Stevenson's depth sure showed in Saturday's Cougar Invite hosted by Conant.
The flighted meet allows each team to enter one swimmer in three different heats, and equal points are derived from each of those heats. So having a fast No. 3 swimmer throughout the lineup can really make a difference in the final standings.
The Patriots finished with 281 points. Hersey (209) placed second, ahead of host Conant (143), Schaumburg (140), Crystal Lake Central (123) and South Elgin (57).
The Class A heats featured plenty of competitors likely to be battling for points in the state meet later this season.
Hersey senior Amanda Petro took top honors in the 200-meter IM (2:24.53), just ahead of Stevenson's Cheryl Xiang, and Petro also won the 100 backstroke in 1:05.72.
Crystal Lake Central's Marisa Barton edged Stevenson's Julia Wawer to win the 50 free in 27.48.
Conant's Allison Cicero touched out Stevenson's Rebecca Hannon by four one-hundredths to win the 200-meter freestyle in 2:10.85, and Cicero won easily in the 400 free (4:38.83).
Stevenson sophomore Ashlyn Ruiz won the 100 fly (1:09.12), and Hersey's Karolina Szymaszek had an impressive effort to win 100 free in 1:02.77, ahead of second-place Riley Kirby of Stevenson.
The Patriots were a force in the freestyle relays, as Kirby, Xiang, Isabella Tomasetti and Wawer won the 200 easily in 1:54.84, and Rebecca Hannon joined Kirby, Xiang and Wawer to win the 400 in 4:07.74. Stevenson won every freestyle relay, at all three levels.
Schaumburg's Sydney Skibinski delivered the top 100 breastroke time of 1:19.40, just ahead of Szymaszek.
Hersey's Hannah Bovino finished with a winning score of 353.35, and teammate Megan Nocita and Anne Johnson won the B and C flights, respectively.