OPRF’s solid swim showing so far this fall includes winning the Riverside-Brookfield Invitational and beating crosstown rival Fenwick in a dual meet, Sept. 21, 106.50 to 78.50.
“So far, the season has gone well,” said veteran OPRF head coach Clyde Lundgren. “The girls are managing the change to being back to full days of in-person school. There have been rough patches for some, but mostly people are moving successfully.”
The Huskies are led by senior Teagan Osga. A Northeastern University recruit, she won the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard individual medley at the Leyden Township Sectional last fall and would have advanced downstate had the finals not been canceled due to the pandemic. In the dual meet with Fenwick, Osga won the 200 individual medley in 2:12.26 and the 100 backstroke in 59.79. She also was part of two winning relays — the 200 freestyle and the 400 freestyle.
Other top performers this season are junior Victoria Kouris and freshmen Jessica Li and Sadie Murphy. With a young team, Lundgren is focusing on daily development and improvement this season.
“The goal is always the same: to grow and develop as a person,” he said. “The hope is to use swimming and diving as context to achieve that goal. If we’re growing as people, the fast swimming and good diving take care of themselves.”
OPRF has experienced much postseason success in recent years, and Lundgren is hoping for more of the same, given the hard work the Huskies have put in.
“The training and practices are going well, and I look forward to the championship season when we get to showcase what we’ve been working on,” he said. “We’d love to get a couple of relays and several swimmers qualified for the state meet.”
In coach Stephen Thompson’s second year at the helm, Fenwick has put together several noteworthy performances in the pool, led by senior Lindsey Drumm, a defending sectional champion in the 200-yard freestyle.
“Lindsey has been consistent all year,” Thompson said of his senior leader, who recently committed to Dartmouth College. “She’s versatile and we can usually match her up well in our dual-meet lineups. She’s every coach’s dream; she’s a great leader who does what you ask her to do.”
The Friars also have depth of experience, including juniors Kailyn McHugh and Baileigh Racky. In the dual meet with OPRF, Sept. 21, Drumm won the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, while McHugh was victorious in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke.
“Baileigh and Kailyn are important for our relays. They have sectional experience and have contributed wins so far this season,” Thompson said. “They’re everything you want in student-athletes; they’ve got great personalities and are competitive as well. It’s nice to have some of your fastest swimmers understand the responsibility of bringing people up in the program.”
Moreover, Fenwick has gotten contributions from a large and talented freshman class that features Anna Doherty, whom Thompson says “is a versatile swimmer who gives us a lot of options.”
Given their tradition-rich history, the Friars are perennial contenders in both the Metro Catholic Aquatic Conference and IHSA meets, and this season figures to be no different. After participating in the MCAC championships at Loyola Academy, Oct. 23, Fenwick will aim for its 22nd consecutive sectional title as it hosts the sectional, Nov. 6.
OPRF is expected to be the Friars’ main sectional challenger, and Thompson is looking forward to meeting the Huskies again.
“We want to put it all together at sectionals,” he said. “OPRF is going to challenge us, and we’ll make each other better. Clyde’s done a great job with his kids, and it should be another fun meet with them.”
Trinity has enjoyed success this season in the pool while setting a pair of new school records along the way.
At the Fenwick Invitational, Sept. 18, freshman Sarah Falkenholm established a new standard in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 28.72. Then at the Fremd Relay Meet, Oct. 2, Falkenholm teamed with junior Madeline Halloran, sophomore Katarina Krysan, and sophomore Emily Boyd to set a new mark in the 200 freestyle relay with 1:26.54.
“The season is going great at this point,” said Trinity coach Mary Gibson. “We’re working very hard, staying healthy, and having fun as a team.”
The Blazers have two meets remaining before the MCAC meet — the Maine East Relays, Oct. 16, then Senior Night with Resurrection, Oct. 19. Gibson wants her young team to focus on swimming their best at the end of the year.
“Our goals are to finish the season with our best times and to have fun doing it,” she said.