2019 IHSA Girls State Championship
- Nov. 22-23, 2019
- Winnetka, IL
- New Trier High School
- Home Site
- State Series Info
- NFHS Live Stream (Subscription Only)
- Prelims Recap
The tight battle for the state title fired off in Winnetka as the host New Trier aimed to dethrone 2018 state champion Neuqua Valley. After twelve events and five new state records, it was the Neuqua Valley girls who successfully defended their state championship title.
The valiant New Trier high school started the meet off re-breaking their day-old state record in the 200 medley relay. The quartet of Carly Novelline (24.89) Kaelyn Gridley (27.67), Greta Pelzak (24.71), and Joelle Ohr (23.16) stopped the clock at 1:40.43, slicing half a second off their prelims record of 1:40.98.
In the Athletes with Disabilities category, Crystal Lake junior Makayla Neitzel swept all four Class B races for the second year in a year. She kicked things off with her winning times in the 200 free (2:01.66) and 50 free (25.68). Then, Nietzel went on to break her own Class B state records in the 100 free (55.05) and 100 breast (1:14.74).
Heading into the mid-distance free events, Neuqua Valley’s Rachel Stege was in a class of her own. She first won the 200 free with a 1:46.66, slicing just 0.03 seconds off Georgia White‘s 2016 state record of 1:46.69. Then, after breaking her own state record in prelims, Stege defended her 2018 title in the 500 free with a 4:45.13. Taking state runner-up in both event behind Stege was Maine South’s Annika Wagner (1:47.16/4:45.13).
After placing third in the event last year, Lyons senior Cal Dunn crushed the 200 IM and won her first state title with a time of 2:01.10, blowing out the field by more than a second.
Future Texas Longhorn Oswego East senior Grace Cooper was the sprint queen of Illinois for the second-time in a row as she swept both the 50 free (22.39) and 100 free (49.29). New Trier’s Carly Novelline tried taking down Cooper in the finishing strokes of the 100 free, yet settled for a tight second place with a 49.38.
However, Novelline did not walk away empty-handed as she added a second state title to her collection with her 100 back winning time of 53.92. Taking second place in the event was the 2018 state champion Megan Armstrong of St. Charles North (54.79).
Neuqua Valley’s Jane Riehs won the 1-meter boards by 16 points over the rest of the top three. Her and teammate Elle Jacobson (7th) were able to contribute 26 points towards Neuqua Valley’s score.
In her only individual event after taking 2 runner-up finishes in 2018, Metea Valley’s McKenna Stone topped the 100 fly by over a second with a 53.38.
Stone was also a crucial member of Metea’s 200 free relay, which got second place (1:32.93) thanks to her 22.04 anchor split. Winning the relay with a new state record was the Neuqua Valley squad of Megan Ciezczak (23.72), Maxine Parkinson (23.47), Stege (22.94), and Tiffanie Ruan (22.54). Oswego East took a narrow third place finish at 1:33.19, featuring Cooper’s 21.84 anchor split.
At this point in the meet, Neuqua Valley was on track to sealing their second-straight state title. Yet New Trier sophomore Gridley gave the home crowd one last hurrah in the 100 breast by defending her title with a 1:01.53.
Heading into the final event, it was Neuqua Valley (Ciezczak, Stege, Harder, Ruan) who topped the 400 free relay with a 3:23.98. Anchoring the runner-up Oswego East relay (3:24.19) was Cooper with the fastest split of the event at 48.39.
Top Six Teams:
— New Trier Swim&Dive (@Trevs_SwimDive) November 23, 2019
— Neuqua Valley High School (@NeuquaValley) November 23, 2019