Annika Wagner Eclipses State Record; Neuqua Valley Wins Illinois Girls Title

Annika Wagner Maine South Illinois
Photo Courtesy: Andrew Turner / Maine South HS Twitter

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The 2018 Illinois Girls Swimming and Diving Championships took place on Nov. 17 at the Burton Aquatic Center in Evanston, Ill.

Two relay wins and an individual champion led Naperville (185) to post a 16-point victory over three-time defending state champion Aurora Rosary (169). Maine South junior Annika Wagner set a new State record in the 200 IM, eclipsing the old mark by 0.14.

Click here for full results.

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Naperville Neuqua Valley – 185
2. Aurora Rosary – 169
3. New Trier – 125
4. St. Charles – 100
5. LaGrange – 97

The meet began as St. Charles’ Megan ArmstrongRachel Ponte, Mallory Jump and Caitlin Suda won the opening 4×50 medley relay in 1:41.95, about two-tenths ahead of runner-up Aurora Rosary (1:42.12) and only three-tenths off the State record. Staples rounded out the top three in 1:43.39.

Glen Ellyn’s Kate Morris cruised to first in the 200 free for the win as the only swimmer in the field under the 1:50 mark,  doing so in a swift 1:49.68. Barrington’s Bridget O’Leary who was second in 1:50.12 and Planfield’s Jessica Davis took third in 1:50.42.

Wagner found herself with an individual gold in the 200 IM, getting her hand to the wall over a second faster than anyone else in 2:00.13. Her time eclipsed the State mark of 2:00.27 set by Ema Rajic in 2014. Aurora Rosary’s Sydney VanOvermeiren was second in 2:01.49 and LaGrange’s Callahan Dunn wound up third in 2:02.41.

Oswego East’s Grace Cooper sprinted her way to a 50 free gold medal, splashing and dashing her way to a final time of 22.36. Aurora Metea Valley’s McKenna Stone also cleared 23 seconds with a runner-up finish in 22.85 and Aurora Rosary’s Athena Ye took third in 23.08.

Evanston’s Lucy Hogan dove to first on the 1-meter board, posting a final score of 450.90 for first place. Vernon Hills’ Allison Landis posted a score of 418.10 for second while New Trier’s Katie Lipsey finished third with 415.50 points.

Not too long after taking third in the 50 free, Ye grabbed an individual gold in the 100 fly, where she flew to first place with a time of 54.05. 4×50 medley relay champion Jump finished second in 54.44 as Lindsey Merk of Lockport placed third in 55.24.

Cooper added a victory in the 100 free to match her 50 free gold from earlier. The junior won by just over a tenth, racing to the wall in 49.60. Also under the 50-second barrier was Stone who took second in 49.75. New Trier freshman Carly Novelline finished third in 50.41.

Rachel Stege of Naperville led the charge of four sub-5:00 swimmers in the 500 free, stopping the clock in 4:47.20 for a one-second victory over runner-up Wanger (4:48.53). Maggie Graves of Barrington rounded out the podium in 4:52.60 for third.

Stege then joined Megan Ciezczak, Kristen Stege and Tiffanie Ruan to give Naperville a win in the 4×50 free relay with a combined time of 1:33.94. Aurora Metea Valley was a bit behind in 1:34.28 for the silver while Aurora Rosary grabbed the bronze in 1:37.20.

After leading off St. Charles’ victorious medley relay, Armstrong found herself on top of the podium yet again after winning the 100 back by over half a second in 55.26. The runner-up spot went to Lake Zurich’s Sophia Goushchina in 55.72 while Lincolnshire’s Ashley Carollo raced to third in 55.72.

New Trier rookie Kaelyn Gridley was the 100 breast champion, getting her hands to the wall first in 1:02.68 for the win. Naperville’s Maxine Parkinson swam to second in 1:03.43 while Gridley’s teammate Kasey Venn stopped the clock in 1:03.61 for third.

Naperville secured their team title as the quartet of K. Stege, Parkinson, R. Stege and Ruan won the 4×100 free relay in 3:24.46. Aurora Metea Valley powered home to second in 3:26.41, only a hundredth ahead of third-place finishers New Trier (3:26.42).

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Nancy Hopf Sintes
5 years ago

Which Naperville school, there are 5 of them.

Wendy Wolken Ruhde
5 years ago

Nancy Hopf Sintes Neuqua Valley

Thomas A. Small
5 years ago


Jeff Sell
Jeff Sell
5 years ago

Neuqua Valley H.S. (Naperville) was the winner.

Patricia Harwood
5 years ago


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