By Mark Gregory
EVANSTON – In what was one of the fastest races of the boys state final swim meet, Downers Grove South senior Sam Dumford placed third with a time of 20.98 seconds.
The winner was Payton Woods from Champaign Central, who posted a time of 20.94.
“It was a great day,” Dumford said. “The 50 I am ecstatic about. Taking third by .4 seconds, I wish I took first, but I am 100 percent happy with it. I was in the 20s for the first time.”
Dumford’s dad, Dan, was the state champion in the 50 free in 1985 for Naperville Central with a time of 21.02.
“I beat my dad’s time from high school, so that was an extra benchmark to hit,” Sam said.
Dumford also placed 11th in the 100 free in 46.56.
“I was just exhausted,” he said. “This weekend has really kicked my butt. It was all worth it, I am happy.”
While he hasn’t decided where he will attend college next season, Dumford did decide to swim collegiately and not pursue playing soccer at the next level.
A pair of Downers Grove North divers also competed in the state finals as freshman Kevin Sullivan was seventh with a score of 430.90, while junior Ryan Murphy was eighth with a score of 421.05.
“There was a lot of tough competition out there,” Sullivan said. “It was cool to be out there with all the big boys. I just went out and hoped for the best. Being a freshman, I could just dive how I wanted to see where I came out.”
Murphy was also happy with his performance.
“I came in not expecting to make semifinals,” he said. “Then I end up in eighth place. This feels great. I was really consistent the whole weekend.”