. The Warrior earned four state medals as a junior earlier this winter, helping Waubonsie Valley take home the third place state trophy. Bardak finished in 40th place overall but had the sixth fastest time for swimmers aged 17 and under.

Another junior swimmer, Brayden Capen from Marmion Academy is the final Naperville native competing in the trials. Just a rising sophomore in high school, Capen finished in a tie for 39th place in the 200 meter backstroke with a time of 2:01.56.

Kevin Cordes sets the standard

The most recent Naperville area swimming Olympian is Neuqua Valley graduate Kevin Cordes, who took home a gold medal as a member of the 4X100 medley relay team at the 2016 Olympic games. He also finished in fourth place in the 100 breaststroke.