Girls swimming: Senior leaders setting the pace for Patriots
The Stevenson girls swimming team looks to be up to its old tricks again this fall.
The Patriots' experience and depth have paid nice dividends in the early going, and that mixture was on display Thursday night in a 129-57 victory over host Mundelein in the North Suburban Conference opener for both teams.
"We have made some adjustments to our training, and we're definitely happy with where we are right now," said Stevenson coach Kevin Zakrzewski, whose team improved to 3-0. "Our senior leadership is incredible. Just the way they swim and carry themselves is awesome."
One of those senior leaders is Danielle Fang. She is one of many who is not short on positive energy.
"This is like a family and (the seniors) just try and integrate everyone, especially the newer members," said Fang, who was a state qualifier with returning fellow senior Rachel Song and sophomore Ashley Carollo in the 200-yard medley relay last November. "We just try to set a good example and use the meets to improve."
Against Mundelein, Fang was part of the winning 200 medley (1:53.12), which also included Carollo, senior Jessica Lenhart and sophomore Claire Huang. Normally a breaststroker, Fang then won the 500 freestyle (5:49.32).
It was just the second time she swam the event.
"It's not my usual event, but it was nice I had a 10-second drop from when I swam it last year," Fang said. "Possibly a new event to add to the arsenal. We'll see."
Stevenson posted wins in 9 out of 12 events.
Junior Eva Holsen touched first in the 200 free (2:05.40) and 100 backstroke (1:06.02), while junior Kaily Chou won the 50 free (27.12). Huang also posted a victory in the 100 fly (1:02.68), and freshman Lucy Stevens won the 100 freestyle (58.01).
Carollo also joined forces with junior Sasha Kokhan, Chou and Song in winning the 200 free relay (1:44.14). Lenhart, Carollo, senior Mila Wawer and Song then put the finishing touches on the victory by winning the 400 free relay (3:47.97).
Mundelein is somewhat in a rebuilding mode. Casey Kellogg, the Mustangs' lone senior, turned in a nice evening. She took second in both the 50 free (27.75) and 200 free relay (1:44.61), where she teamed with sophomore Angela Kordik, freshman Angela Bowes and junior Molly Mishler.
Mishler and junior Abbie Lukas serve as co-captains.
"Casey has been a pleasant surprise," coach Rahul Sethna said after his Mustangs fell to 2-1." We have some terrific underclassmen. "We can always count on points in diving with Maggie (Franz) and sophomore Audrey Rehm leading the way. We're very young, but I think the girls are a little better than they think. It's good because you get to watch them develop as a team as well as individuals."
Franz, a two-time state qualifier, took top honors in the diving with 190.60 points, while Rehm was right behind in second (171.05).
Bowes posted victories in the 200 IM (2:18.67) and 100 breaststroke (1:13.09).
Sethna said to also keep an eye on fellow freshman Sarah Parduhn, who swam on a couple of relays and took third in the 500 freestyle (5:53.86).
"Our freshmen have done really well," Sethna said.