Today and tomorrow, girls swimming will be competing for a shot at first place in the 200 medley relay.
“The girls usually come together at the right time,” said coach Kevin Auger. “I expect them to do well.
Last year, the medley relay team of Paige Haden, Ana Woods, Iana Wolff and Honore Collins took home third place at the state meet here in Evanston. Today, this group of seniors will be focused on nothing less than a first place finish to top off their high school careers.
“We swam faster last week (at sectionals) than our time from state finals so it will be really cool to see how far we can take this relay this weekend,” said Haden.
These girls have been putting up big time performances as of late. They won varsity conference for the first time since 1989, only their third victory ever. At this meet, 26 of the 27 swims were season best times.
This past weekend, the team took third place at IHSA Sectionals hosted at Glenbrook North. Wins for the Kits included the medley relay and Iana Wolff in the 100 butterfly.
The state meet is being hosted at New Trier, and Auger has mixed feelings about these circumstances.
“I like our pool better. I like the fact that we dive into the deep end rather than the shallow end,” said Auger. “We also have a second pool so in between races you can warm up and cool down.”
From a fan’s point of view, ETHS doesn’t have pillars blocking the some viewpoints from the stands, while New Trier does. Evanston’s natatorium can also accommodate up to 1500 spectators. On the bright side, Auger can focus on his swimmers rather than the whole meet when it is not hosted at home.
The biggest competitors for individual events at this years meet are Paige Haden in the 100 backstroke, Ana Woods in the 100 breaststroke, and Iana Wolff in the 100 butterfly. Other swimmers to watch for include Collins and junior Mary Claire D’Arrigo in the 50 freestyle. Seniors Olivia Everhart and Maddy Managlia will make first-time individual appearances in the 100 breaststroke and 100 backstroke, respectively. The 200 and 400 free relays also qualified.
“It’ll be the end of an era for these girls. I hope they go out with a bang,” said Auger.