Girls swimming and diving: Barrington champ at Lake County meet

 
By John Phelps
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/28/2019 5:37 PM

Girls swimming and diving teams got a good taste of what to expect at sectionals in November when the Lake County meet commenced at Libertyville on Saturday afternoon.

And Barrington made sure it kept a stranglehold on its county championship when it swam away with 332 points in the 10-team field.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Stevenson finished second (296), followed by Vernon Hills (209), Lake Forest (138) and Warren (109).

"We're pretty tired and swimming heavy today," said Fillies coach Alex Mikolajewski, whose team won seven out of 12 events on the day.

"But these girls are competitive as heck and it's always good to represent and try and stand out in the county."

Sophomore and returning state qualifier Emily Bucaro had a nice afternoon, including swimming a personal-best 1:54.24 in winning the 200-yard freestyle.

"It's been a hard week of training but we always find a way to push through," she said. "We just wanted to do our absolute best in keeping the county title at Barrington."

Bucaro was also the hammer on two winning relays.

In the 200 free relay, she teamed with Julie Vega, Lilian Reader, and Alyssa Schwengel to touch in 1:39.14. Then, in the 400 relay, Bucaro swam anchor when she joined Becca Galovich, Lauren Holman, and Jenna Kerr to finish in 3:37.66.

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"I've been working on my turns because lately I've noticed people catching me (on the turns)," added Bucaro.

In the opening event of the day, the 200 medley relay, Barrington started things off when the quartet of Emma Prtichett, Vega, Reader, and Schwengel touched first in 1:48.79.

Reader also won the 200 IM in 2:08.13 and the 100 butterfly (57.53), while Schwengel also won the 50 freestyle (24.52).

Vernon Hills had two county champions as Ally Landis won the 1-meter diving (433.40) and Claudia Yoon the 100 backstroke (58.90).

"This meet is always a great experience for us," said Cougars coach A.J. Block, whose team finished third for the second straight year.

"They're coming from all directions but anytime you have good competition this gives us an idea of who's in the sectional."

Lake Forest had a county champion as freshman Mary Grace King touched first in 5:03.51, while Lake Forest Academy's Hannah Liu was first in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.25).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The meet was actually hosted by Vernon Hills, but the Cougars' pool was under maintenance.

"We really appreciate Libertyville letting us use their facility," said Block. "It's absolutely beautiful."

The new facility is 38,000-square feet and features eight 50-meter lanes, a warm up pool, locker rooms, and a spectator area.

"They did a really nice job," said Libertyville coach Mike Cunningham, who served on the original planning committee. "And to be one of the first ones to use the pool was pretty cool. Many thanks to the district for letting us do this."

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