HIGHLAND | After finishing 1-2 in the 100 free, Munster’s Ashley Hwang and Emily Lagestee exchanged a high five in the pool in adjacent lanes. It was that kind of Saturday for the Times No. 2 Munster as it swam to its seventh straight Northwest Crossroads Conference title.
The Seahorses amassed 448 points to outdistance host Highland, which finished with 239. The No. 6 Trojans held off No. 9 Kankakee Valley by 17 points for the runner-up spot.
“There’s nothing wrong with taking second to Munster,” Highland coach Ryan Harrington said. “They’re a great program.”
Munster won each of the 12 events, including a 1-2-3 finish in diving and the 200 IM. It was a dominant performance.
“The girls did a great job,” Munster coach Matt Pavlovich said. “We moved a few people around, and put a little more focus on the relays. … It was a good meet overall, and we were pleased as we had some nice performances throughout.”
Pavlovich added there were some good races with Audrey Mayer’s narrow win over Highand’s Jackie Smailis in the 100 fly and Nikki Smith’s victory over Smailis in the 100 back.
“This is always a fun meet,” Smith said. “We don’t have the strongest conference so we get to mix up our events a little bit. We get to swim stuff that aren’t our postseason swims. .. It prepares us for the postseason.”
Mary Beth Blocher edged K.V.‘s Madison Babicka in the 50 free in anther good challenge, while Mary Bridget Baeza (200 IM and 100 breast), Allison Cunningham (500 free), Megan Wimmer (200 free) and Caitlyn Gilbert (diving) also picked up blue ribbons.
Mayer said their training during the winter break helped prepare them for the big meets.
“It builds up, and this meet is always good for us to just go out and see what we have so far,” she said.
K.V. coach Kevin Stephens was pleased with how his team swam as the Kougars took second in the 400 free relay, while Babicka was second in the 50 free and third in the 100 free. Abbey Sittema (200 IM) and Jordan Brodner (diving) took fourth.
“You couldn’t ask for a better day,” Stephens said. “They swam very solid, and I was pleased with all of them. I don’t know the count right now, but we swam numerous personal bests.”