Scouting MSL swimming
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When: 11 a.m. Saturday
Outlook: Fremd's continued development has put it in a position to threaten Barrington's superlative run of Mid-Suburban League girls swimming and diving championships, which stands at an astounding 20 straight. The Vikings proved to be the better team when the programs met earlier this month in a dual at Barrington's pool. Part of what makes Fremd so impressive is its superior depth -- especially that third swimmer in each race who scores points in the dual format. At the conference meet, though, with teams limited to two entries, that kind of depth will be less of a factor, and the more important thing will be how the top two swimmers from the league's top two teams fare against one another, and against the rest of the conference.
Fremd gets tone-setting efforts from seniors Breanna Anderson (sprints) and Kayleen Samuels (IM, backstroke), but on balance the Vikes are still an amazingly young team. Supers sophs Erica King, Loretta Stelnicki, Julia Portmann, Saki Takumiya and freshman Christine Osborn have each made the top heat in their individual races, and of course they bolster the relays as well.
Barrington has a slight edge in starpower based on seeds entering the meet. Junior Mekenna Scheitlin (50 free, 100 fly) and freshman Kirsten Jacobsen (200, 500 free) are No. 1 seeds and will generate a ton of points on their own and on relays. Other poised to contribute in a big way are seniors Kayla Widdowson (IM, breaststroke) and Lisa Danhauer (sprints), junior Olivia Hoffman (fly, breaststroke) and sophomores Andrea Vega (spints), Kael Ragnini (distance) and Emma Barnett (200 free, backstroke).
All three relays are closely matched between Fremd and Barrington and figure to battle it out for top honors -- which could end up deciding the meet. In other words, if you want to know who's going to win the meet, you'll probably need to stick around for the 400 free relay.
Every event has a strong overall field as the conference as a whole continues to improve.
It's the final MSL meet for Hersey senior standout Amanda Petro, seeded No. 1 in both the 200 IM and 100 backstroke. She's poised to help the MSL East champion Huskies in pursuit of a third-place team finish with teammates such as Karolina Szymaszek, Kelsey O'Donnell, Lenna Fotos and Sarah Petro contributing individual points.
Palatine should see a sharp jump as the meet format will reward its top-end competitors like Amy and Lily Zahn, Laura Mayer, Kristin Anderson, Tess O'Brien and strong relays.
Another team better suited to he championship meet format is Buffalo Grove. Bison senior standout Veronika Jedryka is seeded in the top heat of the 50 and 100 freestyles, and classmates Margaret Lotzer and Callie Fasching figure to contribute individual points along with sophomore Sara Morosan.
Every team in the league but Prospect has swimmers competing in today's fastest heats, but the Knights had a conference diving champion Friday night in Dana Liva. Here are some of today's swimmers who earned top-six seeds:
Conant: Allison Cicero (200 IM, 500 free)
Elk Grove -- Simona Kurta (200 IM, 100 fly), Nikki Sugihara (100 back).
Wheeling -- Therese Godlewski (100 free, 100 back)
Hoffman Estates -- Jessica Sullivan (50 free)
Schaumburg: Sydney Skibinski (100 breaststroke), Ellen Nolley (500 free)
Rolling Meadows: No individuals, but two relays seeded in the top six.
-- Aaron Gabriel