Oswego East Girls 400 Free Relay Crushes IHSA Record in Prelims


  • Prelims Friday, November 17th
  • Finals Saturday, November 18th
  • New Trier High School (Winnetka, IL)
  • Live results (also available on MeetMobile)

wThere were some huge time drops and divergences from the psych sheet at the IHSA Girls State prelims on Friday, November 17th. Notably, there was at least one underclassman to qualify for the Championship Final in every individual event except the 200 free and 100 back. Grace Cooper and Melissa Pish head into the finals session tomorrow as the only 2 swimmers to be seeded first in both their individual events.

Finals start at 11:00am Central Time on Saturday.

Prelims Event Recap and Finals Preview:

200 Medley Relay

  1. Rosary – 1:42.77
  2. New Trier/Normal Community – 1:43.75
  3. Lyons – 1:43.78
  4. St. Charles North – 1:43.91
  5. Neuqua Valley – 1:43.99

The Rosary team of Athena Ye (25.39), Izzy Pytel (29.48), Camryn Streid (24.85), and Emily Ryan (23.05) took control of the 200 medley prelims, securing the top finals seed by nearly a second. New Trier (Vu, Venn, Richardson, Ohr) and Normal Community (Ariola, Oostman, Heimstead, Bengtson) tied for 2nd at 1:43.75. Unsurprisingly, Grace Ariola led the Backstroke field with a 24.50, .88 seconds faster than the next fastest split, which came from Shannon Kearney (25.38) of the 13th place Loyola team. The 2nd-6th place teams are separated by only 24 hundredths of a second.

200 Free

  1. Melissa Pish (Normal West) – 1:48.17
  2. Georgia White (Oswego) – 1:48.20
  3. Audrey Guyett (St. Charles North) – 1:48.89
  4. Iza Pelka (Stevenson) – 1:49.04
  5. Macy Rink (Bloomington) – 1:49.40
  6. Anne Tavierne (Rosary) – 1:49.43

The 200 free delivered on its historic potential, marking the first time it took a sub-1:50 to make the Championship Final. Melissa Pish took the top seed for tomorrow, posting a 1:48.17, a season best and just over 2 seconds off her personal best of 1:46.08. Georgia White finished 2nd, about a second a half off her IHSA record of 1:46.69. Audrey Guyett went a best time to take 3rd, a decent drop from her previous best time of 1:49.65. Glenbard Freshman Kate Morris finished 7th, just outside the Championship Final, with a 1:49.46.

200 IM

  1. Annika Wagner (Maine South) – 2:00.84
  2. Valerie Tazari (Crystal Lake) – 2:01.03
  3. Mari Kraus (Oswego) – 2:01.61
  4. Ema Rajic (Urbana University High) – 2:01.65
  5. Sydney VanOvermeiren (Rosary) – 2:01.96
  6. Callahan Dunn (Lyons) – 2:02.05

Maine South Sophomore Annika Wagner had a huge drop to take the top seed for finals tomorrow. Wagner’s previous best time was 2:02.62, set at this meet last year. Ema Rajic, the IHSA record-holder, finished 4th, almost a second and a half off her record of 2:00.23. Also of note, Metamora Senior Noelle Peplowski finished 8th, with a 2:02.89. Peplowski has finished 7th in this event the last 3 years at the IHSA State Meet, and tomorrow she will have the opportunity to do it again. Camryn Streid of Rosary finished 7th, taking the top seed for the Consolation Final with a 2:02.63.

50 Free

  1. Grace Cooper (Oswego) – 22.37
  2. Grace Ariola (Normal Community) – 22.65
  3. Athena Ye (Rosary) – 22.93
  4. Natalie Ungaretti (Oak Park) – 23.15
  5. McKenna Stone (Metea Valley) – 23.24
  6. Elizabeth Sowards (Dunlap) – 23.32

Grace Cooper had a huge prelims swim, dropping over half a second and becoming the first person to beat Grace Ariola in the 50 this season. Cooper is also one of 3 underclassmen who made the top 6, joined by freshmen McKenna Stone and Elizabeth Sowards, giving good reason to be excited about the future of sprint free events in Illinois. Jennifer Hauser of Lake Park took 7th with a time of 23.40.

