New Trier Relays marks beginning of end
Hinsdale Central's Olivia Yu competes in the Girls 200 yard IM in the Hinsdale Central vs. Naperville Central swim meet on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale IL. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 12, 2012 11:04AM
WINNETKA — Alanna Dassoff knows it’s time to get serious at this point of the season.
The girls swimming and diving season is approaching its end with the West Suburban Silver meet Oct. 26-27 for Dassoff and the rest of her Oak Park-River Forest teammates.
OPRF will join two other West Suburban Silver teams, Hinsdale Central and Lyons, and defending state runner-up Fenwick at the New Trier Relays at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
For Dassoff, that means trying to drop even more time in her speciality events, the 100-yard freestyle and 100 back, where she finished 19th and 20th, respectively, in last year’s state meet.
This year’s state finals are Nov. 16-17 at Evanston.
“At the New Trier Relays, I hope to get under state cut,” Dassoff said. “That would help boost my confidence. Most of those teams are among the top 10 in the state or most are in the top 15. It’s definitely very competitive.”
The meet features a rematch between the defending state champion Trevians and Fenwick. The Friars are coming off a win Saturday at the Urbana Invitational where Fenwick set three pool records: the 200 free relay (Mimi Schneider, Maggie Sheean, Adelaide Curry and Kierston Farley-Sepe); the 100 breast (Paulina Kaminski); and 400 free relay (Kaminski, Farley-Sepe, Catherine Wallace and Schneider).
“This time of the season can be very difficult for racing because they are in the heart of the hardest training and school is getting to the end of the first quarter,” Fenwick coach Renee Miller said. “The team is working hard and this will give them a chance to race the best team in the state and see how they stack up.”
A team with plenty of new faces, such as Hinsdale Central, has different goals for the New Trier Relays. The Devils do not have a swimmer returning from the state meet but they feature talented distance swimmers in Cara LoPiano and Margaret Kaufman. Other top finishers have been Olivia Yu in the 100 back and Liza Gross in the 200 individual medley.
“I’m planning on heading into the meet challenging our swimmers to try and make the medal stand — meaning a top six finish in any of the events,” Devils coach Bob Barber said.
Lyons is considered the conference favorite at Hinsdale Central later this month. Lyons’ only remaining dual meet is at home against York Oct. 18.
Led by diving champion Kelly Ryser, Lyons won the Barrington Invitational Saturday. Lauren Rosenberger placed second in the 500 free and Emily Vitek took second in the 100 free.
“This is a great opportunity for our girls to see where they stand amongst some of the best teams in the state,” Lyons coach Kurt Johns said. “We have many swimmers doing really well at this point of the season, especially compared to where they were at this time last year.”~.