Created:Thursday, October 11, 2012 5:30 a.m.CDT
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Jacobs by a nose

Jacob’s Nicole Sanchez competes in the 200-yard freestyle during a swim meet against Crystal Lake Central on Wednesday at the Rakow Center in Carpentersville. Sanchez won the race. (Josh Peckler – jpeckler@shawmedia.com)

CARPENTERSVILLE – After juggling his lineup, Jacobs girls swimming coach Young Le didn’t know what to expect from his team against Crystal Lake Central on Wednesday.

Le changed his lineup to try some different relay combinations.

“I changed the lineup to see how they would react,” Le said. “The lineup continues to be shuffled.”

The Golden Eagles, which co-ops with Hampshire, won six of the 11 events to edge Central, 94-84. The Tigers co-op with Prairie Ridge and Crystal Lake South.

“We had the depth and everybody stepped up,” Le said.

Erin Jameson won the 200-meter individual medley (2:42.71) and the 100 breaststroke (1:22.27) to lead Jacobs. She also was a member of the winning 200 medley relay team with Jacqueline O’Connor, Nicole Sanchez and Megan Wadell.

Jameson said it’s a tough time of the season with a lot of meets and hard practices taking a toll physically.

“Since it’s the middle of the season, it feels like we’re at a standstill,” Jameson said. “I feel like we’re going to pull through it.”

Although happy with her season so far, Jameson said she continues to focus on the little things that can improve her times.

“I feel like there’s definitely improvements that I can make,” Jameson said. “I can definitely feel myself getting better.”

Also winning for the Golden Eagles were Sanchez in the 200 freestyle (2:42.71), Courtney Podczerwinski in the 400 freestyle (5:09.01) and O’Connor in the 100 backstroke (1:16.81).

Crystal Lake Central’s Marisa Barton won the 50 (27.56) and 100 (1:01.79) freestyle events and anchored the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relays with Nikayla Dahl, Amanda Neville and Courtney Lefevre. Dahl also won the 100 butterfly (1:14.11).

Barton, who placed third last year at state in the 50 freestyle and qualified in the 100 freestyle, said her times have suffered some because of the extra strength training she has been doing outside of the pool. Her 50 time converted to yards is 24.82, less than a tenth of a second off the state qualifying standard of 24.75.

“I’d like to go a little faster, (but) I’m okay that I’m not in the 23s,” Barton said.

With some recovery time, Barton is hoping the extra work pays off.

“I just keep thinking about state,” Barton said. “That’s the big focus.”

Tigers coach Lindsay Mernitz knows that her team is tired not only from the workouts but also a heavy meet schedule. Central recently went through a stretch of five meets in nine days.

“We’re tired, we’re sore, we’re practicing hard,” Mernitz said. “It’s a lot of late nights.”

What Mernitz is more concerned about is that her swimmers have the mental strength to get through these tough times.

“Right now it’s a mental game. Their body is taking over their mind,” Mernitz said. “They need to step up and refocus.”