Girls swimming: Barrington bears down on MSL
Color the rest of the Mid-Suburban League girls swimming and diving teams green -- with envy.
"It was a good day to be wearing red," said Barrington coach Jim Bart.
Yes. Possibly the best-ever day for that.
Barrington won all the swimming events Saturday in a tour de force performance in the final conference meet for Bart, as he will retire from coaching after this season and teaching at the end of the school year.
The Fillies amassed 336 points, leading to one final celebratory dunking for Bart in the last meet in his home pool as Barrington won the league for the third straight year. Fremd (232) topped Hersey (197) for third-place honors, and Prospect (133), Conant (124) and Palatine (110) took places 4-5-6.
"Overall, just a really solid day for our kids," said Bart. "Our relays weren't real sharp, but individually -- terrific. A whole lot of season-bests and a bunch of lifetime bests, too."
Leading the way were three double-winners: Junior Maggie Emary (200 IM, 100 back), freshman Becca Galovich (200 free, 500 free) and sophomore Bridget O'Leary (50 free, 100 free). Junior Emma Graves won the 100 fly, and sophomore Ally Penrod won the 100 breaststroke.
Emary won for the second straight year in the IM and also came up with a team-record effort in the backstroke (57.43). In the latter race, she took full advantage of familiarity with her surroundings.
"I saw my split at the 50," said Emary, referring to in-progress time on the scoreboard at the halfway point, "and I knew I had to bring it home fast. So from there it was just putting everything I had left into it -- kicking hard, pulling hard."
In addition to their wins, the Fillies had runner-up finishes in the 200 free (Gracie Roper), the 50 free (Penrod), the 500 free (Elisabeth Graves), the 100 back (Mia Chen) and the 100 breaststroke (Olivia Gawronski).
The Penrod-Gawronski 1-2 came about mainly because Gawronski delivered a lifetime best by more than two seconds.
"I'm so happy for her, because she works so hard," said Penrod. "This team, we're having so much fun together."
Fremd was steady throughout the meet, getting second-place finishes in all of the relays and plenty of top-six individual placements. Junior Emma Bolger was third in the 200 free and second in the 100 free; freshman Sophia Kuehn was fourth in the IM and third in the 100 back. Other medal-winners included senior Emily Kini (100 free), junior Rebecca Ballo (200 IM, 100 breast), sophomore Lauren Savage (50 free) and junior Marie Grzybek, who took big time drops in both the 200 and 500 frees.
Hersey's day got started with a bang as junior Madeline Bovino came up with a winning performance in diving. Her 403.10 was well out in front, with Prospect sophomore Madison Malone in second (358.45) and Elk Grove sophomore Anna Sprenger in third (357.45) -- just ahead of Prospect's Meghan Schmit (357.10), Barrington's Nicole Barcroft (352.70), and Hersey's Allie Heidrich (352.35).
"That was a very nice way to get things going for us," said Hersey coach Dick Mortensen.
With most of the Huskies' lineup questions for the sectional already settled, Hersey's swimmers trained hard in the days prior to the conference meet. That made it hard to measure up against some swimmers whom were using the conference meet as their final performance of the season.
"I told my girls, 'If you take a look at the girl next to you and she's wearing a tech suit, there's a good chance she's tapered,' " he said. "For us, the goals for this meet are to race hard and try to hit your seed time. Anything else, I'm not worried about."
Hersey senior Jenny Lutz excelled, grabbing a third-place finish in the 100 fly and a fourth in the 100 back. And Mortensen applauded the courage of freshman Claire Fink, who competed in three consecutive races -- the 100 free (where she placed fifth), followed by the 500 free and the 200 free relay.
Palatine got top-six finishes from both junior Ellis Nelson (200 IM, 100 fly) and freshman Jane Smith (200, 500 free). And the Pirates' 400 free relay of Smith, Megan Obernesser, Katelyn Kurrie and Nelson finished third in 3:52.09.
Conant junior Aly Wooley was a close third in the 50 free (25.01) and took sixth in the 100 free, and senior teammate Lea Cejvan grabbed fifth place in the 100 breast (1:10.02).
Schaumburg got a pair of second-place efforts from freshman standout Hana Mollin, in the 200 IM and 100 fly.
Bright spots for Prospect included the 100 backstroke, where senior Megan Pfeiffer and junior Katie Kenny were fifth and sixth, respectively. And senior Gracie Dix had a season-best in the 50 free, taking fifth in 25.41.
Buffalo Grove's top individual finishes came in the 500 free, where teammates Alexis Jedryka and Emily Schulstad cracked the top six. Schulstad also took sixth in the 200 free.
Hoffman Estates' Casey Rawlings had a season-best by almost two seconds to grab sixth place in the 100 breaststroke, and the Hawks also got a medal-winning effort from their 200 free relay.
One final measure of Barrington's dominance this season?
All the swimming events held at the three levels of the conference meet -- frosh/soph, junior varsity and varsity -- had a Fillie finish first.