Created:Thursday, February 6, 2014 8:45 p.m.CDT
Updated:Friday, February 7, 2014 12:25 a.m.CDT

Swimming insider: Huntley's Ben Cazel athlete of the week

Huntley sophomore Ben Cazel
Huntley sophomore Ben Cazel

Athlete of the Week

Ben Cazel
Huntley, so.

Cazel helped his team to an 89-81 win over McHenry on Wednesday by swimming a personal and team-best time in the 500-yard freestyle. He placed first in the event with a time of 5:03.47. The sophomore also collected a win in the 100 backstroke (58.75).

“He’s really swimming well right now,” Red Raiders coach George Keenan said.

Last duel: Huntley came from behind and finished 1-2 in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Red Raiders’ “B” relay out-touched McHenry’s “A” relay to secure the 89-81 win.

The two teams tied earlier in the season, and Huntley talked about trying to win the final dual meet of the season against the rival Warriors. Huntley coach George Keenan shuffled his lineup from the last meeting, and the shakeup worked.

“The kids, they wanted revenge and they swam like it,” Keenan said. “They really dug deep and really wanted this one.”

The meet showed how tight the Fox Valley Conference is this season and adds fuel to next weekend’s conference meet.

“I was talking to [McHenry coach] Craig Fowles after the meet, and we’re excited for conference,” Keenan said. “It should be pretty fun.”

Closer: McHenry sprinter Kevin Braun touched the wall at the end of his 50-yard freestyle Wednesday in 22.39 seconds. That time is less than a half-second off the state qualifying standard. Braun hopes to drop some time in the next few weeks.

“I really want this,” Braun said of state.

Reinbrecht watch: Jacobs co-op senior Alex Reinbrecht has yet to lose in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle this season, and he picked up more wins this week. He is a state final hopeful.

This week’s top meets

Fox Valley Conference meet, 11 a.m. Feb. 15 at Woodstock North

The dual meet season ended Thursday, and teams will have one week of training to prep for the meet. Some swimmers will begin tapering, or active resting, for both conference and sectionals the following week.

Those with state hopes will wait to taper and use the conference meet as a final tune-up for sectionals, which is the only meet in which swimmers can qualify for the state meet.

Most of the teams in the area are swimming on a level playing field talent-wise, so this will be a close meet with fast times.

Patrick Mason