Girls swimming: West Chicago-Batavia-Geneva co-op surprises St. Charles North for sectional championship

Nick Parry proved to be a prophet.

While administering the Upstate Eight Conference girls tennis meet four weeks ago as West Chicago's athletic director, Parry, who doubles as the Wildcats girls swimming coach, made a surprising proclamation.

"I think if we swim well we can give (St. Charles) North all they want." Parry said. "St. Charles North is the cream of the crop in area swimming. We knew everybody had to swim well and every point was important."

Mission accomplished.

The Wildcats, who co-op with Batavia and Geneva, scored 275 points to win Saturday's St. Charles North sectional. The host North Stars were second with 256 points. It was the first sectional championship for West Chicago since 1992 The hero for the sectional champs was sophomore Claire Conklin. In the 50 freestyle, Conklin edged St. Charles North sophomore standout Tessalina Stavropoulos at the end with 23.11. The St. Charles North sophomore swam a 23.14. Conklin repeated her incredible performance in the 100 freestyle with a 51.03 clocking compared to runner-up Stavropoulos, who had a time of 51.09.

"I knew (Stavropoulos) is a great swimmer," Conklin said. "I knew I had to swim well and push myself and be positive. I am really excited about the state meet next weekend. We had a great day as a team."

Amelia Murphy won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:52.53. It is Murphy's third straight trip to the state meet.

"It is a mental race with a lot of strategy," Murphy said. "It is a super fun race. I am looking forward to the state meet and finish strong. I am looking to break the school record."

Teammate Audrey Lindstrom was runner-up with a state-qualifying time of 1:53.33.

Lindstrom won the 500 freestyle in 5:03.53.

The Wildcats won the 200 freestyle relay and the 400 relay. The runner-up North Stars received a stellar effort from junior Isabelle Beu, who won two events and broke a pair of pool records.

Beu, who has verbally committed to Division I Georgia, won the 200 IM in 2:00.19. Beu was the state runner-up a year ago.

"I am shooting to finish one spot higher," Beu said. "It is exciting to be in the championship season."

Beu won the 100 butterfly in 53.77. Jenna Williams won the 100 backstroke in 55.49 and the 200 medley relay team crossed the finish line first in 1:46.88.

St. Charles East was third with a score of 208 points. Saints diver Kaylin Olson claimed top honors in the 1-meter diving with 472.90 points. Other state qualifiers for the Saints were Lulu Negro (200 freestyle), Payton Dorman (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle) and Mikayla Kellett (500 freestyle).

"It is exciting to make it to the state meet," said Dorman, who will swim at Illinois State.

The Saints' 200 freestyle relay and 1,600 relay teams qualified for the state meet.

Dundee-Crown was fourth with 155 points.

The Chargers got a first-place effort from sophomore Kaitlyn Tomaszewski, who won the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.23.

"I know I was swimming against some great swimmers," Tomaszewski said. "I knew I could swim well and compete. It is exciting to make it to the state meet."

Other state qualifiers for the Chargers were: Eliana Niemi (50 freestyle) and Rachel Johnson (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke). The 400 freestyle relay team qualified with a 3:36.32.

As individuals, Burlington Central's Kate Farrell (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle) and Hannah Johnson (500 freestyle) qualified for the state finals in Westmont next weekend.

Bartlett's Stephanie Adamson posted a state qualifying time in the 50 freestyle.

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