Imagine waking up every morning to make it to practice by 5:00 am, go through an entire day of school, then going to practice for three more hours after school and then waking up the next day to do it all over again. Welcome to the life of a Waubonsie Valley High School boys swim team member. But it’s a necessity to keep pace with the top programs in the state. Find out more in the latest Team Profile, presented by Advantage Acura.
Chris Hagenbaumer: “It is not an easy sport. Our swimmers probably have the highest GPA in the school, so they’re not only working hard in the pool, but they’re working hard in school as well. They’re here before the crack of dawn at 5:00 a.m. and we practice an hour and a half in the morning before school, and we’re here two to three hours after school, almost every single day.”
Coach Hagenbaumer started as the Waubonsie boys swimming head coach 4 years ago. The team is coming off a DVC championship and a third place finish at state in 2019, plus another top five finish at state in 2020. This year, the Warriors are working to overcome the loss of 3 seniors who left major marks on the program.
Arnav Deshpande: I’ve seen like insane improvement, like ever since we got our new coach, we’ve got third, fifth state and last year there was no state, but we won conference which was our last meet. So really, really big improvements and I’m really excited to see what we can turn on this year.
Coach Hagenbaumer’s first group of freshmen will be graduating this spring. Arnav Despande and Nathaniel Jefferson have been with Hagenbaumer from the start. Both seniors have big goals for Waubonsie boys swimming for the rest of the season and fond memories of their time on the team.
Hagenbaumer: “So this is my first full group of seniors, Arnav and Nathaniel. It is going to be bittersweet. I love those two boys. I’ve seen him for four years. I’ve seen him grow and the kids are amazing. And that’s why I love doing what I do.”
Nathaniel Jefferson: “I’ve always loved the team since freshman year because we got a new coach freshman year, so as a new team environment. But we started out, it started out really fun and it’s been fun ever since. I love everyone here with Waubonsie boys swimming. We’re like, really supportive of each other and everything, and it’s just a great team environment and I love being here.”
Deshpande: “I really like one of my biggest goals this year is a state title, and we haven’t had a state championship in 25. We’ve had a state winner and it will be easier for in 25 years. So that’s one of the biggest goals after this year that I want to leave behind for this school. And obviously, I want to leave a good and inspire everyone to keep pushing for the best because Waubonsie has been a really big threat for the past years.”
After winning the DVC last year and ending the season as sectional runners up, the Warriors are looking forward to a full state series in 2022, and for what could be in store for the conference race.
Hagenbaumer: “I’m hoping. I always hope that all of our kids swim fast and swim well. I love DVC. I love the energy that the meet brings to our hours to our team.That is our first big, big meet of the season. I’d call it every meet leading up to it is just a competition. But DVC is a big meet and it’s a lot of fun. Sectionals is right there next to it and then State behind it. And so that’s our those are our three big season goals, and that’s what we will strive for each day.”
For Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Hannah Allen.
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