On the surface, it doesn't appear Pekin junior Adam Peterson had a successful day Friday in the prelims of the boys swimming and diving state meet at Winnetka New Trier.
He didn't break Noah Barnard's school record in the 50 freestyle and his time in the 100 breaststroke was slower than at sectionals.
Plus, he didn't make it to Saturday's consolation finals and finals. Only the top 12 in each event in the prelims do that.
But go beneath the surface, and a different story of Peterson's day at the state meet emerges.
"I was thrilled," Peterson said. "I couldn't have asked for more. I did my best, and I dropped my time in the 50 freestyle."
Pekin coach Mitch Richards almost repeated Peterson's words.
"It was a successful meet for Adam," Richards said. "He did all you could ask for. He's a realist. He knew what kind of competition he was up against there."
Peterson swam a lifetime-best :21.46 in the 50 freestyle and finished 20th of 46 swimmers in the prelims.
He beat his previous lifetime-best of :21.52 set Feb. 18 at the Pekin Sectional and now is just .04 seconds away from Barnard's school record of :21.44 set in 2016.
"I expect to break Noah's record early next season," Peterson said.
After swimming a surprising :59.06 in the 100 breaststroke at the Pekin Sectional and breaking a school record,
Peterson swam 1:00.20 at the state meet and finished 36th of 45 swimmers.
"I just didn't have it in the breaststroke at the state meet," Peterson said. "I was tired, and nerves got to me. I didn't use my true stroke. I was rushing."
Richards thinks tapering for sectionals and not the state meet also may have played a role in Peterson's 100 breaststroke time at the state meet.
As for the state meet itself, Peterson said he enjoyed competing there for the first time.
"I had fun and I met a lot of people," he said. "I was shocked by how good the swimmers were there. They were fast. I'm used to being one of the faster guys in central Illinois, but guys from the Chicago area are really fast."
Richards said Peterson seemed relaxed at the state meet, "but you could tell he was impressed by the meet and taking it extra seriously."
Asked to take a look at the season, Peterson shifted the focus from himself to the Pekin team.
"We had about 30 guys on the team at the end of the season, and that's great," he said. "I was happy to see so many guys stick with it. We're not losing many seniors, so hopefully we can have an even bigger team next year."