Glassy-eyed: Fenwick's Mimi Schneider swims the anchor leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay during Saturday's Oak Park Sectional.Courtesy JOHN T. BRENNAN

Fenwick scored big at the Oak Park Swimming and Diving Sectional held in its own pool on Saturday. The Friars, who set some pool and team records, came away with the program’s ninth sectional title by garnering 351 points and advancing 11 individuals to next weekend’s IHSA State Meet.

Mimi Schneider set a new pool and team record in the 100 freestyle with a time of 51.70 seconds. The freshman also helped Haley Wickham, Veronica Gibson and Maureen Barron take first in the 200 medley relay (1:48.44, team record). She also contributed to Fenwick’s wins in both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

The sectional turned out to be a showcase of young talent as several freshmen advanced to state. OPRF freshman Alana Dassoff won the 200 freestyle (1:55.73), while Fenwick freshman Grace Gibbons (1:56.19) and Cara Borkovec (1:56.29) also advanced to state in the event. Freshman Paulina Kaminski won the 200 individual medley (2:10.30) for the Friars, and freshman Maggie Sheehan took first in the 100 backstroke (1:00.35). Freshman Colleen Barron (24.83) qualified for state by finishing second in the 50 freestyle, behind junior Maureen Barron (24.07).

“The girls worked very hard all season, encouraging each other through the hard practices and they are seeing it pay off,” said Fenwick head coach Renee Miller, who was named the Illinois Swim Association’s Co-coach of the Year along with OPRF’s Clyde Lundgren. “We’re really looking forward to the state meet.”

OPRF finished second at the sectional with 281 points. Dassoff also qualified for the 100 freestyle by placing third in 53.76 seconds. Claire Kissinger qualified for the state meet in the diving event.

The IHSA State Meet begins Friday at Evanston Township High School.

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...