Boys Swimming: Healthy Smith makes splash for Lincoln-Way East
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media February 2, 2013 10:04PM
Lockport's Jacob Speechley competes in the 200-yard individual medley during the SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue boys swim meet at Sandburg High School in Orland Park Saturday, February 2, 2013. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 4, 2013 6:38AM
A back injury kept Lincoln-Way East’s Spencer Smith out of the pool last season, making what he accomplished Saturday at the SouthWest Suburban Blue meet even more remarkable.
Smith won the 50-yard freestyle (22.69 seconds), took second in the 100 freestyle (49.18) and swam on two relays in his final conference meet, which was won by host Sandburg.
“I’m extremely happy about how I did,’’ Smith said. “I’m still looking to drop time at sectional, but I’m where I need to be right now.’’
Having not competed last season, Smith may have been a revelation to some of his competitors.
“I think some people were surprised. Some people may have forgot since I didn’t swim my junior year,’’ he said. “I went out and showed what I can do.’’
“He has worked hard every single day from the time his doctors said he could swim,’’ Lincoln-Way East coach Kelly Byrne said. “He’s really improved his sprinting this year.’’
Third-place Lincoln-Way East had second-place finishes from Andy Gramont in the 100 breaststroke, Alex Newell in the 200 freestyle and Patrick Hackett in the 500 free.
Another local winner was Lincoln-Way Central sophomore Cody Moris, who took first in the 100 backstroke (56.18).
Central’s Mike Ramos was second in the 100 butterfly.
Team runner-up Lockport got a 1-2 finish in diving from defending champion Tyler Pastore (413.25) and Jake Voltarel (402.50).
“Having two in a row is really great,’’ Pastore said. “It was nice going out my junior and senior year winning conference.’’
“The class of the meet for us was our divers,’’ Lockport coach Grant Ferkaluk said. “Our two divers are fantastic. They came in and gave us 30 points to start out the meet.’’
Lockport’s Jake Knowles was runner-up in the individual medley (2:01.63) and swam on all three of the Porters’ second-place relays.
“I’m pleased with how we swam,’’ Ferkaluk said. “I really liked Jake Gillis’ performance in his 200 free. I thought our relays were a little flat. We have to pick up the pace there a little bit.’’