Girls State Swimming: Lockport’s Moran nabs 8th in backstroke
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media November 17, 2012 10:02PM
state swimming results
Saturday at Evanston High School
Meghan Dragel, Mother McAuley: 12th, 368.85 points
Amanda Moran, Lockport: 8th, :56.98
Caily Friel, Andrew: 12th, 1:06.31
400-yard freestyle relay
Sandburg: 9th, 3:30.96
Updated: December 19, 2012 1:27PM
Having squeaked in under the state qualifying cut last weekend at the sectional meet, Lockport’s Amanda Moran adjusted her focus for the state meet.
Against a loaded field in the 100-yard backstroke, the junior would focus on her own ability and hope her taper training paid off.
Moran finished eighth in the backstroke (:56.98) Saturday at the state meet at Evanston High School.
“The time drop was crazy this year, and I’m not disappointed at all with my place,” Moran said. “It was a very successful meet. I’m not going to be disappointed just because I didn’t get second, third or fourth.”
Moran finished fifth last season at state in the backstroke.
Glenbrook South’s Olivia Smoliga won the backstroke (:51.43), setting a national record with the win.
“Yesterday was about the time, and today was more about winning my heat,” Moran said. “No one was going to tell her to take No. 2.”
Similarly having squeaked into Saturday’s consolation heat, Sandburg’s 400-yard freestyle relay team jumped from a 12th place finish in the prelims to a ninth place finish Saturday (3:30.96). The Eagles cut 1.4 seconds off Friday’s time.
“As a group, we knew we could do better (after Friday),” Sandburg’s Kim Katner said. “We’re so close, and when you have support it’s so much easier to swim faster. We all knew what we had to do.”
Katner was joined on the relay by Brittany Kamper, Caitlin Krull and Clare Lawlor. The relay broke a school record set in 2009.
Having qualified for state as a sophomore and junior, Mother McAuley’s Meghan Dragel saved her best for her senior go-around. Dragel finished in 12th in the diving competition with 368.85 points.
She came into Saturday’s in eighth place but struggled with her final three dives, dropping four places.
“I was happy with how I did getting here, but I could have done better,” Dragel said. “It feels great, and I’ve got to keep going. I was more nervous today than I was yesterday.”
Dragel finished 27th as a junior and 38th as a sophomore.
As Andrew’s first state qualifier since 2008, freshman Caily Friel made the most of her appearance, finishing 12th in the 100-yard breaststroke.
“I was really hoping to advance (Friday to Saturday), but I thought ‘Who knows? I’m just a freshman,’” Friel said. “I was happy to make it and be here.”
It was Andrew’s first state swimming medal since Christine Magnuson finished second in the 200-yard freestyle in 2003.