“He’s one of the top swimmers in the state,” said Lake Forest swim coach Cindy Dell. “His feet are like paddles in the water.”
Feet like paddles? How do you ask for that size in a shoe store?
Not that Grumhaus spends that much time on land. He has not become one of the state’s top distance freestylers by not dedicating time in the pool.
A year ago as a sophomore, Grumhaus earned All-State honors with a ninth-place showing in the 500-yard freestyle.
He will make his repeat bid in the 500 freestyle at Saturday’s sectional meet at Lake Forest, and add the 200 freestyle along with a leg in the Scouts’ 200 medley (butterfly) and 400 freestyle relays.
“My strongest event is the 500 free,” he said. “I’ll get good competition from Danny Conway at Warren. I’m hoping to win the 200 free.
The home pool just might provide that extra edge.
“It’s nice to have the sectional at home,” Grumhaus said. “We’ve been training in our pool. There are certain things that I get used to.”
Grumhaus will not completely rest for the sectional. He doesn’t have to. His times throughout most of the season have been below the state qualifying standards, according to Dell.
“I won’t be tapered and still will be training,” Grumhaus said. “But I can take the extra yardage.”
He is not a swimmer who tires easily. Grumhaus seemingly can swim all day long.
“My coach says that my internal clock goes off during the back of a race and I finish well,” he said.
Some of the credit for this endurance comes from his work with the Cats Aquatic Club. He’s the lone Scouts swimmer at this club that brings in swimmers from Libertyville and Vernon Hills.
“I’ve learned about really good technique at the club,” he said. “And I’ve done a lot of dry land work. That’s running, pushups, yoga and riding bikes. I don’t do any weights.”
Dell approves of his work with that club.
“He has outstanding drive,” Dell said. “He gives 100 percent. His work ethic is great. He’s a great role model.”
Swimming has taken Grumhaus on some nice vacations. In August, it was to the campus of Stanford University in sunny California.
“That was to the Junior Nationals,” Grumhaus said. “It was really cool. I was with the top swimmers in my age group.”
He also knows he is headed for a spring break trip to Indianapolis next month.
“I get my first try at the Olympic cut,” he said.
First, though, Grumhaus is excited to return to state.
“The energy was outstanding,” he said of last year’s meet. “It was crazy at the state meet. There were so many people there.”
He hopes to have plenty of teammates as company at state.
“It’s the strongest team since I’ve been here,” he said. “We have a lot of depth. We have some great freshmen and some great returners.”