The Evanston Township High School girls’ swimming team finished the regular season on a positive note with a successful performance in the Central Suburban League Conference meet on Nov. 6 in Evanston. The Wildkits finished in third place with 299 points, behind Glenbrook South (310) and New Trier (515).
“Conference generally went well. Everyone who was fully tapered swam fast and that was really exciting to see all their work pay off,” said junior Amanda Weidner. “We were really close to getting second and our coaches initially thought we were going to lose by 80 or something to GBS, so to get third by only 10 points or so was good.”
On Nov. 13, the Kits traveled to Glenview to participate in the Glenbrook South Sectional for a chance to swim in the State meet. The Kits finished in fourth place with 172 points, with Conference rival New Trier winning the meet with 310 points.
In that meet, the Kits were led by Weidner, who finished seventh in the 50-yard freestyle and fourth in the 100-yard freestyle to earn a spot in the State meet. Other qualifiers for the Kits were senior Sarah Thompson (200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle), sophomore Madeline Savage (200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle) and sophomore Susannah Mulhern (100-yard butterfly).
In addition, the Kits’ 200 and 400-yard freestyle relay teams qualified for the State meet with each team finishing third at Sectionals. The 200-yard relay team was made up of Thompson, Savage, Weidner and junior Rita Behles. The 400-yard relay team consisted of Mulhern, Weidner, Savage and Thompson.
“Sectionals went really well for everyone. I think we had season bests across the board and most everyone who was vying to make State did,” said Weidner. “Once the first few races were over and a lot of the nerves were gone, it was just really fun to get up and race and see how fast we could go.”
On Nov. 19-20, the Kits swam in the State meet, which was held in Evanston, giving the Kits home-pool advantage. “It helped having State in our home pool because that is where we have practiced for the past three months and we know the walls better than anyone,” said Weidner.
At State, the Kits took 14th scoring 29 points, with New Trier winning the title with 198.5 points. Leading the way for the Kits was Thompson. In the preliminaries, where the top six swimmers qualify for the finals and top 12 qualify for consolation finals, she finished first in the 200-yard freestyle. The next day she took second in the finals. In the 500-yard freestyle, she took fourth in the preliminaries and third in the finals.
In the preliminaries, the other Kits’ swimmers that competed included Savage finishing 40th in the 200-yard freestyle and 37th in the 500-yard freestyle. Weidner finished 23rd in the 50-yard freestyle and 37th in the 100-yard freestyle. In the 100-yard butterfly, Mulhern took 45th. The 400-yard freestyle relay team finished 11th in the finals after just making the cut in the preliminaries, finishing 12th.
With their 14th place finish, this marks the ninth straight year the Kits have been in the top 20 in State.