Girls swimming: Stevenson's depth prevails over Mundelein
There's only one thing to do when one of your all-state swimmers isn't in the pool.
"We're pushing harder than ever. We want to get back to state," said Stevenson junior Maddy O'Donnell. "We need to keep on building that team atmosphere because we have a lot of new swimmers."
No stranger to the state meet, O'Donnell is one of the Patriots' top swimmers that has assumed the leadership role, with senior Ashley Carollo out of the lineup until next week because of college visits this month.
O'Donnell is doing some damage in the pool, as evident by her performance on Thursday evening when the Patriots traveled to unbeaten Mundelein for North Suburban Conference dual action. Event winners were pretty even, but the depth was a little more prevalent as Stevenson swam to a 124-62 victory.
O'Donnell helped get Stevenson off to a fast start when she teamed with Elizabeth Cao, Lucy Stevens, and Jennifer Xiong to win the 200 medley relay in 1:53.54.
"That was a good race," added O'Donnell, who swam the third leg. "We're hitting the weights and doing a lot of cardio."
O'Donnell then touched first in the 100 butterfly (59.70) and later second in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.13).
Freshman Claudia Rzeznik has also been drawing plenty of attention, as evidenced by her victories in the 200 (2:00.92) and 500 freestyle (5:35.12) events.
Rzeznik then swam the third leg of the winning 400 free relay, where she paired with Xiong, Liu, and Marco to touch in 3:48.42.
Senior Lauren Maloney also picked up a victory after touching first in the 50 freestyle (26.28), while Marco touched first in the 100 freestyle (58.57).
Mundelein has been sparkling in the early part of the season and carried a 3-0 NSC record into the meet Thursday. And it was coming off a respectable fourth place effort at the Buffalo Grove Invite last weekend.
"We don't have that mainline 'stud' swimmer," said Mustangs' coach Rahul Sethna, whose girls fell to 3-1 in NSC duals and 4-1 overall.
"But we're swimming pretty fast at this point. We lost some key swimmers but we have three back that are helping lead the way."
Junior Angela Bowes is one of them. She won two events at Buffalo Grove and was victorious in the 100 backstroke (1:00.57) on Thursday.
She also swam the opening leg of the 200 medley relay where she paired with sophomore Adry Kasemets, and seniors Kate Hay and Angela Kordik to touch in 1:55.25.
Speaking of Kasemets, she won the 200 IM with a lifetime-best time of 2:14.10.
"The fun starts when we start tapering a few weeks before state (in mid-November)," said Kasemets, who also edged out O'Donnell to touch first in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.84).
"The goal right now is to race as hard as you can and go for it. We believe in ourselves and trust each other and times will take care of themselves."
Sophomores Jodi Lawson and Elle Mishler also finished 1-2, respectively, in diving.