Coach of the Year:
Ben Trupin, Central
What he did. Guided the Maroons, along with co-coach Will Barker, to a sectional championship on Feb. 16 at the Unit 4 Pool. Central had five state qualifiers, the most in the area, on two different relay teams (the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay) that won sectional titles and swam during the state meet at New Trier High School in Winnetka.
Season highlight: “The very first day we had our big swim meeting, Will and I talked about goals for the season, and our goal for the season was to have everybody swim their best times at the end. We weren’t focused on winning. We were focused on controlling what we can control. By the end of the season, we met our goal, and that precipitated into us winning a sectional. It was really impressive because we had some swimmers that were non-swimmers and dropped about two minutes in the freestyle. Everyone just had immense success.”
A few of my favorite things: Pepperoni pizza from Papa Del’s ... “The Big Lebowski” ... Daniel Day-Lewis ... Metallica ... Mas Amigos ... Batmobile or Dodge Challenger ... YMCA swim instructor ... “1984” by George Orwell ... Illinois Fighting Illini ... Body N’ Sole Sports.
Three things on my bucket list: See the Northern and Southern lights, walk on a glacier and swim in the English Channel.
About Coach Trupin: “He started coaching my sophomore year, so I’ve been able to grow up with him on the team. He brings a certain energy to the team that no one else brings. Probably my favorite memory is him just getting in our faces before big meets and yelling to pump us up. He’s the most energetic guy on the team. Swimming is such a serious sport that it’s nice to get the lighter side every once in a while, and he definitely brought that. He was instrumental to our progress. He really connected to us and knew us, how we swam and what our personalities were like. He was there every day and really made a personal connection. Just as a person, I don’t think I’ll ever meet anyone else like him.” — Garrett Barnard, Central senior