IL HS Girls Prelims: Neuqua Valley Leads, Stege Breaks 500 Free Record

2018 Illinois Girls Swimming State Finals

Preliminaries are now officially in the books for the Illinois Girls state meet. The highlight of the session went to Neuqua Valley’s Rachel Stege, whose 500 free time of 4:46.14 broke state record of 4:46.69, formerly held by Adrienne Bicek.

Top Five Scores After Prelims
Rank School Points
1 Neuqua Valley 164
2 Rosary 163
3 New Trier 111
4 St. Charles North 107
5 Lyons Township 96.5
T-6 Oswego East 92
T-6 Barrington 92

Scoring out the meet so far, Neuqua Valley takes the lead over Rosary, by one point. Also sneaking into the top 6 is New Trier, St. Charles North, Lyons Township, Oswego East and Barrington.

Breaking down event by event, St. Charles North currently ranks first in the 200 medley relay with a 1:42.48. Also under 1:43 is Rosary (1:42.83) and New Trier (1:42.94).

In the 200 free, Glenbard West’s Kate Morris maintains her top spot with a 1:49.81. Yet presenting a challenge behind Morris is Rosary’s Anne Tavierne, who is 0.01 behind with a 1:49.82. Also breaking 1:50 is Barrington’s Bridget O’Leary (1:49.94).

In the 200 IM, Maine South’s Annika Wagner takes the top spot with a 2:00.94, and flirts with the state record of 2:00.27. Right behind Wagner is St. Charles North’s Mallory Jump with a 2:01.29. Jump went on to snag the top spot in the 100 fly with a 53.72, nearly a second ahead of Rosary’s Athena Ye (54.67). 

Oswego East’s Grace Cooper and Metea Valley’s McKenna Stone take the top two in the 50 free, both under the 23-second barrier with a 22.40 and 22.89 respectively out of prelims. Also sneaking in the top 6 is New Trier’s Carly Novelline (23.01), Rosary’s Ye (23.16), O.P.R.F.’s Natalie Ungaretti (23.40), and Neuqua Valley’s Megan Ciezczak (23.48).

Cooper (49.29), Novelline (49.86), Stone (50.20), Ungaretti (50.50), and Morris (50.57) all meet up in the 100 free for a great sprint free battle. Also making the top 6 is Neuqua Valley’s Tiffanie Ruan (51.45).

Currently, both of Cooper’s prelim times are right on track for potential state records. Her 22.40 prelim time in the 50 free is right behind Olivia Smoliga’s state record of 21.99. In the same way, Cooper’s 49.29 100 free prelim time is behind another Smoliga state record of 48.88.

Taking top spot in the 200 free relay is Oswego East with a 1:33.92. Cooper had the fastest split among all relays with a blistering 21.82. Can she pop another 50 free from a flat start under 22 seconds?

Another St. Charles North swimmer, Megan Armstrong, takes a top seed. Armstrong is currently first in the 100 back with a 54.95. The rest of the top 6 are all in the 55 second range. Leading the 100 breast is Neuqua Valley’s Maxine Parkinson with a 1:02.89. The rest of the top 6 are all under 1:04.

Neuqua Valley’s Kristen Stege, Ruan, R. Stege, and Parkinson aided their 400 free relay to the top seed into finals with a 3:25.78. St. Charles North got bumped out of the top 6, placing eighth in prelims with a 3:27.58.

Will Rosary be able to defend their title and make a 4-peat or get caught by Neuqua Valley? Will Cooper and Wagner join R. Stege in the record-breakers club? Answer these questions as finals will take place this Saturday. The event will begin at 11:00 am CST.

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Jim Rochard

NV absolutely dominated finals!

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro has had a huge passion for swimming since his first dive in the pool. He joined the sport at age 11 after his diagnosis of juvenile arthritis. Swimming became his second chance at sports and became the love of his life. He was a breaststroker and IMer when …

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