Eight wins in 12 events.

That's a big reason why the Pekin co-op boys swimming and diving team beat Metamora co-op 112-64 Tuesday at Pekin.

Hunter Hawkins won two individual events for the Dragons, taking the 500 freestyle (5:49.56) and 100 backstroke (1:08.23).

Other Pekin winners of individual events were Alex Kula in the 200 freestyle (1:54.90), Jack Marlatt in the 50 freestyle (:22.45), Adam Peterson in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.16) and diver Jayson Presley (142.80 points).

The Dragons also won the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay.
Garrett Oliver, Peterson, Kula and Marlatt won the 200 medley (1:53.16) and Marlatt, Sam Dunn, Oliver and Peterson won the 200 freestyle (1:35.84).

Pekin was scheduled to compete at Rock Island on Thursday.

LUCKY SEVEN: Pekin won seven of 12 events in winning a triple dual meet Jan. 4 against host Normal Community and Bloomington Central Catholic.

The Dragons scored 762 points to Normal Community's 709 and Central Catholic's 431.
Pekin's Adam Peterson and Alex Kula each won two individual events.

Peterson won the 50 freestyle (:21.87) and 100 breaststroke (1:02.84). Kula won the 200 IM (2:13.08) and 100 freestyle (:50.62).

The Dragons' Jack Marlatt won the 200 freestyle (1:51.94) and Pekin also won two relays.

Kula, Garrett Oliver, Marlatt and Peterson won the 200 freestyle relay (1:32.08.) Marlatt, Oliver, Kula and Peterson won the 400 freestyle relay (3:28.37.)

RECORD BOOK RE-WRITTEN: Pekin broke two meet records at the 47th annual Downstate 8 Relays hosted by the Dragons on Dec. 30.

Jack Marlatt and Adam Peterson topped their own meet record, set in 2016, when they won the 2x50 freestyle relay in :43.24. Their previous record was :44.50.

Pekin's 200 freestyle relay team of Marlatt, Tyler Cummins, Alex Kula and Peterson won the 200 freestyle relay in a meet record 1:30.17. The former record of 1:32.37 was set in 2016 by Dunlap co-op.

Two other meet records were broken, both by Moline.

Austin Morris, Peter Son, Ethan Luong and Alex Klumb won the 200 medley relay in 1:40.03, breaking the old meet record of 1:41.72 set by Moline in 1979. It was the oldest meet record on the books.

Remi Greko, Avery Fowler, Klumb and Morris won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:21.79. The former meet record was 3:38.08, set by Rockford Guilford in 1995.

FUTURE IN DOUBT? Only six teams competed in the Downstate 8 Relays. Joining Pekin and Moline were Dunlap co-op, Metamora co-op, Champaign Centennial and Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin.

Rockford Guilford was supposed to be the seventh team, but it pulled out late because of injuries and illness.

"We haven't had eight teams in this meet for a couple of years," said Pekin athletic director Rick Kestner. "After the season, we'll evaluate if we want to continue hosting the meet."

The meet is popular among participants because it provides competition during the holiday break, when swim teams undergo days of rigorous practices.

And the competition is unique. Normal individual events are two-swimmer relays.
Travel expenses for teams outside the area and the timing of the meet — normally a day or two before or on New Year's Eve — have proven to be problematical over the past few years.

Steve Stein can be reached at stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.