Oak Forest's William Strale knew this was his last chance to make a splash. So, in his senior season swimming with the Bengals, he put everything he had into an all-out sprint to the finish.
Strale won the 50- and 100- freestyle event at the Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional, which allowed him to advance to the IHSA state meet. He placed 40th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.17 seconds. And he added a 42nd-place finish in the 100 freestyle (49.25).
He said he prepared for his last hurrah all year.
"Over the summer, I swam every day," he said. "I've been waiting for this day for a long time because I knew this was going to be my last meet. So, I just went out with a bang."
Oak Forest's Tara Schires said it was an honor to coach Strale.
"He's a very hard worker," she said. "He would set his goals, and he would meet every single one. He would want to do something and he would. It was awesome to coach him, I'm very proud of him. I would do it all over again."
Strale plans on attending Northern Illinois University. He is undecided on his major. Likewise, he is undecided on whether he will continue swimming at the collegiate level.