Stadler, New Trier, in good position entering girls state swimming finals
Returning Glenbrook South all-state diver Jacki Stadler heads the field entering the girls swimming state finals, while New Trier has a good shot at defending its state title.
Stadler, a senior, won the sectional in the comfortable surroundings of the Glenbrook South pool, scoring 525.05 points, a pool record, and more than 54 points higher than runner-up Riley McGrath of Resurrection.
Stadler placed fourth last year at the state meet, also at FMC Natatorium in Westmont, which will host the 2022 finals this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11-12.
The top returner from last year's finals, Stadler was followed in the state's top sectional scores by last season's fifth-place finisher, fellow senior Marnie Howard of Normal Community West, who scored 513.90 points in her home facility.
Former Deerfield diver Christina Loukas, an Olympian, holds the state record at 507.55 points in 2003.
Glenbrook South junior Sydney Hall is seeded 15th in diving, right behind New Trier junior Lila Novelline. Titans senior Lauren Vong is seeded 22nd in the 100-yard butterfly.
The fastest six finalists in individual and relay swimming events are first-team all-state; the second six are second-team.
New Trier, which won its 15th girls swimming and diving state title last season and placed second in 2019 (Illinois High School Association finals were not held in 2020) led all sectional team scores with 343 points at Glenbrook South on Nov. 5.
Evanston head coach Kevin Auger, who documents girls and boys swimming at wildkitaquatics.com, has the Trevians fourth this season in power ratings behind Hinsdale Central, St. Ignatius and Rosary. Each of those schools won their respective sectionals, with St. Ignatius scoring 335 points.
New Trier will enter the Olympic-caliber Westmont pool with three top seeds: sophomore Tierney Lenahan in the 100-yard freestyle (50.86 seconds), senior Charlize Escasa in the 100 breaststroke (1 minute, 2.21 seconds) and the 200 medley relay team (1:42.65) of Lenahan, Escasa, sophomore Zara Bolton and junior Megan Marquardt.
Escasa anchored the Trevians' foursome that won the 2021 medley in 1:39.65. Bolton is the seventh seed in the 100 butterfly (56.36).
Tierney also is seeded second in the 100 backstroke at 55.32 -- No. 3 is Loyola sophomore Maria Cheng (56.30) -- while New Trier senior Maggie Papanicholas is No. 2 in the 100 breast at 1:02.50. Sophomore Olivia Safarikova is seeded fifth in the 200 freestyle (1:52.41).
The Trevians look to reach the finals in the 200 freestyle relay with the winning sectional lineup of Marquardt, sophomore Marin Shimkus, Escasa and Safarikova having swum a 1:35.45, seeded sixth at state.
Glenbrook North is represented by senior Vici Grzesiuk (57.69) and junior Rachel Kravtsov (58.29), seeded 19th and 25th, respectively, in the 100 backstroke, the deepest event at the Glenbrook South sectional outside of diving.
Deerfield junior Annika Parkhe is a second seed in two events: the 200 freestyle (1:49.14) and the 100 butterfly (54.43). The 200 medley relay of senior Carmen Ulizio, sophomore Erika Ilkiu, Parkhe and junior Isabella Wilhelm are seeded No. 3 after recording a time of 1:43.20 at the Stevenson sectional.
A different combination of the same four girls is seeded No. 2 in the 200 freestyle relay (1:34.55). Wilhelm is the No. 5 seed in the 100 freestyle (51.73).