OTHS boys swimmers take second at Sectionals

The O’Fallon boys swim team competed in Sectionals this past weekend hosted by Edwardsville High School. The Panthers finished second, tying the best finish an OTHS swim team has ever posted at Sectionals. 

“The boys swam phenomenally. Every single one of them. Every time that the team posted today was a season best time, by a lot. The team arrived ready to compete and did not lose that intensity at all throughout the day,” Head Coach Kimberly Eddy said.

Senior Michael Meyer will be again advancing to the State Meet in the 100 backstroke. Michael swam under the state qualifying time and placed third at the Sectional meet, the highest individual finish for the Panthers of the day. 

“I am very proud of Michael for what he has done this season. He leads by example and motivates his teammates. He works hard to push himself and it is wonderful to see that hard work pay off with a state berth,” Eddy said.

OTHS started the day off with a second place finish in the medley relay. The relay of Meyer, Jack Peterson, Ethan Stein and Jonathan Stein dropped 3.97 second from their seed time to out touch Alton High School for the silver medal.

“It was a very close and exciting race. Alton’s backstroker took the lead on the first leg and our boys fought back the remaining 150 yards. Jonathan (Stein) dove in the water in third place and split a 22 to overcome Alton and touch just .03 before them,” explained Eddy.

In the 200 IM, two Panther swimmer were able to medal. Jack Peterson placed 4th overall and Nick Oulvey placed 5th. The next medal for OTHS came in the 100 freestyle. Meyer finished 5th overall. Peterson made it back to the podium in the 500 freestyle. Peterson dropped 15 seconds off of his seed time and placed 6th overall in the event. The final individual medal for OTHS came in the 100 back. Meyer’s state berth swim earned him a third place medal. 

The Panthers also found success in relays at the meet. They earned hardware in all three relay events. In the 200 freestyle relay, the Panthers finished 5th overall. The relay of Kevin Liu, Brady Gotter, Nick Oulvey and Ethan Stein put together four strong swims to place well.

Coach Eddy said, “The 200 freestyle relay team all swan season best splits. This relay changed members a lot this season until we finally found the right mix of swimmers. The team consisted of only one senior, so three of the swimmers will return for OTHS next year. It is great for the underclassmen to get the experience, but it is says a lot about those underclassmen when they compete at this level and go best times.”

In the final event of the day, OTHS finished second in their 400 freestyle relay that consisted of Ethan Stein, Jack Peterson, Jonathan Stein and Michael Meyer. The Panthers swan a time of 3:23.61 coming in just two seconds over the OTHS school record set last year. 

“This relay blew any expectation I had of them out of the water. They dropped 10 seconds off of their seed time in this race. Ethan, Jack and Jonathan all split times I have never seen them post before. Mike anchored the relay and as usual had the fastest leg.This second place finish was a great attribute to the guys working together and pushing each other to be better,” said Eddy.

Next season, the Panthers will be led by Ethan Stein, Jack Peterson and Nick Oulvey, who Eddy thinks have already stepped into the leadership roles this season. 

“The team this year relied on each other and all stepped up at different times throughout the year. Going into next season, there will be no lack of leadership on the team. The team will have high expectations for any new comers and I expect the boys will find them selves one of the top teams at the Sectional meet again,” said Eddy.