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RB swimming rides record-setting performances to state

OAK PARK – Saturday was a day to remember for Riverside Brookfield’s boys swimming program.

The Bulldogs not only won the first sectional in program history but broke six schools records and even set a new pool record at Fenwick, a pool that has plenty of history. In all, RB qualified eight entries to the state meet, including all three relays, to win the Fenwick sectional.

“[Winning the sectional] was a goal we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year, and we thought it was attainable,” RB coach Todd Fridrych said.

Juniors Quinn Risley (50-yard freestyle, 100 freestyle) and Kevin Garza (100 backstroke) both are headed to state for the third time. Risley broke two schools records Saturday, including setting a new Fenwick pool record in the 50 freestyle.

Risley’s time of 20.74 seconds was the third-fastest qualifying time in the state in the 50 freestyle. He also qualified with the fifth-fastest time in the 100 freestyle.

“I think he’s got the proper genes,” Fridrych said. “His brother was a top swimmer as well. He didn’t do a lot in the offseason other than hit the weight room. He really has all the tools and the makeup to do well at the state meet.”

All three Bulldog relays broke school records and qualified for state. The 200 freestyle relay team of Tim Somers, Christian Hernandez, Anthony Colon and Risley enter the state meet with the fifth-fastest qualifying time. They won the sectional race, as did the 400 freestyle relay (Somers, Hernandez, Garza, Risley).

Also qualifying individually were Somers (50 freestyle) and Dominic Rosa (100 breaststroke). Fridrych said Rosa, a junior, qualifying was the surprise of the day for RB. He set a new school record in the 100 breaststroke.

Fridrych said the progress the program has shown in recent years is due to multiple factors.

“We’ve been building the program [through a feeder system], and it’s also a good group of kids,” he said.

The coach said the goal at state is to get medals. Risley has a good chance in both of his individual events, and the 200 and 400 freestyle relays represent the team’s best chances for all-state finishes.

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