The OPRF girls swim team has something this season that they didn’t have last season: A home.
The Huskies were without a home pool last year due to a delay in construction to the school’s swimming facilities, but all is well this season.
“It’s nice not having to worry about where we’re going to swim every day,” said head coach Clyde Lundgren, who boasts 49 swimmers and four divers throughout the program this season.
Of those back to break in the new digs include Alanna Dassoff, who as a freshman last season was OPRF’s lone swimmer to qualify for state, and nine other sectional qualifiers.
Dassoff is a freestyler and backstroker. She placed third in the 100 free last season at sectionals with a time of 53.76 seconds. Along with junior Miranda Tranmer and Hannah Connell, also sectional qualifiers back this season, Dassoff qualified for the National YMCA Meet in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. last April.
Others returning from a strong sectional showing last year include Cameron Brandt (100 butterfly), Maggie Lomasney (500 free), Faith Lewis (100 breast, 200 free relay), Maryclare Stannard (200, 500 free), and divers Maddy O’Rourke and Claire Kissinger, who also qualified for state last season.
Newcomers that Lundgren believes will make a significant impact this season include junior Sammy Halpern (breaststroke), sophomore Emma Connell and freshmen Chloe Guhlstorf (breaststroke) and Jocelyn Weisman (sprints).
The Huskies, who went 2-3 in West Suburban (Silver) Conference dual meets to finish fourth last season, are looking to be among the top three.
“We are enjoying the fruit of a strong year-round swimming culture,” said Lundgren. “[We] sent the largest team to Y-Nationals this summer, the largest in 15 years.
“After the challenges of not having a pool we are enjoying a tight knit group that has been through a lot together.”
The Huskies were scheduled to begin the season last night (after deadline) against Riverside-Brookfield, where they’ll return on Sept. 17 for an invitational. After taking on cross-town rival Fenwick on Sept. 20 (5 p.m.), the team hosts Proviso West on Sept. 22 for the conference opener.