Diving into sectionals

Jones’ boys swim team moves on to the sectional championship


UIC at the IHSA Sectional Championships. Wesley Zhao, Jackson Heinlein-Preseault, Rayburn Kohl, and Ben Gottschall. Credit: Kim Gottschall

As the boys swim season begins to wind down, swimmers are gearing up for the upcoming sectionals against other top schools in the city, such as Whitney M. Young Magnet High School and St. Ignatius College Prep.

When asked how they feel about sectionals, swimmers responded enthusiastically, especially regarding another chance for Jones to defeat Whitney Young. Tensions between the two schools have been growing all season, and athletes are excited to see who comes out on top.

“We feel pretty good,” said Rayburn Kohl ‘25, a member of the boys swim team.  “We have to go against Whitney again, so it’s our second chance to beat them. That’s our main goal, to beat Whitney if not to win the whole thing.”

Despite the optimism about the next swim meet, the city championships were not without controversy, which may have hurt Jones’ placement in the rankings.

“There are some complications with the [referees],” said boys swim team member Jackson Lucien Heinlein-Presault ‘24. “The [referees] did not take care of disqualifying.”

Specific examples were given regarding the referees errors during the city championships.

“At the first event of the meet, Whitney had a false start. We have it all on video, too, but the officials did not call DQ, so they didn’t get disqualified and they still got points for it,” said boys swimmer Tommy Chen ‘25. 

While these sorts of calls upset the swimmers, the athletes have a positive mindset for upcoming meets. 

“We lost because of something illegal happening which was kind of a bummer,” said Kohl. “But it is what it is. I’m excited for sectionals.” 

Despite their loss at the city championships, the team felt proud of their performance. 

“We came in second overall and we took down a bunch of Whitney’s poor records,” said Kohl. “There were some controversial calls but overall it was a good meet.” 

The swimmers are striving to win second place at sectionals, as well as to hone in on their personal goals. 

“My mindset personally is to win all of my events,” said Lucien Heinlein-Presault. 

As this year’s swimming season comes to an end, the Jones boys swim team looks back on their achievements proudly while looking forward  to their opportunity to beat rivals at sectionals. 

“This has been a really good season so far, and I’m excited for competing at sectionals. We’ve already beaten a lot of records and I feel like it’s going to go really well,” said Chen.