Girls swimming: Stevenson wins 4th straight NSC title
With sectionals fast approaching next weekend, it wasn't surprising to see times dropping like crazy at the North Suburban Conference girls swimming meet hosted by Stevenson on Saturday afternoon.
The host Patriots made it four conference titles in a row after winning eight events to amass 327.5 points. Lake Forest was second (206.5), Mundelein third (173), Libertyville fourth (172) and Warren (143) fifth. Mundelein got off to a great start on Friday when 1-meter diving took place.
The Mustangs' Elle Mishler took the conference title, edging out defending conference diving champ Shreeya Sinha of Stevenson, 352.00 to 351.35.
"This is really awesome. I wasn't expecting this," said Mishler, who owns Mundelein's pool records in both 6-dive and 11-dive scores.
"This year I've been more into it and my attitude has been better. It's cool to see my name up there twice, though."
Meanwhile, Sinha was happy with second despite missing most of the fall with back issues she incurred while training.
"It was a little nerve-racking coming back (a couple of weeks ago) but I am learning to trust the process and my training. I missed state by a point last year, so that's obviously the main goal."
Once the teams hit the water on Saturday, Stevenson was off and running after the 200 medley relay of Elizabeth Cao, Jessica Nyborg, Milena Busma, and Alex Eastmond touched first in a state cut time of 1:47.47
Eastmond was a multiple event winner on the day, also taking the 200 IM in a state cut time of 2:07.47. That was followed by a title in the 100 backstroke, where she touched in state cut time of 57.79. Warren's Grace Bevers (59.48) was second behind Eastmond, just missing the state cut time (58.57).
"This is a good tuneup for our swimmers going on to sectionals next weekend," said Blue Devils head coach Chris Bertana. "The conference meet is a good gauge."
The Stevenson pair of Busma (57.14) and Maddy O'Donnell (57.72) also swam state cut times in finishing 1-2, respectively, in the 100 butterfly.
Nyborg also won the 100 freestyle after finishing right at the state cut time of 52.90.
The Mustangs' Adry Kasemets won the 100 breaststroke in a state cut time of 1:05.48.
Lake Forest also had a couple of conference champions. Mary Grace King blistered the field after swimming a state cut time of 1:54.94 in winning the 200 freestyle.
King then went on to win the 500 freestyle in 5:15.14, while Ashley Updike shared a conference title with Stevenson's Lucy Stevens after both swam 24.94 seconds to win the 50 freestyle.
Stevenson also finished 1-2 in the 200 free relay with both hitting the state cut time of 1:38.11. The quartet of Isabelle Gattone, O'Donnell, Cao, and Rzeznik (1:37.93) edged out teammates Eastmond, Katherine Makarska, Stevens, and Abigail Collins (1:38.10).
In the final event of the afternoon, Camila Maya, Nyborg, Rzeznik, and Stevens won the 400 free relay (3:34.94) after touching first just under the state cut time of 3:35.05.
The NSC also handed out sportsmanship awards to one swimmer from each school. Recipients included Abby Rich, Lake Forest; Sarah Bennett, Libertyville; Mackenzie Strong, Mundelein; Abigail Li, Stevenson; Trinity Springer, Warren; Candi Albarran, Waukegan; and Meghan Garris, Zion-Benton.
Stevenson and Lake Forest will host sectionals next Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.