As a member of the Hornets Swim Club, Sebastian Ostrowski has competed at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s pool many times. He even has a meet there in the next few weeks.
But now Ostrowski can feel really at home on the West Side campus. On May 18, Ostrowski was one of four men’s swimmers to sign with the Flames for next season. Illinois-Chicago coach Paul Moniak has plans on making Ostrowski into a backstroke specialist.
“I’m pretty excited. I know a couple of guys on the team I have swum against [in club] from Naperville North and Lincoln-Way,” Ostrowski said. “I have been swimming there since I was little kid on the club team.”
Ostrowski nearly became Hinsdale South’s top finishing backstroker in school history Feb. 26 at the state meet. He finished fourth (50.64) in the 100-yard backstroke to nearly equal the school’s third place finishes held by Bob Hamer (1973) and Mike Hemenway (1986).
Girls volleyball player Morgan Howard and Ostrowski (pictured, left to right) held a letter of intent signing ceremony Wednesday at Hinsdale South.
Howard, a 5-foot-11 middle hitter, signed with Division II Barry University in Miami.
Ostrowski joined three other UIC signees this spring, in additional to Lockport diver Connor Howard, who signed in the fall.
Ostrowski, who would like to become a pre-med major, will become UIC’s only swimmer from the West Suburban Conference next season. The Flames return two other West suburban swimmers in Marmion’s Luke Martinez and Naperville North’s Joel Demuth.
Ostrowski earned three state medals during his career. He finished seventh in the 200 individual medley (1:52.54) last winter and placed 12th in the 100 back in 2010.
“I visited in October and saw the campus,” Ostrowski said. “They all met me. I liked the dormitories and the hospitality of the coach.”
Ostrowski considered Loyola, which does not have a team, but the allure of competing at a Division I school was too great.
The next project for Ostrowski is training for the Speedo Sectional in July at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
Howard signed with Barry after visiting the school with her father, Tom. At least two former players from Howard’s club team, Western Springs-based 1st Alliance, already play for Barry.
Howard’s club team will play in the AAU Junior Olympics next month in Orlando, Fla.
“I looked all around the map,” Howard said. “I looked at Southern Illinois and [schools in] South Carolina. We were going back and forth. I thought I would be too homesick until I took a summer trip to Florida with my dad.”