Young Shepard swimmers succeeding
Last year’s Shepard boys swimming team was blessed with a large volume of senior swimmers that made for a fun and competitive season for the Astros and head coach Tricia Biedron.
And while this year’s squad is significantly younger, Shepard is still blessed with some talented swimmers who are finishing first in events and improving on their times in each meet.
During last Thursday’s meet against Reavis, the Astros received first place finishes from junior Sanders Yu (200 IM-2:12.94, 100 breast-1:07.50), sophomore Zach Sierzega (50 free-23.40, 100 free-53.02), sophomore Jeremy Schultz (500 free-5:43.23), sophomore Hayden Wiest (100 backstroke-59.57); and the 400 Free relay team of Schultz, Wiest, Yu, Sierzega (3:36.22).
In addition, Yu won the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke at Friday’s meet against Tinley Park, while Sierzega won the 100 free and Wiest captured the 100 back.
“Sanders is the older swimmer of the group because the team is made up of mostly sophomores,” Biedron said. “We’re definitely on the young side, and Sanders is one of our leaders that is stepping up. He specialized in 200 IM and can swim the strokes quite well.
“He’s been a varsity member for three years. He’s doing a great job and is already at his times from last season. He’s progressing quite well.”
The coach said she’s very impressed with the commitment levels of Wiest and Schultz.
“We’re glad that Zach is committed to the short distance events,” she said. “Hayden also spent a lot of time training in the offseason; he’s really focusing on strokes as well. He’ll be stepping into the backstroke as well as butterfly events.
“Jeremy is in what was a pretty deep group of distance swimmers that have all graduated, and it’s a big role that he’s stepping into — but he’s doing it as a sophomore. He’s our No. 1 distance swimmer, and he’s consistently dropping time. I’m looking forward to seeing these kids progress in the next few weeks.”
The Astros were defeated by Oak Lawn 1,454-1,247 in the South Suburban Red dual at Centennial Lanes on Dec. 17. Miranda Lindgren had a 318 series for Shepard.
The Chargers dropped a 1,525-1,307 decision to Lincoln-Way West in the SouthWest Suburban crossover at Palos Lanes on Dec. 16.
Matt Shaw’s 256 game and Eric Walters’ 638 series aided Shepard in a 2,952-2,671 victory over Lemont in the South Suburban crossover at Strike N Spare II on Dec. 16.
The Chargers were defeated by Lincoln-Way East 41-25 on Friday in the SouthWest Suburban Blue.
The Astros competed at the Reavis triangular on Friday and dropped a 45-15 decision to the host Rams in the South Suburban meet.