The Fenwick girls swim team made school history on Saturday when the Friars swam to third place at the IHSA State Swim Meet held at New Trier High School in Winnetka. The finish marked the first time the girls swim program has brought home a state trophy.
Notre Dame-bound Kelly Ryan bolstered the effort by becoming the first Friar to win an event at the state meet. The senior won the 100-yard backstroke in 55.42 seconds.
“It’s just so very exciting and we’re so proud of the team,” said head coach Renee Miller. “They set a goal in the beginning of the year and they stuck with it.”
The Friars were hovering around the top 10 going into Friday’s prelims, but cut the deficit to fourth by Saturday’s finals. Ryan’s impressive swim in the backstroke and her fifth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle (1:52.42), along with her efforts in two relay events, helped push the Friars into third with 96 points. Rosary (177) won the title for the fourth straight year, while New Trier (129) finished second.
Fenwick’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Stephanie Ovalle, Casey Dollard, Maureen Barron and Ryan finished third overall in 1:36.67. The same group also took third in the 400-yard freestyle with a time of 3:30.00.
Dollard also finished 11th in the 100-yard backstroke (:58.73) and Barron 11th in the 50-yard freestyle (:24.20).
Mary Kate Campbell, who is headed to Northwestern, finished fourth in the diving event with a 429.95.
Sophomore Veronica Gibson, who was at state a year ago when the Friars finished ninth overall, placed 10th in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 58.10 seconds.
“This was all about the team,” said Miller. “Everyone played a part in getting this trophy.”