Girls swimming: State champ Schneider leads Hinsdale Central to 2nd in state
It isn't easy to win a state championship in any sport, let alone swimming.
But after a great Friday in the preliminaries of the IHSA girls state swimming and diving championships at the brand-new FMC Natatorium in Westmont, Hinsdale Central junior Kit Schneider rose up and won the 50-yard freestyle.
She raced a time of 22.98, .03 slower than her preliminary time but .20 ahead of University High senior Sally Ma, good enough for the title.
"It's crazy, you know," Schneider said of winning all the marbles in the 50 free. "I don't really remember swimming it. I just remember before I was getting myself hyped up and during I was singing a song in my head and watching my whole team on the side."
It was a banner day for coach Bob Barber's Red Devils, who tied for second as a team with Barrington, both with 100 points.
Schneider led off her team's runner-up 200 medley relay at 1:43.33. She was joined on that team by junior Caroline Kramer, along with Haley Dynis and Lauren Biegel.
For good measure, she also led off the Red Devils' 200 freestyle relay (fifth in 1:34.68) and 400 freestyle relay (sixth in 3:29.42).
"She's a stud," Barber said of Schneider. "She's a special swimmer. She gets behind her races and gets behind her team. We don't get a second-place trophy without a swimmer like that in our program."
Also starring for Hinsdale Central was Kramer in the 100 breaststroke, who took fifth in 1:04.05.
Naperville North finished 10th as a team with 43 points, and was paced by senior Claire Jansen, who led off the Huskies' 200 medley relay that took third in 1:43.43, just .10 behind Hinsdale Central. Joining Jansen was senior Cameryn Schmidt, junior Aimee Duhammel and Cambria Swanson.
Later, Jansen took eighth in the 100 backstroke in 56.15. She also raced anchor on Naperville North's 400 freestyle relay, 10th in 3:29.97.
"I did better than yesterday, which was good, but not as great as I had hoped to do, but it was still a good race," Jansen said of the 100 backstroke.
Her coach, Connor Binnig, finished his first year as head coach on Saturday. What's the biggest lesson he learned?
"Patience," Binnig said. "I've got 83 girls on swim and dive at North, so taking it one step at a time, here's the bigger picture, and here's how we're going to get there in little chunks."
Downers Grove South senior Audrey Mahony continued her impressive state run by taking fourth in the 50 freestyle in 23.30 seconds. Later, she took ninth in the 100 freestyle in 51.50 seconds.
"I didn't expect that, I was expecting sixth," Mahoney, a New Hampshire recruit, said of her 50 free. "I just went in knowing, it's the last time I'll do the 50 in my high school career, and I tried giving it all I had."
Naperville Central took fourth place in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:34.65, with a team consisting of senior Grace Malinger and juniors Eden Goettsch, Sophia Hayes and Lauren Collins.