Stagg's Lucas Smiarowski takes first place in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:49.94 at Lincoln-Way North High School on January 2, 2014. | Jim Karczewski~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 14, 2014 6:27AM
Lincoln-Way East’s Patrick Hackett won the 500-yard freestyle (4:46.53) Saturday at the elite Evanston Invitational, an 18-team meet that included four of the top 10 schools from the 2013 state finals.
Defending state champion New Trier won the meet title ahead of Glenbrook South, Evanston and Lake Forest, third at the state meet last season.
Stagg’s Lucas Smiarowski was second in the 500 freestyle (4:48.86) and third in the 200 IM (2:00.04) Saturday to lead the Chargers to ninth place, highest finish by a local school. Stagg also posted third places from Zack Amendola in the 100 butterfly and its 400 freestyle relay.
Brother Rice’s Mitch Strahlman was third in the 500 free to help the Crusaders finish 11th.
Brother Rice, Homewood-Flossmoor and Lemont will be among the field Saturday at the Sandburg Invitational.
Also on the Saturday schedule is the Oak Lawn Invitational that will include Bremen, Evergreen Park, Reavis, Richards and Tinley Park.
When the postseason rolls around, don’t overlook Andrew.
The 2011-’12 state champions started slow this season, but seem to be rounding into form.
Saturday, the Thunderbolts captured the title at the Oak Forest Invitational, rallying in the sixth and final game to edge T.F. South 5,337-5,308.
That performance follows two solid showings in holiday tournaments. Andrew finished fourth at the Plainfield South Tournament on Dec. 26, thriving in the afternoon Baker game format.
The Thunderbolts also took fifth in the Baker portion of their own Andrew Bowling Bash on Dec. 27.
Senior Ashley Sparrey, the only member of the state champion team still on the roster, has led the way along with fellow senior Nikki Diorio and juniors Amanda Campbell and Jessie Hallas.
“We have an inexperienced team and our goals is just to keep getting better and be our best at the end of the season,” Andrew coach Julie DeChene said.
Veteran Sandburg-Stagg co-op coach Mike White has a new assistant who he is pretty pumped up about.
Krystyn Misheck, who won the state title in the floor exercise for the team in 2009, is assisting White this season and he thinks she has the makings of a successful head coach in the future.
“She really has been a bright spot for the kids,” White said. “I’m lucky to have her. She knows what they are going through and is young enough to know what they are thinking. She’s starting to make some headway with them.”
White said Misheck needs to adjust to a team that doesn’t have the same talent level as the 2009 team did.
“Her team took second place in the state and we almost won the state championship,” White said. “We scored 150 points. It’s hard for her to relate to a team that scores 130 when your team used to score 150. For her, I told her she has to build. If you are not as good every year, you have to build. You have to be patient. You can’t think ‘why can’t we get 140 now?’ ’’