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updated: 11/16/2013 11:52 PM

Plenty of happy faces at Downers North sectional

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By D.J. Wanberg
Daily Herald Correspondent

Early on in Saturday's Downers Grove North girls swimming sectional, it was evident that the host would dominate.

The Trojans won every event and took the meet by 97 points. But several other area teams went home happy to extend their seasons to next weekend's state meet at New Trier High School.

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Benet was second to Downers North, racking up 196 points, qualifying for state in six individual events and two relays.

"You never know going into this meet. You hope for the best. This team trained hard all year and had potential. But this meet can be nerve-wracking," Benet coach Sarah Maggio said.

Three Benet swimmers qualified in two individual events apiece. MaryClaire Webb made it in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyles; Kate Joyce is going in the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle and Ally Michaels in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.

"This is the best feeling. I am so hyped and so excited," Webb said. "This is a great group of girls. We pulled each other up and support each other through everything."

Laura Matthews went into the 500 freestyle with a seed time of 5:22.61. She left that mark way behind, finishing in a state-qualifying 5:09.85.

Also heading to New Trier for the Redwings is Alanna Galvin in the 100 backstroke; the 200 freestyle relay of Michaels, Kelly Wentland, Joyce and Webb; and the 400 freestyle relay of Michaels, Matthews, Joyce and Webb.

Wheaton co-op will be represented by Hannah Olsen, who has been to state on relays but is making her first state appearance in an individual event, the 100 backstroke.

"It was a rough first part of the meet for me, but I got it together," she said. "I'm so excited. This has always been a goal of mine."

Teammate Sarah Bradley was third in diving, which was held Saturday morning, and waits to see if her 415.70 points will put her among the top 32 scoring divers among non-sectional champions in the state that also get to go to New Trier.

Junior Kelly McNamara of Addison Trail/Willowbrook co-op finished sixth in state last year in the 100 butterfly and is going back in that event. She is also part of the qualifying 200 freestyle relay that also includes Annalise Morrone, Molly Hill and Molly Kuenstler.

"I think she can make top six or better in the fly next week," coach Paul Anderson said. "She's not fully rested, but I feel good about her chances. She'll take a lot of time off next week."

The Glenbard South/Glenbard West co-op 200 medley relay of Meghan Beese, Hera Miao, Annie Meyers and Paige Lay had a seed time of 1:58.69 that was smashed as the team makes it to state thanks to a mark of 1:49.53.

"That relay hadn't been together since Sept. 10. I thought they had a chance to make it. They put it together and it was a good swim," said coach Chris Flamion. Beese also heads to state in the 100 backstroke.

Lake Park's season goes one more week in the 200 medley relay thanks to Jessica Warfield, Kara Jeske, Rachael Cardelli and Alicia Thanos. Warfield also made it in the 100 backstroke.

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