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Not all top prep swimmers can be part of a team effort

Kyle Aerne Lakes High is headed Eastern Michigan University. | SUN-TIMES MEDIA FILE PHOTO

Kyle Aerne of Lakes High is headed to Eastern Michigan University. | SUN-TIMES MEDIA FILE PHOTO

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Full Teams In Field


Lake Forest



Vernon Hills



Schools With Individuals


Grayslake Central

Grayslake North





Three area swimmers who qualified for state last year while competing without a team were Kirk Dickson of Grayslake Central, (center above), Brenden Bolman of Grayslake North (left) and Kyle Aerne of Lakes (right).

All three began their swimming careers at the Hastings Lake YMCA in Lindenhurst.

Aerne started at age 6, Dickson at age 7, and Bolman at age 9.

Dickson and Aerne were teammates on an 8-under relay team that won at the state YMCA meet in DeKalb. They went on to win relays at the Illinois YMCA state meet as 9- and 10-year-olds and placed third nationally in the 200 medley Relay for National YMCA Swimming.

The three joined the Libertyville/Vernon Hills-based CATS team in September of 2007, and are coached by Olympic swimmer, Vlad Pyshnenko, a former Russian freestyle swimmer who won one gold medal and two silver medals at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and one silver medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta as part of relay teams.

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Updated: March 14, 2013 6:23AM

Last Saturday, Lake Forest High School’s boys swim team celebrated its team championship in the North Suburban Conference meet.

And this coming Saturday at Vernon Hills, the Scouts, or perhaps the Stevenson Patriots, will be celebrating a team triumph in the IHSA sectional meet.

When you see the winning teams celebrate — tossing the coach into the pool seems to be obligatory — you realize that even though the competitions are a series of solo efforts, this is still very much a team sport and teammates are all in it together.

Except for those swimmers who don’t have teammates, and don’t have high school coaches.

And in this area, the long line for that forms to the right.

Because of the success of club programs, top-quality are emerging at high school that don’t have swimming pools and, hence, no swim team.

The IHSA allows these swimmers to compete at sectional and state meets, even though they swim for a club team and don’t have a regular high school season.

However, once they enter the IHSA series, they are not allowed to be coached by their club coach. Instead, each high school assigns a “sponsor” to the swimmers who accompanies them to the sectional and state meet (if they qualify).

Here’s a look at some of the individuals who will be competing on Saturday without a team:

Lakes Eagles

Kyle Aerne — This is his fourth year as a swimmer at the sectional meet, and he’s qualified for state each year.

Last year, he took fifth at state in the 100-yard breaststroke.

He will be continuing his swim career at NCAA Division 1 Eastern Michigan University. He signed a national letter of intent during the early signing period in November.

He swims for the CATS club that’s based out of Libertyville/Vernon Hills.

Grayslake North

Brenden Bolman — The sophomore qualified for state in the in the 100 backstroke last year.

This year, he’ll be competing in the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle.

He swims for the CATS club team in Libertyville/Vernon Hills.

Nathan Mack — The junior is also on the CATS club team, and his club coach is Vlad Pyshnenko.

He’ll be swimming the 50 and 100 freestyles.

Chris Newby — The junior also is a CATS swimmer, and he’ll be in the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle in the sectional.

Grayslake Central

Kirk Dickson — The junior trains with CATS in Vernon Hills/Libertyville.

He is a two-time state qualifier in the 100 backstroke.

He will swim the 200 freestyle and the 100 backstroke at the sectional.

During the fall, Dickson runs cross country for the Rams.

Kareem Moussally — The junior belongs to the Mundelein Swim Club.

He’ll swim the 50 and 100 freestyles at the sectional.

Christopher Tatsuguchi ­— The senior swims with the Blue Devil Swim Club in Gurnee.

He compete in the 100 butterfly and the 200 individual medley on Saturday.

Carmel Corsairs

Ryan Novak — The freshman trains with the CATS clubs out of Vernon Hills/Libertyville and is one of several Carmel students who will be in the sectional.

He will be swimming the 50 and 100 freestyles.

Also swimming for Carmel on Saturday will be Carlos Gonzalez, Peter Alnajjar, Jimmy Dooley, James Tabat and Ryan Novak.

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