By Matt Nestor
Last year, outside of Boylan’s Taylor Molln and Byron’s Rose Thompson, along with the relay teams they anchored, it was slim picking for area swimmers at the IHSA State Championships.
This year, the field is littered with area swimmers hoping to break through and win a state championship.
Molln again leads the area pack for Boylan. She qualified in two events individually this year, the 200- and 500-yard freestyle.
In the 200, she qualified with a time of 1:55.62. In the 500, the senior qualified at 5:13.76.
Boylan will also have relay representatives, qualifying in the 200 freestyle at 1:39.52 and the 400 freestyle at 3:37.90.
Senior Katherine Nelson will also represent the Titans downstate individually in the 100 freestyle, where she came in with a time of :54.18.
Thompson will again compete in two individual events, making it in the 50 freestyle (:24.56) and the 100 butterfly (:58.45). The junior did have a ninth-place finish in the 100 freestyle last year at state.
Fellow Byron junior Ciara Lightner will be joining her teammate downstate. She qualified in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:00.80. Byron also qualified in the 200 medley relay.
Hononegah senior Whitney Johnson will be looking for a strong finish in diving. In winning the sectional title, she put in the ninth-best qualifying points at 424.35, putting her in good position to potentially place at state.
There were also some freshmen surprises in the sectionals as two young swimmers will look to come home with medals.
Olivia Cacciatore of Belvidere North will be competing in the 100 breaststroke. The freshman came in with a qualifying time of 1:08.43.
Leigh Hartog, a freshman from Freeport, will be joining Thompson and Molln as two-event competitors. She will compete in the 100 breastroke as well (1:08.35) and also the 200 individual medley (2:09.33).
The state meet will be Nov. 19-20 in Evanston, Ill. It will also be broadcast online at www.ihsa.tv/.
From the Nov. 17-23, 2010 issue