In the middle of December, Finn Brooks was in quarantine following exposure to the coronavirus. On Saturday, he was a key cog in sending Concordia to a fourth straight boys SAC swimming and diving title at the Helen P. Brown Natatorium.
The Cadets' senior never tested positive for the virus, but he did miss two weeks of training. Despite the setback, he starred in the conference meet, breaking a pair of SAC Championships individual records and also helping his team to victories in the 200-yard medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.
“We've been training really hard,” said Brooks, whose team finished with 477 points. “It was just fun to go out and race today and get those records. … It really just comes down to training.”
“It was obviously pretty hard coming back from quarantine,” he added. “A week off from swimming is really a big hit.”
The girls' swimming and diving title went to Bishop Dwenger, which captured its second crown in three years with 454 points.
Brooks helped Concordia get off to a fast start in the first leg of the 200 relay in the meet's opening event and then really hit his stride when he swam the 50 freestyle in 20.61 seconds, breaking a record he'd set himself in 2020.
The Indiana swimming commit then shattered the conference meet mark in the 100 freestyle, swimming a 45.90 to break the previous record by 1.74 seconds.
“It was hard to see where he was going to come back (after missing training),” Concordia coach Sean Gibson said. “He wasn't quite racing where we wanted to the last few weeks, just trying to get that training back, so it was awesome for him to have another breakout meet and get to where we were hoping he'd be at this point.”
The Dwenger girls clinched the title with a terrific finish from Hannah Weadock, daughter of Saints coach Andrea Weadock. The freshman won the 100 breaststroke in 1:13.29 and followed that up with the fastest leg on the Saints' victorious 400 freestyle relay team.
“I'm extremely proud,” Andrea Weadock said. “(Hannah) has been swimming since she was 5 years old. To see this at high school swim and to be her coach, it's very exciting. … We'd been working towards it. We knew she had it in her to give it all she had in the pool. That was her goal.”
The coach emphasized that it was a team effort that led to “Oh When the Saints Go Marching In” ringing through the natatorium at the end of the meet. Marybeth Roussel, Maggie Peters and Camryn Wright were part of a pair of title-winning relay teams.
Snider was second overall. Wayne took third thanks in part to Luca McGee, who won the 200 individual medley, the 500 free and swam the best leg on the winning 200 free relay team. Defending girls champion Concordia took fifth despite individual titles from Katie McKay and Adrianna Germann.
Gibson noted his team's depth as a factor, as well, pointing to a victory in the 100 breaststroke from Eliot Loechner, who was also a member of the winning 200 free relay team, and a big day for Ike Imler. The Cadets' Aiden Gleave matched Brooks with two individual titles, winning the 100 butterfly and the 200 individual medley.
In Friday's diving championship, Dwenger's Anna Yaggy repeated as the girls champion, while Snider's Marcus Roberts won the boys crown.