Palatine took a Saturday in the middle of its October training regimen and doubled its competitive distances on Saturday.
The Pirates finished sixth in St. Charles East's college events meet, a format where races double those used in the high school format are competed in every stroke.
"I thought they did excellent," Palatine coach Brittany Berleman said. "I thought they made positive changes to technique and positive changes time-wise, and they stepped up to compete. So I was very happy today."
The meet featured two of the best teams in the state this year in three-time defending state champion New Trier and the host Saints. Lake Forest, another power this year, finished third. Against that level of competition, Palatine never held expectations of winning the meet, though there were certainly things Berleman hoped to see from her team's performance.
"We're in the hardest part of our season and I was just hoping the girls went around the times that they have been going the entire time this season, which they did," Berleman said. "We come into this meet because we have some of the best girls in the state here, and it's just a learning experience for them -- seeing that and trying to mirror that the rest of the season."
If high school teams compete in a college events meet, they only do so once, and now the Pirates return to conventional high school distances the rest of the season.
"It's a real mental break from the dual meets or every invite meet format," Berlemana said. "You're swimming something different and getting your mind off those usual events."
Berleman said the performances with which she was pleased included Kristin Anderson's 200-yard freestyle time. Anderson, a sophomore, finished eighth but dropped five seconds to reach 2:00.31.
-- Darryl Mellema
Erin Falconer won the 200-yard freestyle, the 100 free and had anchor legs on both winning freestyle relays to help Mundelein to the team championship at Hersey Jamboree at Olympic Pool in Arlington Heights on Saturday.
Falconer had plenty of help from her teammates as Mundelein (279) used its freestyle strength to put plenty of distance between itself and runner-up Maine South (210), which edged third-place Warren (204). Cary-Grove and Prospect tied for fourth (141), and Hersey (135) was fifth.
In every freestyle event plus all three relays, Mundelein was a winner.
Falconer and Rachel Robb went 1-2 in the 200 free. Falconer finished in 1:5.36, and Robb in 2:00.80 edged third-place Ashlynn Baker of Cary-Grove by one one-hundredth of a second.
Falconer's winning effort in the 100 free was 53.86, and Karrie Kozokar was second in 54.93.
Other Mundelein individual victories came from Jenn Kordik in the 200 IM (2:13.04), Kozokar in the 50 free (25.21), and Robb in the 500 free (5:29.21), and the Mustangs won all the relays.
Warren's Courtney Barker had the top finish in the 100 backstroke (1:00.67), and Cary-Grove's Melissa Rose won the 100 breast (1:08.61).
Prospect's Dana Liva was dominant in the 11-dive format, winning by more than 80 points with a score of 441.05, and Betsy Rozow placed third in the 100 backstroke.
Elk Grove's Simona Kurta finished second in the 200 IM and third in the 100 fly.
Hersey's top finishes came from Hannah Bovino in diving (second), Lenna Fotos in the 50 free (third) and Sarah Petro in the 500 free (third).