Diving (thru semifinals)

  1. Jessie Creed (New Trier) – 338.95
  2. Katie Lipsey (New Trier) – 321.50
  3. Ally Landis (Vernon Hills) – 317.70
  4. Lizzie Rumsey (Champaign Centennial) – 312.80
  5. Dana Siverly (Normal U-High) – 304.90
  6. Eva Kelly (Nazareth) – 299.40

Defending Champ Jessie Creed leads the field with 3 dives to go. Creed has a decent lead over teammate Katie Lipsey, and Ally Landis is less than 4 points behind her. There are only 8.35 points separating 6th place and 12th place. Diving takes place after the 50 free tomorrow and awards will follow immediately after.

100 Fly

  1. Emma Theobald (Dunlap) – 54.43
  2. Julia Heimstead (Normal Community) – 55.01
  3. Mallory Jump (St. Charles North) – 55.25
  4. Lindsey Merk (Lockport) – 55.39
  5. Camryn Streid (Rosary) – 55.44
  6. Anna Gruvberger (Hinsdale Central) – 55.58

Emma Theobald went a best time by half a second to take the top seed for finals. Defending champ Camryn Streid qualified for the Championship Final with a time just slightly slower than she went last year. Julia Heimstead and Lindsey Merk both have best times of 54.5 and are in the mix tomorrow as well, however every one of these girls has the potential to win the event tomorrow. It took a 55.39 to win last year, so it’s pretty safe to say the 100 fly will be faster this year.

Iza Pelka came in 7th with a 55.62.

100 Free

  1. Grace Cooper (Oswego) – 49.60
  2. Georgia White (Oswego) – 50.09
  3. Kate Morris (Glenbard) – 50.23
  4. Annika Wagner (Maine South) – 50.64
  5. Natalie Ungaretti (Oak Park) – 50.79
  6. McKenna Stone (Metea Valley) – 51.01

Grace Cooper built on her impressive 50 free performance by breaking 50 seconds for the first time. Her previous best was 50.39. Georgia White has also been under 50 before, so the race between the 2 Oswego teammates could be a good one tomorrow. The 100 free is the only event where more Underclassmen qualified for the Championship Final than Upperclassmen. Grace Cooper is a Sophomore, Kate Morris is a Freshman, Annika Wagner is a Sophomore, and McKenna Stone is a Freshman. Georgia White is a Senior and Natalie Ungaretti is a Junior. Brooke West took 7th with a 51.07.

500 Free

  1. Melissa Pish (Normal West) – 4:51.14
  2. Audrey Guyett (St. Charles North) – 4:53.50
  3. Callahan Dunn (Lyons) – 4:54.93
  4. Anne Tavierne (Rosary) – 4:57.00
  5. Mari Kraus (Oswego)/Maggie Emary (Barrington) – 4:58.67

Melissa Pish took her 2nd top seed for finals in the 500, going almost 2.5 seconds faster than second place finisher, Audrey Guyett. Both girls will likely break 4:50 tomorrow, as Pish’s best time is 4:44.07 and Guyett’s is 4:47.95. Pish and Guyett’s splits were both very consistent, adding to the likelihood they were holding something back. Rachel Stege, a Freshman from Neuqua Valley, took 7th in a 4:59.27. There were 10 girls under 5 minutes in prelims, the most that have ever done the at the IHSA State Meet.

