Glorious day in the pool for New Trier
Too bad girls swimming ended with sectional competitions this year. New Trier again was poised to have fared very well at state.
Led by returning all-state swimmers senior Greta Pelzek and junior Kaelyn Gridley, on Oct. 24 the Trevians won the Glenbrook South sectional with their 205 points outdistancing runner-up Evanston's 168.
Glenbrook North and junior Nya Robinson placed fourth, Loyola fifth and Glenbrook South seventh.
Based on team predictions by Evanston swim coach Kevin Auger, who keeps track of Illinois prep swimming on wildkitaquatics.com, were there to be a state meet, New Trier would have placed third behind defending champion Neuqua Valley and St. Charles North. New Trier's girls placed second in 2019.
Gridley, a seven-time all-state swimmer with 100-yard breaststroke titles in 2018 and 2019, won the 100 breast at Glenbrook South in a pool-record 1 minute, 1.45 seconds, the fastest time recorded at any of the state's 16 sectionals.
That gives the Duke commit, who joined Pelzek last year to win the 200 medley relay, three of the fastest six times in state history in the 100 breast according to the Illinois High School Association. Her time of 1:00.89 from 2019 IHSA preliminaries is No. 2 on that board.
Gridley place third in the 200 individual medley, won by Pelzek at 2:03.66.
Pelzek, who will swim at South Carolina, also won the 100 butterfly in what New Trier athletics said was a pool-record 55.01 seconds. She added the Glenbrook South 100 backstroke title in 56.02 to earn sectional athlete of the meet, New Trier athletics reported on Twitter.
Going one-two with Glenbrook South sophomore Jacki Stadler, New Trier junior Sydney Holder won the diving competition. Her 486.50 points were the third among all state sectional divers, with Stadler's 465.25 earning seventh.
New Trier's Leslie Wendel and Charlize Escasa also swam what would have been state-qualifying times in the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke, respectively.
Glenbrook North's Robinson placed third in three different events, each under state-qualifying time: the 200 freestyle (1:54.59), 50 free (24.29) and 100 free (52.69).