This time they after something different.
“We want a trophy, second or third,” Grumhaus said. “It’s our last State Meet.” Holding hardware Saturday afternoon will require a top three finish. Though conceding the title to two-time defending champion New Trier, the Scouts are focused on that large award.
“We want this for our school in our last year,” Rowe added.
“We have what it takes to be second or third in State,” Bogdan Balteanau, another senior who moved to Lake Forest with his family last year, chimed in.
It has been a while since Lake Forest had a top three finish. “Not since 2003,” Coach Cindy Dell said. “It’s been a decade.” That year Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers was the mainstay.
In 2013, seniors Grumhaus, Rowe, Baltaneau and Andrew Marsh along with sophomore Daniel Smith will try to do for the Scouts what Grevers made happen 10 years ago. Based on their Sectional performances, they are ready to challenge the Trevians.
“In the past New Trier has not paid attention to Lake Forest,” Dell said. “This year New Trier is paying attention.” In a pair of meets this year the Scouts and Trevians have battled each other closely in the two relays.
The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Grumhaus, Rowe, Baltaneau and Smith notched the No. 2 Sectional time in Illinois, .26 of a second behind guess who, New Trier. The same quartet had the fourth best time in the 200 medley relay, a second behind the Trevians. Relays yield twice the points of individual events.
For teams like Lake Forest, New Trier and a few select others, Sectional performances are not truly indicative of State Meet accomplishments. They tend to do better the final weekend of February.
“The four guys swimming in the finals weren’t wearing speed suits (in the Sectional),” Dell said referring to the detailed preparation swimming for a championship. “They weren’t shaved. They’ll be ready to go like crazy (today).”
Besides the relays, Grumhaus has logged the state’s best time in the 200 freestyle and the second best clocking in the 500 freestyle. “The 200 will be a very competitive race,” he said. “I’ve been training to pull it off,” he added about the possibility of winning a pair of state titles.
Rowe will compete in the 100 and 200 freestyle events while Balteanau will swim the 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. Smith takes off in the 100 backstroke.
Dell expects them to all be swimming for points Saturday. Marsh, who logged the ninth best score in the Vernon Hills Sectional, will dive. “I’ll take each dive as an individual dive, one step at a time,” he said of his strategy.