The day after swimming to a pair of top-5 finishes at the IHSA Boys Swimming and Diving State Meet in Evanston, Woodstock North co-op junior Quinn Cynor was back to work. Cynor swam the 500-yard freestyle race in a time trial to see how he compared with some of the state's top long-distance swimmers.
His time would have qualified for a spot in the state finals.
Cynor, who attends Woodstock, will look for even more gains in his senior year. Cynor holds every program record but one (100-yard breaststroke) and had the area's best finish at state for the third consecutive season.
The Most Valuable Swimmer at the Fox Valley Conference Invitational went on to take third in the 200-yard freestyle and fifth in the 100 backstroke at state after winning sectional titles in both events. Cynor also set the pool record at Stevenson, beating Olympic medalist Matt Grevers' time in the 100 backstroke.
Over the past two seasons, Cynor has collected four state medals: third-, fifth-, sixth- and ninth-place finishes.
For his performance, Cynor has been named the 2020 Northwest Herald Boys Swimmer of the Year. Cynor won the award for the third time, after doing so as a freshman and sophomore.
Cynor recently spoke to the Northwest Herald about his season, musical talents, his love of blueberries and more.
What was something you tried to improve on this year that made you successful?
Cynor: Underwaters. That's the thing I've been focusing on. In the 200 free last year, I was doing four kicks off each wall. This year, I did five. I also made huge improvements on my backstroke. I went from doing eight to 10 kicks off each wall. Working not only on my kick count, but the power generated to get greater distance.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three things would you bring with you?
Cynor: Definitely myXbox, blueberries and goggles so I can swim in the ocean.
Who is the most famous person you have taken a picture with?
Cynor: Matt Grevers.
What was the last really good book you read?
Cynor: "In Cold Blood," by Truman Capote.
If you could swim anywhere, where would it be?
Cynor: Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics, but it might be 2021 now.
What swimming event do you consider the most difficult to do?
Cynor: 200 [individual medley]. Not only do you need stamina for it, [but] you've got to be able to sprint all four strokes, which is really hard to do. You have to train all four strokes, which takes a lot of time. The combo of all four, that's a tough event. If you have one weak stroke, you won't be able to compete with the top guys.
What would be your dream job?
Cynor: There's a new professional swim league called ISL [International Swimming League]. I would love to eventually swim in those events and have a contract like any professional athlete.
What is one of your biggest pet peeves?
Cynor: When starters will have you stand up. That gets me riled up.
What do you remember most about your performance at the state meet?
Cynor: After the 200 free, I had a really special moment with [St. Charles East's] Calvin Windle. We've been racing each other for years, and that was something really special, being able to see how far he's come and how far I've come to get second and third in state, which is crazy.
You hold numerous school records. Which one means the most to you?
Cynor: The only program record I don't hold is the 100 breast. That one definitely means the most to me. It's motivation for me to work on my breaststroke. If I can get that, that will be a very, very special moment.
Who is you funniest teammate?
Cynor: [Woodstock North senior] Jacob Brucker. The nonsense he talks will bring me to tears. I'll be crying, he's so funny.
What was the best swim you had all year?
Cynor: At sectionals in the 4x100 relay, I anchored in a 44.75, which is my fastest 100 by a lot. On top of that, we got our team record by about a second. That swim right there showed how much work I've put into the sprinting aspect of swimming. A while ago, I was a distance swimmer. Breaking 45 is a huge accomplishment.
What sport that you don’t compete in would you be good at?
Cynor: Basketball. I love basketball. If I were to play anything at any given time, it would be basketball. At Sage YMCA after practice, I'm always asking the guys to play basketball with me, but of course they're all tired.
If you could change one thing about high school swimming, what would it be?
Cynor: I would change the number of events and add all of the 200 strokes, like 200 fly, 200 back, and also more distance events like 400 IM, 1,000 and 1,650. I believe the 200 fly and 200 back are my best events. Being able to compete in those events at state, I think I'd do pretty good damage.
What actor would play you in a movie about your life?
Cynor: Tom Cruise. He's on the shorter side. That's me.
If you could hop in a time machine, what athletic contest would you most want to see?
Cynor: I'm going to go back the 2016 World Series and watch Game 7. It was late to stay up for a baseball game, but that moment was really special for everybody in the Chicago area.
What is your most prized possession?
Cynor: I have a green aluminum water bottle from when I was 7 years old. I took it to a Sage YMCA summer camp one time, and I've used it ever since. It's always on the pool deck with me. The thing is totally beat up. It's got dents everywhere, it's scratched, but it means so much to me. It's been everywhere.
What is something that a lot of people don’t know about you?
Cynor: I play the cello in orchestra. I've been doing it since fourth grade, which is as long as I've been swimming.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Cynor: Hopefully, I'll still be in the sport of swimming, coaching a college team or competing in the ISL. I'd probably have a degree in kinesiology.
What is the nicest gift you have ever received?
Cynor: When I was 12 years old on the DeKalb YMCA Team, Gavin Anderson, who is a DeKalb swimmer and went to state, gave me an NFL Madden card, but it was of me. It had 99 for my overall rating, and it rated all my strokes, agility, speed. That meant a lot to me. It showed how true our friendship was. I still have it. It's hanging in my room.
Which of your teammates do you really admire?
Cynor: [Woodstock North senior] Aidan Teuber. He's had to deal with a lot of adversity throughout his high school career. On the sectional relay, he still popped the time for us to go to state. That was huge for him and for our school. He worked very hard, and he earned it. I'm very proud of him.
What are you looking to improve the most for next season?
Cynor: I really want to work on my breaststroke and get the last record. That record is a huge motivator. I'll be working on my underwaters, especially in the 200 free. Hopefully, I can drop a lot more time at state.