Created: Thursday, January 16, 2014 4:54 p.m. CDT
Updated: Friday, January 17, 2014 12:00 a.m. CDT
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Inside Boys Swimming: Jacobs' Alex Reinbrecht Athlete of Week

Athlete of the Week

Alex Reinbrecht

Jacobs co-op, sr.

Reinbrecht won each event he was entered in the past week with multiple wins in the 400-meter freestyle and 200 freestyle as well as relays.

The senior keeps a close watch on his times from last season and uses that as a measuring stick in hopes of being able to place at the state meet.

Noteworthy

Coming together: When Huntley coach George Keenan took over the boys program at the beginning of the season, he didn't know many of the swimmers on his team or in the area.

But, as the season has gone on, he has gotten a good handle on his team and how they respond to workouts and how to get the most out of his swimmers. So, over winter break, Keenan pushed the Red Raiders hard.

"We worked really hard over the break and I think that they're a little tired right now, which is all right because we had some good swims," Keenan said. "I'm encouraged by it as I've gotten to know them better.

"For some that were used to having the time off, it was a change, but the ones that understand swimming welcomed it, even though it was difficult."

Huntley has a strong team but, with only 14 swimmers, often finds itself losing dual meets, which call for a deeper lineup. But as the season heads into the final month before the championship meets, Keenan isn't worried about the results as much and is hopeful some of his swimmers will break through some time barriers and make the state meet.

"Ben Cazel has posted some fast times and has had huge drops along with Bryan Haage," Keenan said. "It's a good bunch and I'm anxious to see how it turns out."

Deep end: Cary-Grove has been powering its way through dual meets because of its depth. After four-time state qualifier Michael Hamann graduated last season, coach Rick Schaefer wasn't sure where the strengths would be. The Trojans don't have that go-to swimmer, but they have found ways to win.

"Everybody on this team is pretty evenly matched," Schaefer said. "No one is in the forefront of carrying us, and that's all right. 

"We swam Jacobs [co-op on Wednesday] and [Francis] Ogaban is good, and Reinbrecht is good, and even when we don't beat those guys, we can still win the dual."

With the fairly even skill level, the swimmers have been competing with each other for spots on relay teams and for spots in individual races all season. And while that can be tough, Schaefer likes to help his team unwind.

For the second straight season, the third-year coach has taken his team to the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. The team went up New Year's Day and stayed for a night.

"We train pretty hard, and I thought the kids needed that," Schaefer said. "And it's good bonding."

This week's top meet

Cary-Grove, McHenry, Woodstock co-op at Jefferson Invitational

11 a.m. Saturday in Rockford

This is always a fast meet and is one of the last times the area teams get a chance to see some different competition. 

– Patrick Mason

pmason@shawmedia.com