Boys Varsity Swimming and Diving start the season off with great win against Taft


Holden O’Neil

Boys of Lane Tech’s Swimming and Diving Team line-up to start a match against Taft.

By Tyrah Jefferson, Sports Editor

The Boys Varsity Swimming and Diving team started the season with a triumphant win Dec. 10 against Taft. They ended the meet with 20 gold medals, 19 silver medals and 15 bronze medals. 

At the Taft meet Gavin Trotter won first place in several events: the 100-yard backstroke (56.78) and the 100-yard butterfly (58.22). Jakub Kapusta finished second in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:01.35. 

The 200-yard medley relay featured four different swimmers, Gavin Trotter, Michael Puczko, Jakub Kapusta and Ian Anderson, each swimming a 50-yard leg. At the Taft meet the event was finished at 1:46.80. The same 200-yard medley relay was swum days later at the Maine East meet, and finished at 1:46.63.  

Many of the swimmers follow a strict training schedule outside of meets and practice. The team has morning, after school and weekend practices, according to Head Coach O’Hagan. 

O’Hagan plans on getting the boys ready throughout the season to ensure that more than one athlete competes in State this year.

“With swimming, it’s a little bit different than with other sports,” O’Hagan said. “It’s a lot of working out and the athletes are always broken down. So right now I’m trying to get them to that point where they are really broken down so that at the end of the year I can give them some rest and recovery, so I can build them back up, and that’s when they’ll have their best swims of the season.”

Lane’s boys swim team has won 9 state titles, produced 96 all-state swimmers, 48 state champions and 6 Olympians which could be credited to this rigorous training, according to the boys swim website. 

“Swimming all season can be challenging but the meet at the end of the season is all worth it,” O’Hagan said.

Before the start of this season, O’Neil, Div. 170, began training with his club, McGaw YMCA, year-round and he plans on beating his current record times.

“This season I really want some personal best times because right now my 50 freestyle time is just above a 23 and I would like to get that down to a 22,” O’Neil said. “I’m excited for the new season. There’s a lot of swimmers that are trying to make state this year and I can’t wait to see if anyone makes it. I’m really confident in this season so far, we have hopes for winning City Championships this year, so that’s exciting.”

At the Taft meet O’Neil swam 100-yard breaststroke, placing 2nd and finishing at 1:08.00; two days later he swam the same event finishing at 1:06.97, beating his time just by a couple of seconds.

Trotter, Div. 184, came into the new season prepared. During the off-season, Trotter trained with his club, Swift Aquatics, for months in the hopes of coming up with state qualification.

“My goal for this season is to qualify for State in at least one relay event and one individual event, which for me is the 100 backstroke,” Trotter said. “I’m excited for the new season as it will bring several memories with my teammates and help me improve as a swimmer.”

Zachary Butters, Div. 171, came into the season prepared. Butters practiced with his club team, Swift Aquatics, during the offseason to stay in shape and ready to swim at State Regionals. 

“This season my goal is the State time in the 500 freestyle, which is a 4:44,” Butters said. “I am really excited for the team this season because we’re all working really hard together and are constantly motivating each other to improve.”

As a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay at the Taft meet, Butters’ individual split was 51.65 seconds. He swam the same event at the Dec. 13 Maine East meet, finishing at 50.24 seconds. 

Boys Swimming had a meet on Dec. 13, winning 146 points against Maine East’s 77 points and Notre Dame’s 72 points. The Indians took home 22 gold medals, 17 silver medals and two bronze medals. O’Neil attributes some of their success to their teamwork.

“The best part about being on the team is definitely what you get out of it,” O’Neil said.  

O’Neill said he looks forward to seeing his teams’ progress at the end of the season.

“You get to look up on the board and see your time, and your time drops, it’s always so exciting to see how much you have improved and to see how much everyone around you has improved.”

The Varsity Boys Swimming and Diving team will face Hersey at an away meet on Dec. 17 and Von Steuben on Jan. 7 for another away meet.