This trip is nothing new for Marian Catholic's Katleyn Kresal.
For her sister, Abby, it is the first of hopefully a four-time experience.
Katelyn, a senior, is making her third straight trek to the IHSA state finals, which are Friday and Saturday at New Trier High School in Winnetka.
The Illinois State signee will compete in the 100-yard freestyle. Katelyn won the event at the Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional and just missed qualifying in the 200 freestyle.
"It's quite an accomplishment to make it three years in a row, but I am a little disappointed I didn't make it in both or that we didn't go in the relays," Katelyn said. "I was glad I made it in the 100."
While Marian is not known as a swimming power, the program has held its own against traditional powers and the elder Kresal said that has been a good challenge for a team that doesn't have its own pool.
"We like going against them and we just go out and work hard," Katelyn said. "I know some kids in our school don't even know we have a swim team."
With her experience at the state meet, Katelyn had some advice for her younger sister.
"I told her that she shouldn't be nervous and just go and do your best," Katleyn said. "She doesn't have to worry if she belongs, because she qualified and if you do that, you belong.'
Abby, who will compete in the 200 individual medley, is happy about making the trip with her sister. She finished second at the sectional meet, but superseded the state-qualifying time with a 2:10.19.
Homewood-Flossmoor's Rebecca Mathews will compete in the 100 breaststroke. She was a sectional champ with a time of 1:08.26.
"This is something I dreamed about since I was in eighth grade," Abby said. "I am really pumped and it is cool that both of us are going down together. The last two years, I saw her go down (state) by herself and now we get to compete together."
While making to Saturday's finals would be great, Katelyn said she knows she will face a tough challenge.
"It is is going to be real hard to qualify for Saturday, but I am going to give it my best," Katelyn said. "I figure if I can knock a few seconds off my time and not worry about that. I just want to have a good showing."