BY MARVIN HOLMAN
When Cody Showers qualified for the IHSA state swim meet for Danville in 2007, Jon Delzell was watching and he was hoping to one day be like Showers.
“When I was young, I looked up to Cody,” Delzell said. “It was before I started attending, but I practiced at Danville High and it was great to see his accomplishments and records. It made me want to get in and work so I can inspire the future of Danville swimmers.”
For this year, especially the last few weeks, the senior may have done just that.
After winning the 50 freestyle in the Big 12 Conference meet, Delzell won the 50-yard freestyle with a new school record of 21.79 seconds and the 100 in 48.48 to win sectional titles to become the first DHS swimmer since Showers to compete in the state meet, starting today at Winnetka.
Delzell also broke the DHS pool record in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.17 but his goal was the school mark, held by Stan Jackowski since the late 1970’s.
“It was one of my goals and I was so close to it many times and it was a relief to do it,” Delzell said. “Stan was there and he was happy that someone broke it. The point of records is to be broken and I hope that it doesn’t take over 30 years for this record to be broken again.”
While most swimmers started younger than him, Delzell was able to catch up pretty quickly.
“I started swimming when I was in second grade,” Delzell said. “I was swimming at the YMCA and Turtle Run (Golf Course) in the summer and I was going around trying to find a specialty and the 50 became a specialty for me.”
“Something I learned is to be among the best, you have to do this year-round. There are times where if you don’t swim for a day, it seems like it will be two days behind in training.”
That effort had led to the state meet, where Delzell will face the best of the state in the 50 and 100 freestyle events.
“The stage is pretty big because they (New Trier) were the top public school in the state, so I am ready to go up there and give it my best shot.”
Delzell hopes that like him six years ago, younger swimmers in the area will take a look and see what can be accomplished.
“I hope there is someone out there that looks at what I am doing and would want to accomplish that and do more,” Delzell said. “I know people on my team and I hope those coming up will be proud.”
The prelims for the events start at 3:30 p.m. today and if Delzell advances to the finals, they will be on Saturday starting at 1 p.m.