Lake Forest and Rosary Set to Battle for Illinois HS State Title

Illinois’ top high school talents competed at 16 IHSA Sectional meets across the state yesterday, and next weekend they’ll come together at New Trier High School for the IHSA State Championships.

The team battle will likely rage between Lake Forest and Rosary, who are the only two teams projected to score more than 100 points based on sectional results.

Lake Forest has two top-tier talents in Daria Pyshnenko and Notre Dame commit Reilly Lanigan. Pyshnenko, a junior, comes in as the top seed in the 50 free (22.69) and the only sub-23 performer thus far in the year, and is also the #2 seed in the 100 free (50.91). Lanigan, meanwhile, comes in as the fastest seed in the 200 free (1:49.17) and the 500 free (4:50.84).

They’ll also rely on individual scoring from Haley NelsonMadeline Smith, and diver Carmen White to hold off Rosary.

Rosary is the top seed in the 200 free relay, and also boasts the top seed in the 100 backstroke in freshman Athena Ye (56.06). They have a ton of young talent, and consistently perform well at state, which will make for a very exciting and very fast meet from them.

Kirsten Jacobsen, an Arizona commit, might be the biggest name to watch next weekend. She’s the state record holder in the 200 free, and was our #15 recruit nationally in the girls high school class of 2016. Jacobsen has won the 500 free every year of high school and the 200 free every year but her freshman season, but Lanigan will look to put a stop to that. The Lake Forest senior has only swum the 100 fly and the 200 IM at state, but she’s been 1:47.41 in the 200 free and 4:47.48 in the 500. Jacobsen’s been 1:46.98 and 4:42.31, and this year Lanigan will likely give her someone to race (last year she won the 500 by over six seconds).

Look out for Metamora sophomore Noelle Peplowski, too. Peplowski was a 1:02.0 100 breaststroker in middle school, and comes in as top seed in the 200 IM and the #2 seed in the 100 breast (1:03.50). In the IM, she went a best time by over three seconds at sectionals (2:03.22). Leading the breaststroke is Waubonsie Valley junior Hannah Hunt at 1:02.36 in her first time under 1:03.9.

Two freshmen lead diving, as New Trier’s Jessie Creed (548.70) and Evanston’s Lucy Hogan (522.10) come in as top seeds. They are the only underclassmen in the top 16 right now.

New IHSA standards regarding the possibility of an additional combined scoring system including athletes with disabilities have not been met this year, so there will just be the traditional scoring system that’s always been in place. Athletes with disabilities will still compete, but there isn’t the required 8 athletes with disabilities and 3 from each classification, so their swims won’t be scored. Read more about that here.


Date Site Team Champion(s) Score
Nov. 14 Barrington Barrington
Coach Jim Bart
Nov. 14 Byron Belvidere (North)
Coach Traci Torbert
Nov. 14 Champaign (Centennial) Champaign (Centennial)
Coach Jason Maddux
Nov. 14 Chicago (St. Ignatius College Prep) Chicago (St. Ignatius College Prep)
Coach David Stephens
Nov. 14 Downers Grove (North) Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West)
Coach Chris Flamion
Nov. 14 East Moline (United) Dunlap
Coach Jim Bucher
Nov. 14 Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East) Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East)
Coach Kate Fingello Gabey
Nov. 14 LaGrange (Lyons) LaGrange (Lyons)
Coach Kurt Johns
Nov. 14 Lockport (Twp.) Lockport (Twp.)
Coach Grant Ferkaluk
Nov. 14 Naperville (Neuqua Valley) Aurora (Rosary)
Coach Bill Schalz
Nov. 14 Normal (Community) Normal (University)
Coach Ryan Burroughs
Nov. 14 Northbrook (Glenbrook North) Wilmette (Loyola Academy)
Coach Mike Hengelmann
Nov. 14 Oak Park (Fenwick) Oak Park (Fenwick)
Coach Renee Miller
Nov. 14 Springfield (Sacred Heart-Griffin) Edwardsville (H.S.)
Coach Christian Rhoten
Nov. 14 St. Charles (East) St. Charles (East)
Coach Joe Cabel
Nov. 14 Vernon Hills

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Rosary will sweep. LF can never hold on.


I personally believe that Rosary swim team will be unable to do so because they have a lot of dedication.


The IHSA scoring system to award points to the athletes in the events for those with physical and visual disabilities (APVD) applies only if two conditions are met:

1) There must be a minimum of 8 athletes in the APVD division.
2) There must be a minimum of 3 athletes per APVD classification.

Because there are only 5 total APVD athletes this year, there will NOT be a combined state championship…. only the traditional one.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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