Edwardsville Swim Team Honors 6 Seniors, Then Posts 105-65 Win Over O'Fallon In Final Dual Meet, Also Captures Swim For Hope Meet
EDWARDSVILLE --- The Edwardsville girls swimming team won nine of the events on the program and honored its six graduating seniors as the Tigers defeated O'Fallon 105-65 in the annual Senior Night meet Thursday evening at the Chuck Fruit Aquatic Center.
The Tigers honored seniors Ally Janson, Chloe Harrison, Taylor Wilkerson, Rebecca Redman, Henley Mason and Ximena Gonzalez and their families in pre-meet ceremonies, thanking them for their contributions to the Tigers' program and wishing them well.
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"It went well," said Tigers head coach Christian Rhoten about the meet itself. "We were able to thank our seniors and just go out and compete against O'Fallon."
Rhoten felt that sophomore Pera Onal and Mason swam well in the meet and delivered great times.
"Pera had a very good meet," Rhoten said. "She swam her fastest 200-yard (individual medley) and 100-yard (breaststroke), so there's a little bit of promise there. Henley had a great 500-yard freestyle, one of her best times."
But the night belonged to the six seniors in their final regular-season meet for the Tigers.
"It was about honoring the seniors and sending them off," Rhoten said.
And there's one thing about the Class of 2022 that Rhoten will always remember of them, and it started with the abbreviated 2020 season due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
"I was thinking about this earlier," Rhoten said, "and they were required to be the leaders during the COVID craziness. That was a lot to put on them, but they handled it well and came close to the other side. So we're really just happy with everyone with what they've done the last few years."
O'Fallon's team of Rebekah Barnes, Avery Ward, Athena King and Madison Luechtefeld won the opening event, the 200-yard medley relay, with a time of 2:03,87, with the first Edwardsville team of Janson, Karis Chen, Ava Whittaker and Wilkerson coming in second at 2:05.20 and the second team of Harrison, Onal, Emily Moody and McLaren Seaton taking third at 2:07.28. Maddie Milburn then won the 200-yard freestyle at 2:06.64, with Mason coming in third at 2:13.82 and Simone Myers fifth at 2:31.64. Onal then won the 200-yard individual medley at 2:24.22, with Lia Kampwerth second at 2:26.70.
Whittaker won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 26.72 seconds, with Milburn second at 27.33 seconds and Wilkerson fourth at 28.19 seconds. Whittaker then took her second race of the meet with a win in the 100-yard butterfly at 1:01.89, with Moody second at 1:07.65 and Sam Hangsleben fourth at 1:24.18. Janson won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 57.87 seconds, with Chen placing third at 1:01.15 and Harrison fourth at 1:01.70. Mason then took the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:47.16, with Kampwerth third at 6:03.41 and Myers fifth at 6:52.16.
Edwardsville's top team of Janson, Whittaker, Milburn and Kampwerth won the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:48.00, with the second team of Harrison, Onal, Moody and Mason placing third at 1:54.27. Janson then went on to win the 100-yard backstroke, coming in at 1:05.32, while Harrison came in third at 1:10.28. Chen went on to win the 100-yard breaststroke at 1:13.89, with Onal second at 1:15.28 and Moody fifth at 1:23.90. In the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Panther team of Emerson Wallace, King, Rebekah Barnes and Rachel Barnes won the race at 3:58.56, with the Tigers' team of Milburn, Kampwerth, Mason and Chen were second at 4:04.36.
The Tigers and Panthers now will focus on the IHSA sectional meet at the Chuck Fruit center on Saturday, Nov. 6, with diving competition starting at 9:30 a.m. and the swimming starting at 1:30 p.m. The state meet will be held Nov. 12 at a new site, the FMC Natatorium at Ty Warner Park in Westmont, after having been held at New Trier High School in Winnetka and Evanston Township High for many years. It'll be the first state meet since 2019, and every swimmer and diver in the field will be raring to go.
"I think a lot of people are ready to go fast," Rhoten said. "it's been a little while since any of them were able to compete and everyone's chomping at the bit to get going. I know we are."
SWIM FOR HOPE MEET
TIGERS WIN SEVEN EVENTS, EDGE O'FALLON FOR SWIM FOR HOPE BENEFIT MEET: The Edwardsville girls swimming team won seven events on its way to winning their annual Swim for Hope meet, which benefits cancer research, in a close decision over O'Fallon.
The Tigers won with 298 points, with the Panthers a very close second with 291 points, Chatham Glenwood was third with 223 points, Springfield High was fourth with 198 points, Springfield Lutheran was fifth with 13 points and Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin Catholic came in sixth with 12 points.
Edwardsville got off to a good start by winning the 100-yard Medley relay, with the team of Ally Janson, Karis Chen, Ava Whittaker and Maddie Milburn coming in at 53.17 seconds, with another team of Henley Mason, Pera Onal, Emily Moody and Taylor Wilkerson coming in third at 57.12 seconds, then Whittaker taking the 50-yard freestyle at 26.16 seconds, with Milburn coming in second at 26.17 seconds. O'Fallon's Rebekah Barnes won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:07.99, with Mason coming in second at 1:09.29 and Chloe Harrison was fourth at 1:10.58. Chen won the 50-yard breaststroke at 33.63 seconds, with Janson second at 34.65 seconds. and Harrison won the 50-yard backstroke at 32.59 seconds, with Wilkerson placing fourth at 34.24 seconds. Janson won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:15.49, while Alyssa Grant was seventh with a time of 1:31.32.
The Panthers won the 200-yard freestyle relay at 1:46.34, with the Tigers' team of Lia Kampwerth, Onal, Wilkerson and Chen coming in second at 1:50.69. The Titans' Ashleigh Maender won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 59.01 seconds, with Mason coming in third at 1:00.64 and Chen fifth at 1:01.64. Whittaker won the 50-yard butterfly with a time of 27.76 seconds, with Milburn coming in second at 29.31 seconds, while Barnes won the 100-yard individual medley at 1:06.83, with Kampwerth second at 1:06.88 and Onal third at 1:08.48. In the final race, the Edwardsville team of Janson, Whittaker, Kampwerth and Milburn won the 100-yard freestyle relay with a time of 48.61 seconds, with Mason, Moody, Harrison and Grant coming in third at 53.50 seconds.
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