While neither Sandburg’s nor Stagg’s girls’ swim teams produced any event champions at last weekend’s state meet, that doesn’t mean the two squads didn’t have positive experiences or that their athletes didn’t have strong showings. The most notable performance came from Lady Eagles sophomore Claire Lawlor, who qualified for Saturday’s finals in the both the 50- and 100-yard freestyles based on solid efforts during Friday’s prelims. She eventually placed seventh in the 50 and ninth in the 100 with respective times of 23.71 seconds and 52.18. The Lady Chargers’ strongest exhibitions were delivered by seniors Sophia Shalabi and Adrienne DiFoggio. Shalabi finished 15th in the 100-breaststroke (1:05.71), while DiFoggio wound up 21st in the 500-free (5:08.83).
“The fact that Claire dropped so much off her time from sectionals is the way that you want it to happen,” Sandburg coach Jane Caliendo said. “She was really happy with her performance and is very excited about the next two years.” Lawlor’s time drops were .7 seconds in the shorter freestyle race and 1.5 in the 100. She also joined Caitlin Krull, Mia Robin and Caitlyn Olson to finish 14th in the 400-free relay at Friday’s prelims. Their 3:34.44 time was just .52 seconds behind the last qualifier for the finals. Junior diver Anna Girlich gave the Lady Eagles an 18th place on Friday by amassing 162.50 points, while Krull was 30th in the 500-free (5:12.45) and 32nd in the 200-free (1:55.01). “It was a rough meet for Caitlin,” Caliendo said. “She wanted to drop more time than she did, but she had a great career and she leaves our program as the fastest 500-yard freestyle swimmer in Sandburg history.” Also competing in the prelims for the Lady Eagles were the 200-medley relay quartet of Lawlor, Devin Apps, Tricia Mangila and Stephanie Pappas (36th in 1:51.34) and freshman Apps in the 100-breaststroke (43rd, 1:07.56). “I couldn’t be any happier with the way things worked out,” Caliendo said. “Of the seven swimmers who qualified for state this year, only one graduates. “I can’t say enough for that experience and [the people who] will come back next year. It was a really fun weekend and we had a great time.” As for Stagg, its other prelims participants included the relay foursome of Shalabi, DiFoggio, Samyah Isa and Megan Vallance, who were 25th in the 200-free (1:38.97) and 28th in the 200-medley (1:49.74). Individually, junior Ellie Mannix took 43rd in diving (130.35) and Isa finished 49th in the 100-breaststroke (1:08.23). “We had a real good sectional and good state meet,” Lady Chargers coach Frank Muchna said. “Adrienne lowered her time from sectionals [and] Elle did a good job diving at state. We expect big things from her. “As a team, we were pretty close to where we finished at sectionals — and both were really good swims.”
BOYS’ BOWLING Sandburg racked up two SouthWest Suburban Conference victories last week, as it edged Andrew 2,036-2,029 in a crossover affair on Tuesday and then dominated Lincoln-Way Central 1,965-1,648 in SWSC Blue action on Thursday. In the win over the Thunderbolts at Orland Bowl, Brandon Torres starred for the Eagles as he included a high game of 233 in his two-game 450 series. Josh Harder paced Sandburg versus the Knights as he rolled games of 246 and 188 at Orland Bowl. *** Shepard split a pair of conference matches last week, as it defeated Richards 1,924-1,788 in a South Suburban Conference Red matchup on Tuesday and lost a crossover verdict to Tinley Park, 1,942-1,752, at Centennial Lanes on Thursday. Leading the Astros (2-2) to their win over the Bulldogs was Brandon Dietz, who paced all bowlers with his 458 series and 233 high game. *** Both Oak Forest (1,805-1,575) and Lincoln-Way West (1,960-1,631) handed Stagg setbacks at Palos Lanes last week. Thursday’s loss to the Warriors came in an SWSC crossover encounter.