Air-pocket: Fenwick's Cara Borkovec competes in the 500-yard freestyle during the Metro Catholic Aquatic Conference Meet on Saturday.J. GEIL/Staff Photographer

Coming off a third-place showing at the 2009 IHSA State Meet, coupled with a promising class of freshmen on deck this year, the Fenwick girls varsity swim team is unquestionably loaded with talent for the future.

The young Friars, who will start no seniors in the upcoming sectional competition, took another positive step in their development by finishing third at the Metro Catholic Aquatic Conference Meet on Saturday. Defending state champion Rosary took the title with 389 points, followed by Loyola (369), while Fenwick finished with 348 points.

Host Fenwick captured first place in both a varsity individual and relay event. Freshman Mimi Schneider (52.58 seconds) nipped Rosary’s Rachel Burke (52.73) in the 100-yard freestyle to win arguably the best race of the day. Fenwick sophomore Haley Wickham also swam well in the 100 free, scoring a time of 54.96 seconds for fifth place.

The Friars closed the meet in style by winning the 400-yard freestyle relay. Three freshmen, Cara Borkovec, Paulina Kaminski and Schneider, along with junior Maureen Barron, clocked in at 3:34.3.

“Maureen Barron and Mimi Schneider are great team leaders,” Fenwick coach Renee Miller said following the meet. “They have really embraced the ‘we over me’ attitude and that’s helping the entire team work together. We’re young and we are different from last year’s [team], but I think we have a good group of composed ladies working hard as a team.”

In other individual events, Schneider finished second in the 50-yard freestyle (24.32) and Barron fourth (25.09), while junior Veronica Gibson registered third in the 500-yard freestyle relay (5:14.65) and fourth in the 100-yard butterfly (1:00.58). Michelle Kalupski claimed a score of 352.30 for third place in diving.

Saturday’s conference meet capped off a solid regular season campaign for the Friars. Fenwick only dropped two dual conference meets to Rosary and Loyola. The Friars also placed third at Sandburg, fourth at Barrington, and sixth at the New Trier invites.

The Friars now turn their attention to their own sectional on Saturday, Oct. 13 (1 p.m.). Fenwick will welcome in 11 teams for the meet, including area rivals OPRF and Trinity.

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Marty Farmer

The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...