Despite being blown out 132-54 by the top ranked team in the state, New Trier, to cap off the final dual meet of the season Oct. 22, Head Coach Kevin Auger wasn’t too concerned with his team’s performance. After all, the team finished with a 6-3 record.
“I mean, there’s no bounce back from that. We went up against the number one team in the state and we swam the way we did. We swam a lot of our best times, and did our best,” Auger said. “Honestly, we’re going to try and get our best times and we’ll head in the right direction and improve as we always do. [We’ll] see where that lands us.”
That shake-it-off attitude proved crucial, as the Kits went on to take third place at the Central Suburban League (CSL) South Conference Championship. The Wildkits’ 259 points put them behind only New Trier and Glenbrook North, both teams that they had lost to during the regular season.
That day, Emory commit Lily Consiglio secured the first place championship in the 100-yard butterfly, swimming the four lengths of the pool in an astonishingly fast 56.53 seconds, only a mere 0.37 seconds off the all-time CSL South division record. Other individual highlights from the meet included senior and Brandeis commit Jenna Wild earning a season best time in the 200-yard freestyle, 1:57.06, good for second overall, and fellow senior Cate Seward a lifetime best in the 200-yard individual medley, nabbing fourth in 2:14.25.
Sophomore and varsity swimmer Elise Pollack praises the seniors for being role models to the underclassmen on varsity.
“They’ve been amazing leaders. They cheer us nonstop, and it’s really sad they’ll be leaving next year but they’ve left us in a good place to continue their legacy,” says Pollack.
Fellow sophomore Monroe Stroth vocalizes how strong the team’s energy has been.
“The environment has been super motivating. We’ve been using our hard work that we’ve put into everything for the past couple months, and it’s great to see everyone pumping each other up. The energy is high,” says Stroth.
In turn, the Kits were able to turn this enthusiasm into a fourth place finish at Sectionals, behind New Trier, Glenbrook North and Loyola. That day, the aforementioned Wild, Seward, Pollack and Stroth as well as sophomore Abby Romisher all swam personal bests.
While Consiglio’s sectional swim of 57.05 in the 100-yard butterfly qualified her for state, had she matched the 56.53 she paced at Conference, she would’ve been crowned sectional champion. Additionally, in somewhat of a shocker, Consiglio did not qualify for state in the 50-yard freestyle, despite making the cut as a freshman, sophomore and junior. Her 24.83 put her about half a second away from the qualifying standard.
In the state preliminaries on Nov. 12, Consiglio’s 56.61 put her 14th overall, two places away from finalizing.