Behind its depth, Galesburg's boys swimming team has cruised to an 8-0 mark in duals

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GALESBURG — The Galesburg High School boys swimming and diving team has racked up dual meet win after dual meet win this season.

In fact, the Silver Streaks have taken eight duals, and they haven't fallen in any.

Galesburg's outscored foes 1,015-456 in dual meets, and the Streaks have a dual left on the slate, as the Normal Community Ironmen will come to town Saturday for a meet at Mustain Pool.

Galesburg also has a pair of victories and two fourth place finishes in invites.

More: Who is representing Galesburg High School's boys swimming team this winter? Find out here

Galesburg High School junior Luke Foster swims the anchor leg of the 400 yard freestyle relay during a WB6 Conference meet with Rock Island on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022 at Mustain Pool. The Silver Streaks won the event in 3:39.32.
Galesburg High School junior Luke Foster swims the anchor leg of the 400 yard freestyle relay during a WB6 Conference meet with Rock Island on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022 at Mustain Pool. The Silver Streaks won the event in 3:39.32.

The Streaks placed first in the 28th annual Peoria Richwoods Midwest Invite, which took place in mid-December and had 13 teams in the field. The Streaks went to Burlington, Iowa on Monday, Jan. 17 and finished atop the eight-team field in the 47th annual Grayhound Invite.

Galesburg ended up in fourth place in Normal Community's Iron Invite — eight squads participated in the meet, which was held Saturday, Jan. 8. Last Saturday, the Streaks finished fourth in United Township's 40th annual Panther Invite. Ten schools took part in the meet in East Moline.

Ray VanHootegem is in his 11th season as Galesburg's boys coach, and he's never had a squad finish without a blemish in dual competition.

VanHootegem knows the Ironmen will provide a challenge this weekend.

"At the big invite we won in December, Normal Community won six events out of the 12," VanHootegem said during Wednesday night's practice at Mustain.

Twenty make up the Streaks' roster, and a handful of them are upperclassmen. They are juniors Andrew Hawkinson, Luke Foster, and Primo Moreno, along with seniors Zeke Kent, and Karter Davidson.

"What's our key? It's our depth," VanHootegem said. "We have competition within the team to be in the Top 3 and make the lineup. Kids are battling back-and-forth. A different kid steps up every meet, and it's really our depth that's helped us win the dual meets. Like when we swam against Moline, they won eight out of 12 events, and we beat them because of our depth.

"Last Saturday, when we swam at the UT Invite we got fourth and Moline finished ahead of us in third but we only got one relay and two individual swimmers per event so that took our depth away," VanHootegem added. "If we would have had three swimmers and two relays we might have won the meet. It would have been close.

"A couple of years ago, we would have two good swimmers and not a third one and that's when we were getting beat. Now, we're winning meets because of our depth. That's kind of neat."

Galesburg freshman Carson Olson competes in the 100 yard breaststroke in a WB6 Conference dual meet against Rock Island on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022 at Mustain Pool. Olson took second in the event in 1:11.29.
Galesburg freshman Carson Olson competes in the 100 yard breaststroke in a WB6 Conference dual meet against Rock Island on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022 at Mustain Pool. Olson took second in the event in 1:11.29.

Streaks' focus down stretch

Galesburg will wrap up the regular season Saturday, Feb. 5 at Sterling in the Western Big 6 Meet. The Streaks will head to East Moline two weeks after that for sectional action.

And Galesburg's focus down the stretch is?

"Mental readiness," VanHootegem said. "They can't get discouraged. They have to focus on the positives and just keep doing their best.

"I'm really impressed with the team aspect of it," he added. "Everyone is aware it's a team effort, and I think that's what makes me excited about this team the most."

Galesburg's roster

Freshmen: Travis Henry, Nathan Nelson, Ryan Tapper, Carson Olson, Mason Cole, Kellan Oxley.

Sophomores: Andrew Peterson, Aidan Oxley, Josh Lee, Riley Stevenson, Travis Cole, Luke Thomas, Jaxon Lindgreen, Keaton Empey, Blake Caulkins.

Juniors: Andrew Hawkinson, Luke Foster, Primo Moreno.

Seniors: Zeke Kent, Karter Davidson.

Matthew Wheaton can be reached at (309) 315-6073 or at mwheaton@register-mail.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewlwheaton

This article originally appeared on Galesburg Register-Mail: IHSA: Streaks swimmers unbeaten in duals this season

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