High School State Championships: Illinois Girls

EVANSTON, Illinois, November 18. OLIVIA Smoliga closed out her high school career by downing two national high school records and tried to clear out two national relay records with her Glenbrook South teammates to highlight action at the Illinois Girls High School Swimming and Diving Championships Nov. 16-17.

As was reported earlier on our website, Smoliga became the first female high school swimmer to go under 22 seconds in the 50 yard free with her 21.99. That took out Kara Lynn Joyce’s 2002 mark of 22.04, leading off her school’s 200 free relay. Rachel Bootsma’s 100 back record of 51.53 went by the boards when Smoliga cruised to a 51.43.

The Georgia-bound Smoliga combined with junior Bailey Moyniham, senior Niki Wells and sophomore Katie Wells for a 1:32.98 in the 200 free relay; and with Katie Wells, junior Kelly Cordes and Moynihan for a 3:24.50 in the 400 free relay. Both times fell just short of the national public school standards in both events.

Fenwick’s 200 medley relay of freshman Kierston Flary-Sepe, senior Haley Wickham and juniors Mimi Schneider and Colleen Barton cleared the state record the team set last year in prelims with their 1:41.87. Maggie Sheean, Wickham, Schneider and Maureen Barron set the prior mark of 1:42.50.

Gia Dalesandro, a Neuqua Valley senior, was the only other swimmer to grab two event victories. She posted times of 53.44 in the 100 fly and 2:02.53 in the 200 IM. Downers Grove North junior Gabby Sims, who placed second to Smoliga in the 100 back (54.02), finished first in the 100 free (49.57).

In the final individual event of the meet, seniors Evan Swenson (Loyola Academy) and Riley Hayward (New Trier) dueled to a 1:02.42-1:02.49 finish in the 100 breast. The diving competition was very tough, with the top three divers being separated by just 7.20 points–and several other divers’ scores were very close to the third-place total. Benet Academy senior Taylor Kramer came in first (414.25), followed by Fenwick senior Michelle Kalupski (410.35) and New Trier junior Juliette Corboy.

Two freshmen–Normal University’s Hannah Boyd and Barrington’s Kirsten Jacobsen–were able to nab an event title in their first high school championship season. Boyd cruised to a 1:49.05 in the 200 free, and Jacobsen went 500 yards in 4:50.53.

Swimmers with disabilities also competed at the state meet. Nina Nisley, a senior at Lake Forest, captured first in her division in the 50 free (35.22), 100 free (1:18.69) and 200 free (2:49.28). Alyssa Giamalas, a junior at Waubonsie Valley, picked up the same trio of victories in her classification (50 free, 43.63; 100 free, 1:30.03; 200 free, 3:05.76). Winners of the 100 breast were Phoebe Mejia, a junior at Glenbrook North (2:21.46) and Mary Kate Callahan, a Fenwick senior (2:35.90).