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Winnetka Saturday, 2/23/13 Loyola Academy's Andrew Jovanovic at the start of the 100-Yard Backstroke during Saturday's IHSA State Championship hosted by New Trier High School. Jovanovic won the event, with a time of :48.25. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times
Not long after Jack Considine emerged from the pool at Glenbrook South two weekends ago, the senior was bear-hugged by Loyola coach Mike Hengelmann.
Considine’s time of 21.65 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle got him into the state meet for the first time as an individual.
“He’s someone who applied all of his hard work into success,” Loyola senior Andrew Jovanovic said.
“His passion is unmatched. It’s a pleasure to swim with someone who has that kind of effort.”
Considine, who dropped about one second off his personal-best time at the sectionals, couldn’t go faster at the state meet and missed out on the finals after clocking a 21.77 Friday at New Trier.
He wasn’t too down on himself, though, especially since he chopped five seconds from his time since his freshman year.
“I left a lot better than when I came in,” he said.
Considine also qualified for the state meet in both the 200 free relay and 400 free relay. He was most proud of those team events, which he swam with senior Blake Morgan, freshman Christopher Kearney and Jovanovic.
The 200 free relay finished fifth in 1:25.42, and the 400 free relay took sixth in 3:08.24.
“I’m really happy with my four years of swimming at Loyola,” said Considine, who plans to play water polo for the Ramblers before heading to college at Notre Dame. “I will really miss it, and it hit me right after the state meet ended. I was kind of sad because I had such a great time.”
Karol Mlynarski handled himself better than expected.
Mlynarski wasn’t supposed to swim the 50 free this season, but the Niles North senior took third place Saturday in the sprint event at the state meet, touching the wall in 20.81.
“In the 50, all the little things count even more,” Mlynarski said. “I am really happy with how it went, to get third place.”
Known more as a distance freestyler, Mlynarski sprained his ankle in December, which prevented him from swimming the 200 free to his potential. Mlynarski finished fifth at state as a junior in the 200 free.
The injury might have opened some doors for Mlynarski, who plans to swim at Cornell.
“I know they don’t have strong freestylers that do a lot of sprints,” he said. “I will come in next year and see what I can do. Then, I will see how my body develops.”
Mlynarski also placed fifth Saturday in the 100 free (45.89), and he swam on the 200 free relay team with seniors Javed Avdic, Earl Kim and Aaron Brown that took 10th (1:26.62).
Mlynarski leaves the program as arguably the best swimmer in history. He owns four individual records and swam on all three record-breaking relays.
“I had a good career,” he said. “I accomplished a lot of things. I just always gave it my best.”
Narrowest of margins
During the regular season, Jae Park had been on both sides of a close race in the 200 individual medley.
At Evanston’s invitational on Jan. 5, the New Trier junior was touched out by Glenbrook South sophomore Jon Salomon. Park returned the favor to Loyola senior Andrew Jovanovic at the Trevian Relays a week later.
Park knew the 200 IM at the state meet would once again present the opportunity for a photo finish, and he found an extra gear to edge out Addison Trail senior Nick Zito in the closest race of Saturday’s finals.
Park clocked a 1:50.04, while Zito was a fingernail behind in 1:50.05.
“I hated the feeling of losing like that,” Park said.
Trailing through the first two legs, Park made his move during the breaststroke. He then had to pick up more ground during the freestyle.
“He had a better butterfly than me, so I knew he would be ahead,” Park said. “I had to keep myself calm and stay at my own pace. I had to attack the second half, and I guess it worked out.”
Salomon followed behind in a close third, finishing in 1:50.95.
Park was the only swimmer Saturday to win four state titles. In addition to his 200 IM title, Park won the 100 breaststroke (55.86) and swam on the winning 200 medley relay (1:32.35) and 400 free relay (3:02.75).
“It was an incredible day,” Park said. “I couldn’t have done it without all my teammates.”
Four state records fell last weekend at New Trier, with Mundelein senior and Stanford-bound Connor Black claiming two of them.
Loyola senior Andrew Jovanovic and New Trier senior Reed Malone earned one record apiece.
Jovanovic, who plans to swim at Northwestern, got his name in the books by swimming a 48.21 in the 100 backstroke during Friday’s preliminaries. He came back Saturday to win the event in 48.25. It was Jovanovic’s fourth career state title to go with two 100 butterfly championships and one in the 50 free.
Malone added himself to swimming lore with his 1:35.60 in the 200 free on Friday. The USC-bound swimmer followed it up Saturday by touching the wall in 1:36.82 to win. In addition, Malone won the 500 free (4:23.27) Saturday for his third career individual state title.
Malone also is in the record books after swimming on last year’s 400 free relay that finished in 2:59.76 to set a national standard.
Black set state records in the 50 free and 100 fly. His time of 46.71 in the 100 fly Saturday doubled as a national record.
Jovanovic took second in that race (48.11).~.