As the season went on, the records kept falling for both Jacob Gramer and the DeKalb-Sycamore co-op freestyle relay teams.
Gramer set two individual school records, was a part of the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay teams that set records across multiple pools and earned a pair of medals at the IHSA state meet.
He was named the 2022 Daily Chronicle Boys Swimmer of the Year.
“I think we were all proud of how we ended, all the accomplishments we had, working hard every day in practice,” said Gramer, a sophomore at Sycamore. “It paid off in the end, and I think everyone was happy about that.”
Gramer swam the 50 free in 20.98 seconds at the state meet and took ninth. He swam the 100 free in 46.39 and took 11th. Both marks set school records.
The 200 free relay of Gramer, Noah Johnson, Max Palacios and Jared VanderSchee set a team record in 1:26.82, the Huntley Middle School pool record of 1:28.55 and the Byron pool record in 1:27.29, also a sectional record.
The 400 relay team of Gramer, Palacios, VanderSchee and Brendan Sullivan took down a 40-year-old Huntley pool record in 3:19.10.
“It was really cool being part of that,” Gramer said. “At the beginning of the season, I kind of planned that with Jared VanderSchee, another swimmer, a senior. He wanted this, so we made it a priority. We worked hard every day in practice to get this, and we got it.”
Gramer said this year he was focused on medaling at state after COVID-19 protocols eliminated the postseason last year.
So he set his goal, worked hard to get to his goal, and then accomplished his goal.
“I worked really hard, and I got it, which is really cool,” Gramer said. “It shows if you put your mind to something and put the work in, it will pay off in the end.”
Coach Melanie Chambers said the goal was set high for Gramer from the start of the season.
“He came into the season focused on putting in quality work at practice,” Chambers said. “Not that he didn’t last year, but after the delayed start to his freshman season, he came into this season knowing that he wanted to accomplish some pretty big things.”
Gramer said next year he’s shooting for a top-six finish at state. This year, he was the only underclassman in the 50 and 100 finals.
“I think he was excited about it, but it didn’t really faze him,” Chambers said “He just showed up and did his own thing. When we talked about it, he was like, ‘This is pretty cool.’ The sprint events are pretty tough, and for him to make it into finals in both of those as a sophomore, I can only imagine he’s having great things coming his way the next couple of years.”
Chambers said she believes Gramer can accomplish his goals and more over the next two years.
“Now that he’s unlocking his potential, I’m excited to see where that will take him the next two years,” Chambers said. “I think now that he’s got a taste of that, he definitely wants more. He’s got good insight under his belt now. He knows what state is all about. That will only go his way. Looking forward to some finals and hopefully top-six finishes in those events.”