Two days after winning three medals at the state meet — the first in his career — Loyola senior Tommy Barr remained in disbelief.
“Shocked,” he said Monday. “I’m super grateful for everything that happened.”
Barr took ninth in the 50-yard freestyle in 21.41 seconds and 10th in the 100 freestyle in 46.85 on Saturday at Evanston. He teamed up with junior Ben Dukes, sophomore Luke Maurer and sophomore Everet Andrew to place 12th in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:10.88. It was the first relay to score at the state meet since 2013.
Barr’s surprise comes from his seed times in each event. He was 15th in the 50 free and 20th in the 100 free. The top 12 qualify for the finals. The 400 free relay had the 17th-best sectional time.
“I was thrilled with my [preliminary] times, but I don’t think I was expecting to make finals because I had to jump over so many people,” he said. “I was excited I got that far.”
Barr credited Loyola head coach Mike Hengelmann’s tapering program for his success.
“He’s very specific about rest and wanted to save us for the last meet,” Barr said. “It gave my body the ability to strengthen itself and be fresh.”
Committed to University of St. Thomas, Barr is one of 21 Loyola boys swimmers to earn three medals at one state meet, joining a group that includes Olympic Gold medalist and 2007 graduate Conor Dwyer. Barr will leave Loyola with the fifth-fastest times in both the 50 free (21.30) and 100 free (46.44).
Diver Alex O’Toole was Loyola’s other senior to score at the state meet. He took eighth with 442.65 points to become the eighth diver in program history to win a state medal. His 11-dive total is the seventh-highest at Loyola.
Only a sophomore, Maurer made a name for himself at Evanston by taking third in the 100 free (45.63) and fourth in the 200 free (1:39.40). His prelim times in the 100 (45.52) and 200 (1:38.63) rank him second on Loyola’s all-time list. He trails his father — Erik Maurer, a 1989 graduate — in both events.
Loyola’s 3:10.57 in Friday’s prelims is the program’s eighth-best time.
“It was the perfect way to finish my last state meet,” Barr said.