Naperville City Swim Meet Celebrates 55th Season of Competition

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The Naperville Swim Conference hosted its 55th annual swim meet on Friday, July 27th, and Saturday, July 28th. This summer, the historic two-day event was hosted by Brookdale at Naperville North High School, featuring twenty teams with kids aged eight and under to eighteen swimming their way to success while friends, family, and coaches cheered along while showing off their club themes.

“It’s just an incredible opportunity for our young kids, high schoolers on down to eight and under that get a chance after practicing every day, five days a week for the last seven or eight weeks to come in and show their stuff and compete against their friends,” said Naperville Swim Club President Sean Barrett. 

Familiar faces in the water

On night one, we saw area kids from the age of 15-18 years compete for top times and new personal bests. Two swimmers were familiar faces thriving in a familiar pool with rising senior Jonathan Wang and recent graduate Hayley Swatland, both members of the Naperville North swim teams and Cress Creek Country Club. Swatland, a former Huskie swimming and lacrosse team member, was thrilled to swim one more time at her old stomping grounds, while Wang uses the summer season to prep for his senior campaign with the blue and orange.

“It’ll help you get started quicker so you don’t have to start from scratch again and do a lot of conditioning. You are already half conditioned so swimming over the summer with a summer team is very beneficial,” said Cress Creek swimmer Jonathan Wang.

“I thought the last time I’d swim at North was my last meet because this is usually at Central. So, to have it at my high school this year was super fun, and it’s nice to have my last swim meet ever be in here,” said former Naperville North swimmer Hayley Swatland.

Wang took first place in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard IM, while Swatland swam in the 50-yard butterfly and the 200-yard freestyle relay. Waubonsie Valley and Tall Grass swimmer Sam Lohman was another name who made a big splash winning the 100-yard free and helping his 200-yard freestyle and medley relay teams to first-place finishes. Lohman wasn’t done yet because he stayed on the pool deck on Saturday, coaching kids competing in the 14 and under races. Watching the next generation of local standouts enjoying the early years of their swimming journeys excites him as a current swimmer and coach.

“You get to see their competitiveness and joy for the sport. And it’s super cool to give back to the community because I started when I was four, and I had these coaches to develop me to where I’ve gotten myself today as a swimmer,” said Tall Grass and Waubonsie Valley swimmer Sam Lohman. 

New year same result for the Tall Grass Lightning

After two days of fun, the Tall Grass Lightning came out on top for a fifth straight year with 1,401 points, just ahead of the Saybrook Sharks, who took second place, and the Breckenridge Breakers, finishing in third. The Cress Creek Cyclones and the Brookdale Buccaneers rounded out the top five. Many kids on the Lightning have been swimming with the team for a long time, so winning the annual City Meet has become the standard for the Tall Grass club over the past half-decade.

Mirabelle Lacoursiere: “We just win just like that. We just win.”

“It was pretty awesome, the winning,’’added Sarah Kucharski.

“It’s a lot more fun with your friends because you get to celebrate together,” said Brooklyn Landtiser.

“It motivates me to go faster,” Charlotte Lee acknowledged.

As the Lightning continued their winning tradition, this meet was about more than just touching the wall first. The annual Naperville City Swim Meet also was the capstone of another summer season full of hard work and success in and out of the water. 

“Everybody likes to see a great race, but it’s also about improvement. It’s learning to swim from a young age, getting better through hard work, and seeing that pay off as time drops. It’s the almighty time drop somebody looks for, whether blue or red ribbon. So, if you got better, it’s a giant win for everybody,” said Barrett. 

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