Panthers swimmers improving as season hits midpoint

The O’Fallon boys swimming team competed in the Champaign Centennial Charger Invitational the past Saturday and finished eighth out of 15 teams.

“Seven of the boys were able to score points in their individual events. That is the highest number of scorers for OTHS at an invitational this year. The team is starting to be comfortable in their roles and challenge the competition with more confidence,” Coach Kimberly Eddy said.

In the 200 Individual Medley, OTHS had two athletes score points, Jack Peterson and Brady Gotter. These swims brought in ten points for the Panthers.

In the 50 freestyle OTHS was able to score 18 points with standout performances from seniors Michael Meyer and Jonathan Stein. Stein also finished in the top ten in the 100 freestyle.

“Jonathan has evolved over his high school career to become a sprint freestyler. He has found his niche on the team and is making a big impact in the line up. He is a swimmer to keep your eye on in the second half of this season,” said Eddy.

The Panthers top scores of the day came in the 100 backstroke. Meyer finished 2nd place overall continuing his trek to another state appearance. Nick Oulvey joined Meyer in scoring points for the Panthers to add 21 to the team score.

The 200 freestyle relay finished with a top time for the season. Oulvey, Gotter, Stephen Monson and Ethan Stein put together a strong performance. The four boys dropped nearly a second off of the previous top time and set a new standard for OTHS in the event.

“I am proud of the boys and the way they swam at the Charger Invitational. The boys are not backing down from the competition and not swimming scared. They are improving on their times and having to reset goals for the season because of early success. The veteran swimmers on the team are doing an amazing job teaching the underclassmen what it is like competing at this level. I only expect to see more improvement in the team’s future,” said Eddy.

Coming up the Panthers have a triangular meet with Edwardsville and Chatham Glenwood Thursday, January 10. Last year at the sectional meet, Chatham, Edwardsville and O’Fallon were the top three finishing teams respectively. Eddy said this meet should be a good indicator of where OTHS stands at the midway point in the season.