EVANSTON – The state boys swimming meet was tightly contested and Hinsdale Central left with plenty of awards.
The Red Devils earned a state trophy for the second year in a row and picked up nine medals in Saturday's finals, including top five in all three relays, at Evanston Township High School.
"It's a fantastic day," junior Brian Portland said. "I couldn't have hoped for anything more. It's just an awesome day all around. Great swims from everybody here."
Portland was second in the 100-yard freestyle and competed in all three relays. The Red Devils were second in both the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay, and fifth in the 400 freestyle relay.
The Red Devils racked finished third in the team standings with 108 points. Last year, Central finished as the state runner-up.
"Anything with a trophy is a fantastic day," Portland said. "We didn't come here with expectations. We just wanted to see what we could do."
What the Red Devils did was earn several all-state finishes.
Freshman Franco Reyes made the finals in two races, taking fifth in the 100 butterfly and sixth in the 100 breaststroke.
"I didn't expect to make two event finals," Reyes said. "I was ranked 20th in the breaststroke and I came in sixth, which is a surprise. It was a good surprise."
Reyes is a part of a young Central squad that saw a lot of success. None of the Red Devils to make it to Saturday's finals in individual events will graduate this spring. Seniors Banistre Lienhart and Aneil Srivastava swam as part of Central relays.
"It was a great experience training with seniors and juniors," Reyes said. "All of them supported me throughout this whole year."
Adam Pircon was 11th in the 500 freestyle and Brian Powell was 11th in the 50 freestyle.
Central had one of the more boisterous fan sections, which contributed to an already hectic atmosphere.
"We had some of our friends leave at four in the morning to get here [on Friday]," Portland said. "Second and third in the doors, I think they were. We couldn't ask for better fans having a good time and cheering everybody on."
Junior Jason Yang represented the Hornets at the state swimming finals at Evanston High School last weekend. Swimming in the 100-yard backstroke preliminaries Feb. 28, Yang touched the wall with a time of 53.56 seconds to finish in 28th place overall.
Zach Tieke, a Hinsdale resident and Fenwick senior, swam in four events at the state meet.
Tieke earned state medals as the anchor leg on two relays. The 200-yard medley relay was sixth in 1:35.15, and the 200 freestyle relay was 12th in 1:27.48.
He swam individually in the prelims of the 50 freestyle (25th, 21.99) and 100 freestyle (48.02).
State meet team scores
1. Normal University, 123 points
2. Libertyville, 120
3. Hinsdale Central, 108