Panther swimmers head into winter break with strong performances

The O’Fallon boys swimming team competed twice last week, traveling both times. Last Thursday, the Panthers competed against Southwestern conference rival Edwardsville and hit the road again on Saturday trekking back to Peoria for the Richwoods Midwest Invitational.

The Panthers fell to the Tigers 115-66, but Coach Kimberly Eddy and the team were not deflated by their performances.

“Edwardsville is a strong and experienced team. They have a strong core of upperclassmen that are returning Varsity letter winners. Our team is young and gaining valuable experience with every meet we swim. I only expect us to get better as a team as our upperclassmen¬† continue to improve and our underclassmen continue to gain experience,” Coach Eddy said.

Senior Michael Meyer continued to lead the team by winning both of his individual events, giving OTHS the only two individual first place finishes on the day.

When asked about his success in the pool, Meyer said, “It’s been all about just trusting the process at practice and knowing that you may be sore at the meet, but your training will show off when it comes time to race.”

Meyer was also a member of the first place 400 freestyle relays team. The relay team consisting of two seniors and two sophomores, Meyer, Jonathan Stein, Ethan Stein and Jack Peterson, finished 4 seconds ahead of the Tigers swimming a time of 3:35.01.

At the Midwest Invitational in Peoria, the Panthers finished in the middle of the pack. Seniors Meyer and Jonathan Stein were the two individual medal winners for OTHS. Meyer finished 5th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 51.03 and 2nd in the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.28. Stein finished 6th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.02. The 400 freestyle relay of Meyer, J. Stein,  E. Stein and Peterson finished 5th overall riding the wave of their success in the event on Thursday.

“These four boys are the core of our team. Their success in this event is a direct result of the hours of hard work they put in during the week,” says Eddy.

OTHS had eight swimmers total score points for the team on Saturday. The Panthers found the most success in the 500 freestyle. Two swimmers, Jack Peterson and Brady Gotter finished in the top 10 of the event.

The Panthers will take a few weeks off from meets, but be training all winter break. They will pick up their competitive season on January 4th in the Charger Invite in Champaign.