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Jake Knowles of Lockport swims in the 100-yard breaststroke during the preliminaries of the IHSA Boys State Swimming Finals on Friday, February 24, 2012 at Evanston Township High School. | Jon Durr~For Sun-Times Media
It wasn’t a state championship, but Lockport’s Jake Knowles left the pool Saturday with a special victory in the 100-yard breaststroke.
“It was nice to win my last race I ever swam. That’s pretty cool,’’ Knowles said after he won the consolation final at New Trier to finish seventh in the event.
Knowles won Saturday’s race in 57.60 seconds, setting a school record in the event for the second day in a row.
“After last year I was like ‘All right, I have to place at state this year,’ ’’ he said. “It’s really nice to put all that work in for four years and get a state medal out of it.’’
“He did everything we could have asked of him,’’ Lockport coach Grant Ferkaluk said of the all-state performer. “He came in today in seventh — he knew he was stuck there. No letdown. He just went after it. It’s really a good way for him to end his career here.’’
Knowles, a two-time sectional champion in the breaststroke and 100 freestyle, said he plans to swim after high school. South Dakota and St. Louis University are among the colleges he’s considering.
“I’ll definitely remember this moment,’’ Knowles said. “Definitely remember all the guys, the bonding we had on the team. We’re like a family. I’ll definitely miss that.
“We had a lot of people come out. We had about 30 people out here (Friday) from Lockport. They were showing a lot of support.’’
Lockport senior divers Tyler Pastore (386.90) and Jake Voltarel (358.65) finished 11th and 12th, respectively, to make all-state.
“I did what I planned to accomplish all season, come out in the state meet and do the best I possibly could,’’ Pastore said.
“Back when I started sophomore year, I didn’t even think I’d be making it down to state,’’ Voltarel said. “This year I set a goal to make it to state, and making it to finals is just outstanding.’’
Lincoln-Way Central diver Ryan Kojder placed 16th (253.60), giving the Joliet area three divers in the top 20.
Plainfield co-op freshman Brandon Tran finished 22nd (59.20) in the breaststroke out of 56 state qualifiers in the event.
New Trier scored 189 points to easily win its third straight championship. Hinsdale Central was second (96) and Lake Forest took third (93).