From Barrington to Senior Night: Boys swimming season recap

Pavan Pandurangi, Sports Editor

The Vikings’ chants echoed in the pool as the swimmers hyped each other up to enter Bronco water. Undefeated entering Barrington High School after finals week, members of the boys swimming and diving team motivated one another before the meet to perform the best they possibly could. The 2019-2020 season will mark the end of high school swimming careers for numerous Viking swimmers, the likes of whom include seniors Kevin Han, Shashwat Viswanath, Rigden Atsatsang, and James Steininger. With this in mind, the Vikings set out to upset the Broncos, who, last year, upset Fremd in a tight match and picked up a freshman swimmer who went on to place second at the state competition in the 100-yard backstroke.

In the locker room, senior captain Steininger remarked about how he planned to motivate his team.

 “We know going into this… that it is going to be a really tough match, but we just have to tell everyone to focus, try their best, and swim,” Steininger said.

Before entering the pool, senior captain Josh Lichtenwalter described the competition that Barrington brings to meets every year.

 “Barrington is our number one rival, [because] they are the only ones that put up times that are similar to ours,” Lichtenwalter said. “Everybody gets their best times at this meet because they know its the biggest ones of the year.”

Fremd got off the blocks in a stunning fashion, with divers like Ian Ciborowski and Aidan McCall lighting up the pool, dismantling Barrington’s diving lineup. In recent years, Fremd’s diving team has shown promise and continues to perform well in high-pressure situations against tough rivals like Barrington. The advantage slipped away almost immediately, however, when the diving segment of the dual meet ended and the swimming began.

Though the captains tried to motivate swimmers to break their personal records and to inch past the swimmer in front of them, they failed to do so and were swiftly dismantled in the swimming contest; the only victory came from junior Justin Chen, who triumphed over all of his competitors in the 100-yard butterfly.

Coming off a 40-point defeat against Barrington , the Vikings knew they had to step up their game to hold their own against the Broncos in their next meeting. After 2020 rolled in, the Vikings faced off and defeated Schaumburg and Wheeling by in swift fashion, dismantling them each by over 40 points. This seemingly upward trend was halted at Senior Night against Palatine; the unexpected loss, however, did not faze the Viking spirit, as the night’s primary purpose was to remember the seniors’ journeys through the Fremd Swimming and Diving program.

The Vikings now approach the culmination of their 2019-2020 season, with meets such as conference, sectionals, and state taking place on Feb. 15, Feb. 22, and Feb. 29 respectively. With a majority of the varsity team graduating in 2020, the swimming team hopes to capitalize on their experienced lineup with wins at these championship meets.

Han describes what each team member has to do to succeed at the upcoming tournaments.

“As a team, we have to forget about the doubts and criticisms we’ve been receiving, forget the times, and just live in the moment,” Han said. “Cast everything aside and race.”