Thundercats undefeated 3-0, swim to victory over Joliet


Emma Figlewicz

Luke Osipczuk, sophomore, sprints to transition from his 50 backstroke into his 50 breastroke in the 200 yard individual medley.

Emma Figlewicz, Entertainment Editor

  After securing the win against Joliet 124-46 at Inwood Athletic Club on Mar. 2, the boys swim team prepares for the SPC conference where they hope to keep their 4-time consecutive championship title.   

  “Our goal is to win the conference 5 years in a row by beating Oswego. They are the favorites to win right now and have a stronger senior class with great depth. It will be a fun event to see,” Raghav Saini, head coach, said.  

  Following IHSA guidelines, the team has had to adapt to set regulations creating challenges that haven’t been present in past seasons.  

  “Covid has shortened our season. It will make it harder for everyone to get a personal record due to a lack of training time. Not having a state meet takes away some of our end-of-season goals,” Saini said. “We are coping with it by adapting our practice techniques, trying for high intensity rest training, and hope that it will help out swimmers reach their goals.” 

  Even with their season being cut short, the team is grateful for the opportunity to compete again with each other.   

  “The team is like a family; we are like a group of brothers. In the pool, we have great depth and tons of talent. We are a very young team in the fact we only have four seniors, the majority of the team is primarily sophomores,” Greg Benson, Plainfield South junior, said.  

  With the loss of four state-qualifying swimmers, the team works to fill the gap left to protect their championship title.   

  “We lost some heavy hitters from last year which will make it hard to take down our biggest rival Oswego East. As a team they have tons of talent and excel in areas we are lacking in,” Joe Broadway, sophomore, said. Conference will be the climax to a years-long battle as we fight to keep our championship title out of their hands.”  

  The competitive mentality is one of the biggest positives the sport brings. However, this mindset can create pressure on an athlete. 

  “Swimming poses not only physical challenges, but it is extremely taxing mentally. In an individual race, it is just you swimming against the clock. We put in thousands of yards each day in the hopes of shaving off milliseconds from our time. Although it can be stressful the feeling of getting a new personal record makes it worth it,” Luke Osipczuk, sophomore, said 

  In spite of the intensity, the team feels that people have a skewed idea of what swimming entails, since more people are familiar with team sports such as football and baseball.

  “Many people dismiss swimming as a side sport and that anyone can do it, but I disagree. Swimmers deserve credit for the time and effort they put into the pool,” Jack Burke, Plainfield North junior, said.  “It takes a strong person to jump in the pool every day and put in the hours like we do.” 

  The boys practice more than 12 hours a week while also spending time working out in the gym. This hard work the team puts in is the primary reason for their success.  

  “Every minute of every set practice has a purpose. The time out of the water doing dryland and weight training are extremely important. Each yard we put in accounts for something; we aren’t just swimming for fun. You either give it your all or fall short of the finish,” Ian Mallari, Plainfield North sophomore, said.  

  The team will end their season competing in the SPC conference invite on Mar.13 at Oswego East High School.