BLOOMINGTON — With every place earning points, Normal Community High School’s depth added up to victory in the Intercity Swim Meet at the Robert Frank Sports Complex on Tuesday.
Non-winners, one as far back as 14th, helped the Ironmen overcome No. 11-state ranked University High, which won eight of the 12 events.
NCHS scored 535 points followed by Normal West (509), defending champion U High (497), host Bloomington (260) and Central Catholic (254).
"I couldn't be more happy with how they performed tonight," said Coach Heather Budak of her Ironmen. "Our second and third kids in all the events knew what they needed to do to get ahead and then went out and did what they had to do."
The Pioneers’ star power featured a trio of double winners in Colton Stogner, Anthony Williamson and Andy Ritsema. Sophomore Thomas Reedy was part of all three NCHS event wins.
An Alabama recruit, Stogner clocked 22.07 seconds to win the 50-yard freestyle for the third straight year. He also repeated as champion in the 100 freestyle in 49.38 despite feeling ill along with Williamson and Reedy.
"I'm pretty sick right now," Stogner said. "I barely made it to school. I got tested for influenza and strep and neither came back positive.
"We're doing a lot of long yardage right now (in training). I'm hoping to get to the sprinting stuff pretty soon and get my speed up."
Stogner anchored the winning 200 medley relay (1:40.96) in 23.09 and led off the winning 400 freestyle relay (3:21.05) in 48.43.
Giving Stogner the medley lead were Ritsema (26.47 backstroke), Wisconsin-recruit Harrison Fudge (27.68 breaststroke) and Josh Nepomuceno (23.72 backstroke). The 400 free relay included Alex Hess (53.58), Ritsema (49.89) and Williamson (49.15).
Williamson defended his title in the 200 freestyle (1:47.36) and came back to win the 500 freestyle (4:55.66). In the 500, he trailed Christian Travis of NCHS until touching at 300 yards in 2:56.80. Travis hung on for second in a season best of 4:56.00.
"I think I could have gone faster," Williamson said. "It's just I'm feeling under the weather. Training has been great. I'm working with a bunch of great guys."
A sophomore, Ritsema was a repeat winner in the 100 butterfly in a season best of 54.48 and later captured the 100 backstroke (59.16). Pushing him in the fly was Robby Pratt of BHS with a season best of 54.62.
Reedy won the 100 breaststroke (1:01.12) and 200 individual medley (2:04.31). In the IM, he trailed Fudge until the freestyle. Fudge wound up third (2:06.00) behind Nepomuceno (2:05.69).
"I love this pool," Reedy said. "I've been training here for about a year with my club. My times aren't really where I wanted them to be. I was a little sick."
In the 100 breaststroke, Fudge led at the halfway point in 28.57, but Reedy rallied to win by three hundredths of a second. Reedy's club season best of 56.7 makes him a threat to Fudge's Pantagraph area high school season record of 58.27.
"At the very end there was a split-second decision — I thought I could either glide or I could do a half stroke and finish," Reedy said of the breaststroke. "I did a half stroke and I couldn't believe I did it (to win). It was really fun."
Reedy (23.60) also swam on the winning 200 freestyle relay (1:33.75), which included Tyler Yuan (24.14), Travis (23.69) and Ethan Lowder (22.32).
The diving title went to Normal West’s top-seeded Caleb Jirik, who scored 190.90 points. His season best is 195.60.
"I was pretty satisfied with my scores," said Jirik, who ranked his inward one-and-a-half somersault as his best dive. "The dive I wish I could have improved on would be my back double. I struggle finding myself in the air and I get kind of lost."