The touchpads were unable to get some splits from the first few events in Evanston, IL for the 2014 IHSA Girls State Meet, but Illinois’ best competed for finals spots this afternoon at the Dobbie Burton Aquatic Center
200 MEDLEY RELAY
The Downers Grove North team of seniors Emily Albrecht, Gabriele Serniute, Daria Wick, and sophomore Lindsay Mathys swam the leading time of 1:43.72 on their quest to defend their medley relay title. They lost Sims sisters Maddy and Gabby to graduation, two key pieces to their entire time in their 2nd place team finish last year, but with the move of Albrecht to the back and bringing in freestyler Mathys to the end of the relay, they look strong to finish on top again. Neuqua Valley (Natalie McGovern, Amanda Brockmeier, Wyli Erlechman, and Mackenzie Hornstra) finished with the second best time of the day (1:44.50), led by an impressive 24.37 split from Erlechman. Host Evanston swam to 3rd this afternoon in a time of 1:45.01. The all-junior team of Paige Haden, Ana Woods, Iana Wolff, and Honore Collins broke their school record in the process. Rounding out the top 6 were relays from Fremd, Loyola Academy, and Lake Forest, whose sophomore anchor Daria Pyshnenko threw down a 22.97 split to squeeze them into the top six. BIG split came from 7th place Rosary’s Alexis Yager on the breast leg. The sophomore swam a 27.37, but it was not good enough to get the Beads into the A final, which is important as they battle with Loyola for the team title.
Freestyle state powers Erin Falconer and Kirsten Jacobsen set the pace for this event, with Falconer taking top honors in 1:48.83 and Jacobsen following in 1:49.32. Jacobsen holds the state record of 1:46.98, which is a couple tenths faster than the pool record in Evanston. Watch out for them to try to rewrite the record books tomorrow. Team race update: Loyola put Grace Tierney up at third in this event, as well as sophomore Olivia Andrew at second. This is a big event for the Ramblers, who will outscore a Rosary team that did not qualify any swimmers for finals in this race.
Big swims came from Gabriele Serniute and Alexis Yager, both breaststroke legs of medley relays that will get a second swim tomorrow at finals. Serniute took the top time in 2:01.95, while Yager finished 2nd in 2:02.22. The third seed going into finals is Reilly Lanigan of Lake Forest, who swam a 2:03.00, but has a best time of 2:02.30. This is shaping up to be an incredible race tomorrow, with Yager having extra pressure to score points for Rosary.
Effingham junior Avery Braunecker put up a convincing 23.01 for the top seed in the 50 free. Pyshnenko, who split the 22.97 on Lake Forest’s medley relay, swam a 23.33 for 2nd. All 12 finalists broke 24 in prelims, and the consolation final will be scary close– 7th place was 23.87, while 12th was 23.95. While Braunecker is the favorite for the championship heat, the consolation heat is anyone’s game.
Mount Prospect senior Dana Liva finished atop the diving prelims with a score of 335.05, with defending state champion Sydney Dusel sitting 2nd with 311.60 points. Loyola did get a diver, senior Katie Rourke, into the next round of diving. She sits at 7th, and any points she can grab will be of great significance to the Ramblers.
Kelly McNamara was the only swimmer to break 55, going 54.68 for the top seed. Seven 55’s followed her, led by Loyola senior Maria Jardeleza at 55.06. After finishing behind the likes of IU flier Gia Dalesandro and Texas sprinter Mimi Schneider, this is McNamara’s last shot at a state title.
Falconer will have to do battle with another freestyle juggernaut in Braunecker, who took the top seed in 50.55. Falconer was just behind, in 50.63. This will be another fantastic battle, and the pair may push each other hard enough for them to both break 50 seconds.
Jacobsen looked smooth in her prelims swim in the 500, going 4:51.09 for the top seed. The state record sits at 4:46.66, and Jacobsen’s best time is four seconds faster. Look for a possible new state record tomorrow. Following Jacobsen will be sisters Monica and Audrey Guyett, Azra Avdic, and Loyola sisters Grace and Ella Tierney.
200 FREE RELAY
Four-time defending state champions New Trier put up the fastest 200 free relay this afternoon, going 1:35.51. Rosary is the 2nd seed, and Loyola the 5th. Five out of the six teams in the championship final posted 1:35s. Pyshnenko had the fastest split in the event, going 23.29 on the 2nd leg of Lake Forest’s relay which sits at 3rd overall.
Jardeleza led a very tough field in the 100 back, with the fastest time of the day (55.25). McGovern follows in 55.37, followed by three more 55’s. Rosary has a swimmer in both the championship and consolation final, and while Loyola does have Jardeleza atop the standings, their other backstroker Jamie Kolar finished tied for 13th and will miss out on an opportunity to score points unless the unlikely event of a swimmer in finals scratching due to injury or illness.
Freshman Noelle Peplowski from Metamora leads an extremely tight field in the 100 breast with a 1:03.97 this afternoon. TEN 1:04’s follow her, including Rosary’s Yager. All eyes will be on Peplowski, however, whose best time of 1:02.09 stands only a few tenths off of Ashley Walland’s state record of 1:01.83.
400 FREE RELAY
Loyola leads the final relay, posting a 3:27.06 over Lake Forest (Lanigan anchored them with a blistering 50.20) and Rosary. Should the team title race be close, the Ramblers of Loyola and Beads of Rosary will have an epic battle for the coveted state title.
Tomorrow’s IHSA State finals are slated to begin at 12:00pm CT. Results can be found either here from the IHSA website or on Evanston’s own swimming page by clicking here. More information about the meet can be found right here