The Oak Park and River Forest High School girls swimming and diving team, led by a standout performance from freshman Sadie Murphy, won the IHSA Fenwick Sectional meet on Nov. 6 and advanced five individuals along with two relays along to the IHSA state meet at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont later this week.
The Huskies amassed 317 points to take the sectional crown over the host and runner-up Friars (294). Trinity High School scored 71 points and finished eighth.
It was the first sectional title for the Huskies in at least 20 years, according to OPRF coach Clyde Lundgren.
“It was a good meet for us,” he said. “Everybody walked away with season-best times, and being able to win the sectional is a huge thing for the program.”
Murphy won the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute, 52.53 seconds and the 500 freestyle in 5:05.75. She was also part of two relays that qualified for the state meet — the 200 freestyle 400 freestyle relays that also featured senior Teagan Osga, freshman Jessica Li and junior Victoria Kouris.
OPRF also got a great individual effort from Osga, who won the 100 backstroke in 57.03 and the 200 individual medley 2:07.07, breaking the school record set by Murphy at the West Suburban Silver Conference meet on Oct. 23.
“Teagan has been eying that record since her freshman year,” Lundgren said. “She took it from Sadie at the sectional by seven-tenths of a second. She’s one of our captains this year and a great kid.”
Senior Cecilee Burns won the diving title for a Huskies with 377.05 points.
“She’s really improved in her time at OPRF,” Lundgren said. “She has a strong gymnastics background and [diving coach Mark] Pappalardo does a tremendous job working with our divers. Cecilee took advantage of that.”
The Huskies hope to get either Murphy or Osga into the top 12 of their events during the state meet preliminary heats on Nov. 12, since the top 12 qualifiers advance to the Nov. 13 finals. Lundgren is also hopeful of getting at least one of the relay teams to the finals.
“That would be huge to pick up points on Friday,” he said. “Scoring at the state meet is no small thing.”
Friars advance 3 relays, 3 individuals
Fenwick advanced three individuals and all three relays to the state meet. The Friars were led by senior Lindsey Drumm, who was victorious in the 100 butterfly and swam on the winning 200 medley relay along with freshman Anna Doherty and juniors Kailyn McHugh and Baileigh Racky.
“She’s got the most experience on those relays,” Fenwick coach Steve Thompson said. “Our whole focus was to get those other girls to state with her, and now the goal is to improve there and finish her off as one of the top swimmers in Illinois.”
Racky qualified for state in the 100 backstroke, finishing second in a time of 57.62, while McHugh won the 100 freestyle in 53.26.
McHugh, Drumm, sophomore Cailey Peel, and Racky placed second to OPRF in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:37.41. Then Drumm, McHugh, Doherty and Racky qualified for the 400 freestyle relay in 3:34.08.
“We’re going to go [to the state meet] with the expectation that we’re going to swim both days,” Thompson said. “It’s going to be very competitive on Friday, and only the top twelve come back on Saturday.”
Trinity High School had no swimmers advance to the state meet. Yet, Trinity coach Mary Gibson saw plenty of positives from her young team.
Sophomore Emily Boyd placed fifth for Trinity in the 200 freestyle in 2:14.79. She just missed a top-six finish by two seconds in the 500 freestyle, placing seventh in 6:02.76.
“In my opinion, Emily swam the perfect race in the 200,” Gibson said. “Dropping that amount of time and medaling without being in the last heat speaks volumes of how hard she worked this year.”
Freshmen Sarah Falkenholm, Avril Ruiz, Emma Steadman, Mia Sznewajs along with sophomore Katerina Krysan and junior Madeline Halloran all scored points at the sectional.