Here are five boys swimmers to watch in the Northwest Herald area this season.
Michael Boelens, Huntley, sr.
Boelens will be a key member for the Red Raiders, who hope to contend for a Fox Valley Conference title. The senior will try and qualify for state in at least two events, coach Jenna Gaudio said, with the 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley as his top races. Boelens also is expected to be on Huntley’s top relays.
Ben Rocks, Huntley, sr.
Rocks was named co-Most Valuable Swimmer at the FVC Invite as a junior and qualified for state in both the 100 free and 200 free, also winning those events at conference. Rocks, who will swim at NCAA Division I Indiana University and Purdue University, set the team record in the 100 free and placed 15th at state. He also will be on Huntley’s top relays and will compete in the 50 free.
Danial Sanahurskyj, Cary-Grove co-op, sr.
Sanahurskyj, who goes to Crystal Lake South, will look to help the Trojans to their 15th FVC championship in 16 years. Trojans coach Scott Lattyak said Sanahurskyj is a state medalist hopeful in his top two events: the 200 free and 100 butterfly.
Drew Watson, Cary-Grove co-op, jr.
Watson, who goes to Crystal Lake South, has the most state experience of any returning area swimmer. Watson earned state berths in four events as a sophomore: the 200 IM, 100 backstroke, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay. The Trojans’ 200 medley relay was seventh at state and 400 free relay was 10th. Watson just missed the finals in the 100 back, placing 13th. He was 15th in the 200 IM.
Dexter Zielinski, Cary-Grove co-op, sr.
Zielinski, who goes to Crystal Lake Central, was part of Trojans’ state-qualifying 400 free relay, which earned a 10th-place medal. He was runner-up in the the 100 free and 200 free at the FVC Invite.