WOODSTOCK – The Jacobs co-op girls swimming team won only four events in the Woodstock Invitational on Saturday but walked away with the team championship.
Nicole Sanchez was a part of three of those wins, winning the 50- (25.92) and 100-yard (56.02) freestyle events for juniors and as a member of the 400 freestyle junior/senior team. She said the Golden Eagles, who co-op with Hampshire, have a team-first attitude.
“I just try and contribute so the team wins,” Sanchez said. “We try to win as a team.”
Sanchez also was pretty happy with her individual performance and is not ruling out qualifying for state this season.
“Those were pretty good times for how early it is,” Sanchez said. “I’m hopefully going to keep improving as the season goes along.”
Jacobs finished first with 524 points followed by Huntley with 501, Cary-Grove (500), McHenry (453.5), Woodstock (406) and Crystal Lake co-op (389).
The meet is a good early season benchmark for Fox Valley Conference teams. Dundee-Crown is the only FVC team that wasn’t at Woodstock.
Golden Eagles coach Young Le said he was happy with the team win, especially because he was missing Erin Jameson, his top breaststroker, who was taking the ACT test.
“We always want to be a balanced team,” Le said. “The depth is nice.”
The win doesn’t make Le overconfident looking ahead to the conference meet, though.
“I’m pretty nervous about the conference,” Le said. “It could be anybody’s race. I think it’s going to be very challenging.”
Jacobs won the frosh/soph 200 medley relay (2:02.64) with Julia Tokarz, Rochelle Sia, Sydney Erickson and Jessica Tokarz and the junior/senior 400 freestyle relay (3:51.38) with Alexa Agoranos, Sanchez, Faith Terlecki and Erickson.
Huntley trailed Cary-Grove most of the meet but placed second in both 400 freestyle relays to edge the Trojans for second by one point. Red Raiders coach George Keenan credits a good freshmen class (Hailey Hill, Veronica Burgos, Jacqueline Padal and Jaclyn Smitendorf) and some early morning practice sessions to his team’s improvement.
“They’re not happy about getting up six days a week, but we’re starting to see some improvement,” Keenan said.
Ali Cazel won the senior 100 freestyle (57.84) for Huntley’s only win.
Cary-Grove also is stronger with a solid freshmen lineup that includes Karsen Seeger, Becca Elrod and Ashlynn Baker. Seeger won the 200 freestyle (2:04.7) and freshman 100 freestyle (58.61).
In the 200, Seeger was even with Conant’s Paulina Wolska heading into the last 50 yards but had a better kick to win.
“You sometimes get that moment where you have a burst of energy,” Seeger said. “I really wanted to win.”
The freshmen complement junior Melissa Rose, who has qualified for state the past two years in the breaststroke. Rose joined the three freshmen to win the junior/senior 200 medley relay (1:56.4).
Trojans coach Scott Lattyak said it’s great for Rose to have a solid relay team around her and is not ruling out the possibility of getting a relay team to state.
“It’s a whole new team this year,” Lattyak said.
McHenry’s Michaela Matthys won the 100 butterfly (59.43) and 100 backstroke (1:01.74). Matthys, a senior, is looking to qualify in the fly for her first trip to state.
“My feelings are a lot more emotional this year,” Matthys said. “You want to end it with a big bang so you leave it with a legacy.”
Gianna McGuire won the sophomore 50 freestyle (25.95) to lead Woodstock, and Elizabeth Pieroni was second in the junior 50 freestyle to lead Crystal Lake.