Traditions get team ready for sectionals

By Catherine Miller, Reporter

After a successful season placing third at the conference meet, the boys swim team will move on to sectionals Saturday.

“We’ve been doing pretty well at our invites,” sophomore varsity swim team member Robert Fortelka said. “We got third place at Buffalo Grove, we got second place at our home invite, and second place at the Bartlett invite.”

The team aims to get one or two of their relays to state this year. Specifically, the 200 medley relay. Fortelka believes that the team has a better chance at meeting this goal this year than in years past.

Fortelka also hopes that he can drop time for his events.

The sectional meet will take place at St. Charles North High School. Whoever qualifies at the sectional meet will move on to the state meet which will take place Feb. 26 and Feb. 27.

Coach Nicole Cleveland feels that even though her team is young, one of their strengths coming into sectionals is their readiness.

“They are prepared. They feel prepared,” Cleveland said. “We’ve been working on mental preparation and visualizing to make sure they are ready, and they just have to worry about swimming.”

Before their conference meet several weeks ago, swim team members bleached their hair. This tradition has significance to the team.

“The whole team does it,” Fortelka said. “It kind of shows that you are prideful of your team and a part of the team.”

Soon, the boys will be cutting their hair short for sectionals.  These traditions help to further the team bond between the boys.

“On our team, most of the guys are on varsity swim club. And we’re all in different clubs,” Fortelka said. “It’s nice to make friends with the guys on other teams and to come together.”