Girls swimming and diving: Hersey shows its mettle
The Hersey girls swim team showed just how dominate it can be.
Hosting Mid-Suburban League rival Fremd at Prospect High School Thursday, the Huskies won 10 of 12 events in a 130-59 win over the Vikings.
"We're not as deep as Hersey," said Fremd coach Andrew Kittrell. "They are a fun team to swim against. It was good competition for us to go against. It will be interesting to see how we develop."
For now, Hersey is ranked as one of the top teams in the state. Two good reasons are sophomore Mollie Lumsden and highly-regarded freshman Maggie Papanicholas.
Lumsden anchored the final event, the 400-yard relay as the Huskies' A and B teams defeated Fremd.
"I had a good feeling when I dove in as the anchor, said Lumsden. "My teammates were really behind me and I had to finish strong for my team. We were really excited for this meet. Last year finished better than I expected. Now, we want to just keep improving."
The Huskies are going for their fifth straight Mid-Suburban East title, and their ninth in the last 11 years. Hersey was the runner-up in the MSL last season. Hersey was ranked ninth last season in the NISCA rankings.
"We just have so much depth this year," said Huskies coach Dick Mortensen. "These girls really compete in practice against each other. Sometimes the meets are easier than the practices. We have a competitive edge."
Papanicholas, who admitted that at the age of 9 she was a 'nervous wreck' about swimming, got over it.
"You build confidence in yourself and it comes from the heart," said Papanicholas. "It's a big jump from eighth grade to swimming varsity. I improved myself by winning a championship on my club team over the summer. This team has really helped my techniques to make myself better. I give a lot of credit to my teammates."
Papanicholas won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:03.12 over teammate Claire Hackmann. She also won the 200-yard individual medley in a stunning 2:12.74 over Fremd's Adrianna Buzuloiu, who finished with a 2:22.68.
Papanicholas and Lumsden helped bring home the 200-yard medley relay along with Brooke Martin and Ella Salm in a 1:49.77 mark.
Fremd top swimmer Sophia Kuehn did herself proud winning the 200 freestyle in 1:56.70 to Lumsden's 1:57.67. Kuehn also edged Lumsden in the 100 backstroke with a 58.14 to 59.67.
Salm won the 50 freestyle with a 25.82 mark. Martin captured the 100 butterfly in a snappy 1:01.59 over teammate Emilia Rykowski. Natalia Plewa and Ashley Hintz came in 1-2 in the 100-yard freestyle.
Shannon Blumenfeld won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:31.13. Teammates Olivia Klancnik and Anna Kreie finished second and third.
Martin, Blumenfeld, Ashley Oiler, and Claire Fink beat Fremd's team by one second in the 200-yard free relay in a time of 1:45.57.
In the diving competition Allyson Blumenfeld finished with an outstanding 247.65 over teammate Amelie Smithson's 195.20. Fremd's Kyllie Booker finished third with a 177.80 score.
"This team is so driven," said Mortensen. "It's not something that I can coach. It all comes from within this team."