Hinsdale Central’s power of four brings second-place trophy
Winnetka Saturday, 2/23/13 Hinsdale Central's Brian Powell gets ready to swim the second leg of the 200-Yard Freestyle Relay during Saturday's IHSA State Championship hosted by New Trier High School. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
At Class 4A W. Warrenv. S. Regional, 7:30 p.m.
At Bolingbrook Sectional, 7:30 p.m.
Hosts Red Devil Invite, 6 p.m.
Hosts Invite, 4:30 p.m.
Hosts Red Devil Quad, 10 a.m.
BOYS WATER POLO
At Morton, 6 p.m.
GIRLS WATER POLO
Hosts Morton, 6 p.m.
At Stagg, 5 p.m.
Updated: April 1, 2013 6:46AM
WINNETKA — Separately, the swimmers on Hinsdale Central are good. Together, they’re state champions.
The team took second place at the IHSA state finals at New Trier over the weekend on the strength of top-four finishes in all three relays, including first in the 200 freestyle (1 minutes, 23.43 seconds).
“We put all of our strength in our relays,” coach Corky King said. “We didn’t really have that one individual who was going to stand out and get a couple top-six finishes for us. So that was our hope, that four good guys could make it into something special. And that’s what they did.”
Senior Eddie Mapel did take third in the 100 breaststroke (56.42) and senior Will Leach nabbed 10th in the 100 free (46.54), but it was the power of four that helped guide the Red Devils to a runner-up finish behind powerhouse New Trier.
Though the elder statesmen of the team, like Mapel, Leach and fellow senior Connor Schroyer, all performed well, the show-stealer for Central was a talented trio of sophomores in Adam Pircon, Brian Portland and Brian Powell.
During the meet, they were unofficially dubbed the best sophomore swim class in Illinois.
“They’re great guys and great swimmers,” Portland said. “We’re blessed that we have such a great team. I think there’s nothing but good things in our future. We do have a huge senior class leaving this year, so we hope that we can just keep it going and hold up the team.”
Portland and Powell both swam on that state champion 200 free relay team, and Portland was also on the 200 medley team that took second and the 400 free relay team that touched fourth.
Despite the young guns’ enormous success so early in their careers, King stressed that the three weren’t getting ahead of themselves. Instead of setting an eye toward to the future, they’re just going to worry about working hard today.
“We obviously are going to look forward to the state meet, but we don’t want to set our expectations too high,” Portland said. “First you got to get there. So we just like to keep it real, work hard, and qualify for the state meet first. Then we’ll worry about winning once we get there.”