ST.CHARLES – In addition to winning the IHSA St. Charles North Sectional on Saturday, the St. Charles East girls swimming team qualified swimmers in every event for next weekend's state meet at Evanston.
The Saints won the first three races – the 200 yard medley relay, 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley – to take an early lead and never relinquished the top spot throughout the meet.
East, which finished first or second in all the swimming events, finished with 315 points. Host North came in second with 249 points.
"We dove well and we swam well," East coach Joe Cabel said. "The kids did a great job.”
Both St. Charles schools qualified at-large divers after each of the statewide sectionals scores were accounted for. Jacquelyn Blondin will represent East, while Jordyn Paulsen is state-bound for North.
North, which coach Rob Rooney said was in a “rebuilding” year, qualified swimmers in five events.
“Every one of the kids swam lights out today. We walked in here with a lot of freshmen," Rooney said. "They responded well. Now we've got to go teach them what it’s like go to the state meet next week."
Nine Saints swimmers will travel to the state meet. Shea Hoyt, Izzie Bindseil, Nicole Chapko and Mary Snyder all qualified for four events.
“I'm really proud of my team, how we qualified someone in every single [swimming] event,” said Hoyt. “It’s going to be really fun next weekend.”
The Saints’ opening string of first-place finishes ended with the 50 freestyle. East took its first second-place medal as Marisa Barton of Crystal Lake Central won the race by setting a new pool record with a time of 23.24 seconds.
East also had to settle for second in the 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle and the 500 freestyle.
“We got off to a huge start with that 200 medley relay and the 200 free,” Cabel said. “It got a little tiring in the middle.”
Although North’s Hannah Zimmer was not in the top heat, she won the 100 freestyle.
Teammate Chloe Tykal took top honors in the grueling 500 freestyle.
“I was really hoping to [qualify] this year because last year I was really close and I didn’t make [state],” Tykal said. “I just really want to try and get the cut this year. I was pretty determined to do that.”
Tykal just missed qualifying for the 200 IM by a hundredth of a second. She felt that made her more determined to win the 500 freestyle.
The Saints ended the meet by winning three of the last four events, the 200 freestyle relay, the 100 breaststroke and the 400 freestyle relay.
“After the 500, we started coming back again,” Cabel sad. “It seemed like we hit our stride more toward the end of the meet than the beginning.”
Hoyt and Chapko tied for first in the 100 breaststroke.
“When I first finished at the wall I looked up and I didn’t realize that we tied,” Hoyt said. “We were both surprised."
Saints Kate Nagler, Jamie Cranfill, Stephanie Gavin, Lucy Johnson and Kimmie Scott also qualified for state.
Serena Allendorfer, Kristen Kowaleski, Loriel Hutchinson, Emily Ponte, Hannah Gursky and Monica Guyette will be swimming at state for North.
Metea Valley Sectional: At Aurora, Rosary qualified each of its three relays for next weekend's state meet along with seven individual entries.
Individuals include: Anne Gosselin (200 IM, 100 backstroke); Katie Rentz (100 butterfly, 100 breaststroke); Emma Kusczynski (100 free); Erin Hart (100 free) and Kate Canfield (100 backstroke).
Rosary finished seventh in the team standings.