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updated: 9/1/2011 11:52 PM

Girls swimming / Scouting Lake County

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  • Libertyville's Morgan Dickson smiles at the end of the 500-yard freestyle during last season's girls swimming state finals at Evanston.

       Libertyville's Morgan Dickson smiles at the end of the 500-yard freestyle during last season's girls swimming state finals at Evanston.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
 

Libertyville

Coach: Erik Rogers

Last season: third in North Suburban Conference meet

Returning swimmers: Sr. Melanie Eichhorn (freestyle), Sr. Lindsey Gilbert (freestyle), Sr. Katelyn Liss (backstroke), Sr. Victoria Metcalf (diving), Sr. Lindsay Schweitzer (diving), Jr. Morgan Dickson (freestyle) Jr. Julia Elsmo (freestyle)

Newcomers: Jr. Leanna Blair (freestyle), Jr. Molly Bruns (freestyle), Jr. Jessica Domagala (breaststroke), So. Morgan Dunleavy (diving), So. Madison Griffith (freestyle), So. Devika Joshi (breaststroke), Jr. Mackenzie Laudano (butterfly/backstroke), So. Sophia Lex (freestyle/backstroke), So. Mackenzie Ryan (freestyle), Jr. Kathryn Tomsky (butterfly), So. Julia Turner (freestyle), Fr. Margaret Barnett (freestyle), Fr. Sarah Durning, Fr. Jordan Rule (freestyle), Fr. Madalyn Wanbaugh (backstroke),

Outlook: The Wildcats' returning talent includes junior Morgan Dickson, who's one of the state's best distance freestylers. She qualified for state in the 200 and 500 freestyles last season and in the 200 individual medley and 500 free her freshman year. She took eighth at state in the 500 free, after also swimming on the Wildcats' state-qualifying 200 medley. That relay also included Dickson's classmate Julia Elsmo. Dickson already owns school records in the 500 free, 200 free and 100 butterfly. The Wildcats graduated four-event state-qualifier Whitney Mitchell (Miami University), who was a three-time team MVP. Coach Erik Rogers has lots of depth and youth on his roster. "(We're) hoping to increase our number of state qualifiers this season," Rogers said.

Mundelein

Coach: Melissa Healy

Last season: sixth in North Suburban Conference meet

Outlook: The Mustangs boast speedy senior and two-time state-qualifier Amy Klink. She went to state in the 50 freestyle in each of the last two years.

Stevenson

Coach: Karl Milkereit

Last season: second in North Suburban Conference meet

Returning swimmers: Sr. Michelle Hannon (freestyle), Jr. Madison Blaydes (freestyle), So. Julia Wawer (freestyle), Sr. Madison Douglas (diving), So. Riley Kirby (backstroke, freestyle), Sr. Lauren Pontello (freestyle), So. Cheryl Xiang (freestyle)

Outlook: The Patriots, who won three straight North Suburban Conference championships between 2006-08, feature a strong blend of experience and youth. Senior Michelle Hannon has swam at state since her freshman year, and junior Madison Blaydes has done likewise. Blaydes won a pair of state medals last fall, finishing 11th in both of her distance freestyles. Both Hannon and Blaydes are team captains this season. Other Patriots with state experience are sophomore Julia Wawer, sophomore Riley Kirby, sophomore Cheryl Xiang and junior Lauren Pontello.

Vernon Hills

Coach: Kedric Greenawalt

Last season: fifth in North Suburban Conference meet

Returning swimmers: Sr. Zoe Eldridge (freestyle), Sr. Dana Andrea (freestyle), Sr. Kristin Schrems (freestyle), Sr. Stacy Rowland (diving)

Newcomers: Lisa Cheng, Yuliya Pomeranets, Alice Zhang, Summer Hemesath, Kathleen Lao, Elena Ochoa

Outlook: The Cougars boast a pair of veteran stars in seniors Zoe Eldridge and Dana Andrea. Eldridge qualified for state in the 100 and 200 freestyles each of the last two years. She took 10th at state in the 200 free. Andrea has gone to state in the 50 freestyle each of the last two seasons. Fellow senior Kristin Schrems is another strong swimmer.

Warren

Coach: Chad Rusk

Last season: fourth in North Suburban Conference meet

Returning swimmers: So. Paige Wells (50 free, 100 free, relays), So. Jessie Grasty (100 fly, 200 IM, relays), Sr. Bethany Drebing (200 free, 500 free, relays), Sr. Shannon McKearnan (200 free, 100 fly, relays), Sr. Micah Pritchett (50 free, 100 breast, relays), So. Katie Travelstead (100 back, 200 IM, relays), Sr. Emily Pelland (diving), Jr. Becky Stochl (diving)

Newcomers: Fr. Megan Delfeld (100 breast, 200 IM), Fr. Emma Hassemer (100 back)

Outlook: The Blue Devils return five of their six state qualifiers off last season's squad. Diver Anne Wright graduated, but back are state veterans Paige Wells, Bethany Drebing, Shannon McKearnan, Micah Pritchett and Jessie Grasty. As a freshman last year, Wells qualified for state individually in the 50 and 100 freestyles. Wells, Drebing, McKearnan and Pritchett made up the state-qualifying 200 freestyle relay. Drebing, McKearnan, Grasty and Wells qualified for state in the 400 freestyle relay. Coach Chad Rusk expects his team to be very competitive in the North Suburban Conference and at state. "The girls look prepared to not just qualify for state in several events, but hopefully to score this year," Rusk said. "A strong core of seven seniors provides very good depth and leadership for the team, while the sophomores provide the power and motivation." The Blue Devils also boast what Rusk calls a "talented group of divers" who will be "crucial in helping the team reach a new level of performance."

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