Jacob Gramer wins IHSA state title in 100 butterfly for DeKalb-Sycamore

Sycamore senior also takes fifth in 100 freestyle

DeKalb’s Jacob Gramer celebrates his firrst-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly during the boys state swimming and diving finals at FMC Natatorium in February 2024 in Westmont.

Two state trips, no medals. Jacob Gramer stopped that streak in the biggest way possible.

The DeKalb-Sycamore swimmer won the state championship in the 100-yard butterfly on Saturday at the IHSA State Championships in Westmont. He also took fifth in the 100 freestyle.

“It feels insane, I guess,” said Gramer, a senior at Sycamore. “I don’t know if it’s sunk in yet but I have like no words. I’m just really happy.”

Gramer posted a 100 butterfly time of 47.42 seconds on Saturday at the IHSA State Championships, edging Hinsdale Central’s Jeffrey Hou by 0.03 seconds for the gold. Earlier in the day Gramer also medaled in the 100 free.

In the fly, Gramer posted a 47.32 in the prelims on Friday, taking the top time into Saturday’s final. Although only Hou and Gramer broke 48 seconds on Friday, four swimmers swam under that in a tight finish on Saturday.

“We knew it was going to be a close race coming in,” Gramer said. “I know I had to take the first 50 strong. I had the lead in the first 50, I could see that at the turn. The last 50, I knew how to push. I knew the other guys were coming. You could feel them, see them out of the side of your eyes. I noticed they were closing and gave it all my all, put my head down and ended up winning.”

DeKalb-Sycamore coach Melanie Chambers said she and Gramer were expecting and prepared for a close race.

“He did what we talked about yesterday,” Chambers said. “He kept his head down and made sure to finish, power through those last 50 yards. And it’s exactly what it took to win the race today.”

In the 50 free, Gramer shaved a tenth of a second from his Friday prelim, finishing in 20.47. Maine South’s Dominic Mazurek won in 20.21.

The medals are the first two of Gramer’s career. As a sophomore he made the final day but did not medal, and last year he was eliminated after preliminaries. According to IHSA records, he’s the second state champion from DeKalb-Sycamore, joining Daniel Hein, who won the 100 backstroke in 2016.

“It means a lot after coming home with no medals last year,” Gramer said. “I knew my goals and got to work and now I’m coming home with two medals. To have a state championship is just amazing.”

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