Girls swimming and diving: Lake Zurich's Dorshorst is golden in state 500 freestyle
So did Lake Zurich senior Olivia Dorshorst, with a smile, after her otherworldly performance in the 500-yard freestyle at Saturday's girls swimming and diving state meet at FMC Natatorium in Westmont.
"My plan? Just go out fast and race my best," said the matter-of-fact Dorshorst, who clocked a pool-record 4:47.63 in the grueling event and became the first Bear to capture state gold in program history.
"I knew it would hurt, but I also knew I'd feel pain for only five minutes."
Then she shrugged again, flashing a bigger smile.
LZ coach Jill Kragseth, meanwhile, had a tough time tamping down her enthusiasm after Dorshorst's historic feat.
"That was exciting, wasn't it? I'm certainly excited," she said. "Olivia was smooth and strong from the get-go. She's been calm all day; I first noticed her great demeanor in the 200 free (when the Illinois-bound Dorshorst touched fourth in 1:50.48). Being confident in your training, like she is, must have helped her relax."
A Barrington Swim Club member and LZ's sole state qualifier, Dorshorst battled Barrington seniors Lilian Reader and Emily Bucaro in the 500 free A-Finals heat. None other than Barrington junior Jenna Kerr -- another BSC member -- served as Dorshorst's lane counter.
Reader finished runner-up (4:51.5), and Bucaro took fifth (4:59.16).
The Bear's pair of top-four state finishes were worth 27 points, enough for LZ to place 15th in the team standings. New Trier cruised to the team championship with a 182-point showing, ahead of runners-up Barrington and Hinsdale Central (100 points apiece).
Stevenson emerged as the top Lake County crew at state, totaling 51 points (eighth place) behind a fifth-place effort in the 400 free relay (3:28.88) and Patriots junior Milena Busma's fifth-place 55.08 in the 100 butterfly.
Busma also swam the third leg of the 400 free quartet; senior Claudia Rzeznik, sophomore Hana Wienckowski and junior anchor Abby Collins joined her.
"Every meet this season we outswam (Stevenson's projected final result, based on seeds)," said Pats coach Art Kasemets, shod -- like his assistants and competitors -- in neon-green light-up sneakers. "I told our swimmers that today. Reminded them of that today. They're doing it again, out-swimming themselves. I'd asked them to do that, again.
"It's my most obedient team."
Wienckowski, Collins, Busma and Rzeznik sped to eighth place in the 200 free relay (1:35.66); Busma and Wienckowski swam the second half of the ninth-place 200 medley relay (1:45.75), after legs from sophomore Jennifer Chen and senior Katie Makarska; and Rzeznik took tenth in the 100 fly (56.13).
Libertyville received a strong seventh-place 1:35.53 from its 200 free relay of junior Sarah Wuh and sophomores Sofija Tijunelis, Georgia Kahler and Logan Howard. The B-Final time was faster than the slowest time in the A-Final (St. Charles North's 1:35.84).
The Wildcats' state result also doubled as a school-record time, once again. That same Libertyville relay had set a school record on each of the previous two Saturdays -- first at the North Suburban Conference meet and then at last weekend's Lake Forest sectional.
"Awesome," Wildcats coach Michael Cunningham said. "They got in there and raced. They were more comfortable today than they were (in Friday's preliminaries session). They arrived to have fun today.
"And they were fun to watch," he added.
Kahler took eighth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.64, which was swifter than her prelims time (1:04.07), and Tijunelis bettered her prelims time (56.93) in the 100 back to place 11th in 56.65.
Libertyville finished 18th (21 points) in the team standings.
Warren senior Grace Bevers capped her fine prep career with a fifth-place 56.04 in the 100 backstroke; the Blue Devil, who holds the school records in the 100 backstroke and 200 IM, had qualified for the A-Final with a fifth-best time of 56.08 on Friday.
Vernon Hills' lone state swimmer on Saturday, junior Isabella Ramos, finished 12th in the 200 IM (2:06.52). Ramos is the reigning Central Suburban League North champion in the 200 IM and in the 100 breaststroke.