A team and community effort brought Lake Forest High School its first trophy from the State Swim Meet in 10 years Saturday in Winnetka.
From a pre meet pep talk from Coach Cindy Dell to chants of “Let’s go relay, Let’s go relay,” from the Scout faithful at the New Trier High School pool Saturday in Winnetka before the final event, everyone was focused on the athletes in the water.
Swimmers Peter Grumhaus, Colin Rowe, Bogdan Balteanu and Daniel Smith embraced each other after finishing second to champion New Trier in the 400-yard freestyle relay, the day’s last event.
Their exuberance increased moments later when they learned the trophy they sought from the start of the season was theirs. They loved the crowd support from a distinct blue and gold section of the stands.
“We’ve never had this kind of crowd at State,” Rowe said. He and Grumhaus were competing in their fourth straight Illinois High School Association finals.
Dell was constantly giving support to her swimmers and divers. Her concentration was intense down to her Scout blue polished finger nails. When it was over, she had time to reflect on what the entire team meant to her. “I feel blessed,” she said.
Just then Athletic Director Tim Burkhalter nudged her arm to let her know it was time to receive the trophy. He let her know each member of the team, not just those who competed in Saturday’s finals, would be introduced along with the coaches.
Burkhalter was first, followed by Dell, her assistants and the team. As soon as they got the trophy in their hands, the Scouts held it high for the Lake Forest faithful in the stands to see.