Girls swimming: Bittersweet finale for Libertyville's Neubauer; Stevenson second in NSC meet

By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/7/2015 10:31 PM

Libertyville senior Macey Neubauer had mixed feelings about her day at the North Suburban Conference girls swimming meet Saturday.

One on hand, Neubauer reveled in her own and her team's performance, as the senior won three titles en route to leading the Wildcats to a third-place team finish.


On the other hand, she was a bit sad that her prep campaign will soon be coming to an end.

"It is bittersweet," said the senior, who won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:05.81 and also triumphed in the 100 breastroke. "I love the high school season and I love my teammates, but the great thing is weve still got two more weeks (in the postseason) to go.

"I'm excited about our whole team -- we had some amazing times today."

Lake Forest won the meet with a score of 330, but Stevenson finished just behind in second place at 322, led by the amazing performance of sophomore Iza Pelka.

Pelka won the 200 yard freestyle in 1:52.27 and, unexpectedly, the 100 butterly (57:42).

"I'm happy that I swam as well as I did today," said Pelka, who added that she doesn't normally siwm the butterfly. "I guess I can just chalk it up to a lot of hard work. I was smooth in the water and I felt good.

"We've got a new spirit on the team this year compared to last year. It's a completely different feeling, and I couldn't be happier."

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Patriots sophomore Eva Holsen heped her team's placement with a personal best 5:12.50 in the 500-yard freestyle, which earned her second place individually -- the same position she posted on at the junior varsity team as a frosh.

This time, however, she beat her old best mark by a whopping 16 seconds and finished only 7 seconds behind winner Reilly Lanigan of Lake Forest.

"I worked so hard for this," said Holsen, "but I've also got to give a lot of the credit to coach Kevin (Stevenson first-year coach Kevin Zarkzewski). He's brought a lot of great changes to our team."

"I tried to not get too stressed out," added Holsen of her approach to Saturday's 500. "I turned my nervous energy into excited energy."

Morgan Paul of Libertyville (421.20) took second in the diving, while Stevenson's Irume Andres (1:05.45) was second in the 100 breastsroke.

The most hotly contested event of the day was the 100-yard backstroke, in which Haley Nelson of the Scouts finish in 58:35 to just outkick Ashley Carollo of Stevenson (58:40), and Courtney Barker of Warren (58:43).


"I was definitely tired," said Warren's standout junior, "but I was trying to push myself."

Casey Kirby excelled for Stevenson with a second-place finish in the 100 freestyle (52.41) and a third-place finish in the 50 freestyle (24.02).

Neubauer's other victory came in the first event of the day, the 200 medley relay, where she and teammates Meredith Robbins, Staci Herchenbach and Emma Richert won in 1:46.81.

"We put up some fast times today," said Libertyville coach Erik Rogers. "We're pointed in the right direction."

The Stevenson team of Carollo, Danielle Feng, Rachel Song and Kirby finished second in the medley.

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