200 Free Relay

  1. Oswego – 1:33.06
  2. Rosary – 1:33.27
  3. Neuqua Valley – 1:34.02
  4. St. Charles North – 1:34.70
  5. Metea Valley – 1:34.74
  6. Lyons – 1:35.33

Oswego and Rosary have set themselves up for a huge battle tomorrow, and have given themselves space between them and 3rd place Neuqua Valley. Oswego came within a tenth of a second of breaking the IHSA record of 1:32.98, set in 2012, when Olympic Gold Medalist Olivia Smoliga was on the team. Rosary is right within range to take that record tomorrow too, and this relay will be very important to the team battle that is being set up between Oswego and Rosary. Grace Cooper led off and went the fastest split in the field, 22.58.

100 Back

  1. Grace Ariola (Normal Community) – 53.44
  2. Shannon Kearney (Loyola) – 54.46
  3. Emma Theobald (Dunlap) – 55.06
  4. Ashley Carollo (Stevenson) – 55.30
  5. Brooke West (Fenwick) – 55.34
  6. Grace Prendergast (Lyons) – 55.39

As expected, Grace Ariola took the top seed for finals by over a second. Ariola’s time was a season best and her personal best time is 53.04. Shannon Kearney went a best time by .01 seconds, taking the 2nd seed by a large margin. Athena Ye took 7th with a 55.60.

100 Breast

  1. Valerie Tazari (Crystal Lake) – 1:01.64
  2. Ema Rajic (Urbana U-High) – 1:01.90
  3. Noelle Peplowski (Metamora) – 1:02.39
  4. Maxine Parkinson (Neuqua Valley) – 1:02.90
  5. Sydney Colburn (Deerfield) – 1:03.08
  6. Ally Penrod (Barrington) – 1:03.65

Valerie Tazari took round 1 of the race between the last 3 IHSA 100 breast champions. Of those 3 girls (Tazari, Rajic, Peplowski), all 3 were off their best times by a little bit. The race is still wide open for the taking tomorrow, and promises to be an exciting one. Mary Jania of St, Charles East took 7th place with a 1:03.69. Coincidentally, 1:03.69 was the winning time 3 years ago, when Noelle Peplowski won the event, showing the rapid progression of Breaststroke speed has grown in Illinois.

400 Free Relay

  1. Oswego – 3:22.63
  2. Rosary – 3:25.71
  3. Normal Community – 3:26.25
  4. New Trier – 3:26.76
  5. St. Charles North – 3:27.28
  6. Metea Valley – 3:28.49

Oswego absolutely shattered the IHSA record in prelims, going 3:22.63 to break the record of 3:24.50, set in 2012. The team was made up of Grace Cooper (50.07), Mari Kraus (50.46), Emily Giles (52.61), and Georgia White (49.49). Even more impressive, there is room for improvement because Grace Cooper went almost half a second slower than she did in the individual 100 free. Grace Ariola led off with the fastest split in the field, 49.22. Oswego goes into finals with a large cushion of time between them and 2nd seed, Rosary.

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5 years ago

Top 6 in finals makes for awesome prelim environment and they only have one division so no multiple state champs either. It is an awesome meet. If u r a college coach who wants swimmers that can compete in high pressure situations then Illinois is the place to recruit.
Maybe the pool slows the times but it is a rip roaring meet every year!

Reply to  JimSwim
5 years ago

Our surrounding states do it so much better. Few are benefiting from this corrupt old school system. Score 12 – swim a C final. Give more kids an opportunity. Swim the meet in a pool that would give the kids an opportunity for their best possible times.
Having parents arrive 2 hours before the doors open to get a non-obstructed seat and then making them sit in the gym for 6.5 hours – ridiculous. IHSA can do better.
Only New Trier and Evanston like and benefit from this system. The coaches, swimmers and parents don’t.

Swim mom
5 years ago

Crazy fast meet in awful facilities. Illinois Swimming deserves better. Shallow pool, only 2 heats of 6 in finals, terrible environment, poles obstructing view of fans…who benefits from this archaic system of running things? Not the swimmers, coaches or parents.