EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville's Cohen Osborn won three events on the day, as the Tigers' boys swimming team won a total of six events, finishing third in their annual Swim For Hope meet, which serves as a fund-raiser for cancer research, Saturday afternoon at the Chuck Fruit Aquatic Center.

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O'Fallon won the meet with 431 points, followed by Springfield High, who had 362 points, the Tigers came in third at 333 points, Chatham Glenwood came in fourth with 238 points, and Petersburg PORTA was fifth with 143 points.

The format consists of shorter, sprint-type races, which included qualifying heats and semifinal heats in the 50-yard freestyle, climaxing with an eight-man final race. It's definitely a break from the usual order of racing in a regular meet, with all of the swimmers enjoying themselves, and at the same time, competing very well.

"I think the guys did really good," said Edwardsville assisted coach Brooke Osborn, with head coach Christian Rhoten unavailable. "We put them in a lot of 50s, and shorter events that they don't normally get to do, so they were really excited. I think that helped them swim better."

The swimmers really enjoyed the break from normal meets, and it showed in their results.

"Yeah, it brings extra excitement," Osborn said, "and it's something new. like fresh. And so, the kids usually tend to swim up in those types of situations."

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It was the first time the Edwardsville swimmers have been in their home pool since the Holidays, with the Tigers having another good season. The season is now in the final month before the IHSA sectional meet, which takes place at the CFAC on Feb. 17, with the state meet set for Feb. 23-24 at the FMC Natatorium in suburban Chicago. Osborn feels that the Tigers' chances at the sectional are very good, indeed.

"I think we're looking really good," Osborn said. "The guys are swimming fast. We've been training really hard, we'll continue to train hard, now, almost up until sectionals. We're kind of hoping to make that last big push for sectionals, and we hope they'll be ready to swim when the day comes around, and we'll get some fast times, and get some kids to state."

Osborn is, indeed, feeling very confident in the swimmers, and feels the key to success will be keeping the Tigers focused and working hard towards the state meet.

"I think the key is going to be keeping the guys focused," Osborn said, "keeping them pumped up, and working hard, not giving up here these last few weeks. So, I think if we can keep them working hard through the end of the season, I think we're really going to show some really fast times in the sectionals."

The meet started off on a good foot for Edwardsville, as Hunter Schlueter won the one-meter springboard diving event, scoring 351.65 points to take first place. It continued in the 100-yard medley relay, as the team of Andre Myers, Cohen Osborn, Eddie Myers and Austin Norcio won with a time of 45.10 seconds, while the team of Peyton LeVasseur, Ridge Batchelor, Andrew Knef and Jared Ge came in fifth at 52.38 seconds. Christopher Meyer then led a four-man O'Fallon sweep of the 100-yard backstroke, winning with a time of 1:01.47, with Springfield's Riley Herr winning the 50-yard breaststroke at 29.77 seconds, with Batchelor finishing second at 32.12 seconds, and Daniel Wang was fourth at 33.38 seconds.

Cohen Osborn won his first event of he day in the 50-yard freestyle, winning the final at 22.24 seconds, with Eddie Myers second at 22.63 seconds, and Norcio was fourth at 22.79 seconds. Springfield then took the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:36.76, with the Edwardsville team of LeVasseur, Knef, Andre Myers and Alex Ge placing second at 1:37.78, and the team of Jared Ge, Jace Snyder, Bryce Seymour and Mason were fourth at 1:47.76. Camden KImmel of the Panthers won the 100-yard butterfly at 55.97 seconds, while Osborn won his second race of the day, taking the 50-yard backstroke at 24/17 seconds, with Eddie Myers coming in second at 25.24 seconds.

O'Fallon's Will Peterson won the 100-yard breaststroke at 1:12.26, while the Tigers' team of Norcio, Alex Ge, Eddie Myers and Osborn won the 100-yard freestyle relay at 41.18 seconds, with the team of LeVasseur, Batchelor, Snyder, and Mason came in sixth at 45.86 seconds. O'Fallon's Sam Carroll took the 100-yard freestyle at 53.48 seconds, Osborn won his third race with a win in the 50-yard butterfly at 23.69 seconds, with Eddie Myers second at 24.13 seconds. In the final event on the program, the 100-yard individual medley, James Maeda of the Senators won the race with a time of 59.93 seconds, with Alex Ge finishing third at 1:02.63, and Batchelor was sixth at 1:05.77.

Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

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