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updated: 10/1/2011 6:47 PM

Stevenson enjoys Conant's pool party

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Conant's girls swimming team was having fun hosting Saturday's invitational meet, which featured festive ribbons and other colorful decorations.

Stevenson, in particular, was among the guests who thoroughly enjoyed the party.

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The Patriots took the team title with 285 points, followed by Hersey (206), Schaumburg (156), the host Cougars (133.5), Crystal Lake Central (122) and South Elgin (60.5).

"It's a good opportunity for us to change things up a little bit, see some of our girls in other events," said Stevenson coach Karl Milkereit. "I thought they had fun with the meet and came up with some really nice races."

The meet's format favors those with quality depth. Each event features three heats, with each team getting one entrant per heat. The finishes in each heat are scored equally, meaning the 'C' heat is just as important points-wise as the 'A' heat.

The only race in the 'C' class not won by Stevenson was the 100-meter freestyle, where Hersey's Kayla Dale was tops in 1:04.83.

The Patriots won all three relays and continued on a seasonal arc that is surprising Milkereit.

"We're really a young team, and really, we're a little bit ahead of where I thought we might be," he said.

'A' heat winners for Stevenson included senior Michelle Hannon in the 200 IM (2:35.45), Ashlin Ruiz in the 100 fly (1:09.03) and sophomore Julia Wawer in the 400 free (4:38.13).

Milkereit said he was pleasantly surprised by the efforts of Monica Bodenstab, who won the 'B' 100 breaststroke in 1:23.20, and Becca Hannon, who won the 'B' 100 free in 1:02.99.

Hersey's Amanda Petro delivered a pair of terrific winning efforts in the 'A' heat -- she was tops in the 200 free in 2:10.98, just ahead of Conant frosh Allison Cicero, and came close to breaking one minute in the 100 free, finishing in 1:00.75, ahead of Stevenson's Cheryl Xiang.

Sophomore Kelsey O'Donnell provided Hersey with another heat winner, in the 'B' 100 backstroke (1:15.95).

Schaumburg's strength was the 100 breaststroke, where Sydney Skibinski won the 'A' heat (1:20.51), Kristy Bessler was second in the 'B' heat (1:24.73) and Ashley Johnson was second in the 'C' heat (1:24.73).

First-year Conant coach Caitlin Sullivan continued to see impressive results from her young team.

She pointed to Cicero's effort in the 400 free, which would convert to a 5:15 for a 500-yard effort, equaling the freshman's best time this season.

Another bright spot was Casey Troccoli's third-place finish in the 'A' heat of the 100 breaststroke (1:22.75), and Barbara Rose won the the 'A' heat of the 100 backstroke.

"We've got a great group of girls here who are really focused on improving, doing the work it takes to keep coming up with best times," Sullivan said. "I'm nothing less than impressed with what they're giving me."

Stevenson's Madison Douglas won the 'A' diving with 333.5, Conant's Haley Schuhl won 'B' at 309.30 and Conant's Erin Corcoran won 'C' with 259.3.

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