Girls swimming: No pool, no problem for Plainfield co-op
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media November 14, 2012 9:18PM
Members of the Plainfield co-op swimming team practice in the C.W. Avery Family YMCA Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, at 15120 Wallin Drive in Plainfield. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Girls State Swimming
Friday and Saturday at Evanston High School, 1600 Dodge Ave., Evanston
(top sectional time in parentheses)
200-Yard Medley Relay (Downers Grove North, 1:44.42): Plainfield co-op (1:49.25).
200-Yard Freestyle (Hannah Boyd, Normal University, 1:50.92): Taylor Jach, Lincoln-Way East (1:53.29).
Diving (Juliette Corboy, New Trier, 482.85 points): Alexis Skiniotes, Lincoln-Way West (401.65 points), Carolyn Dietz, Lockport (373.70 points), Katy Knight, Lockport (369.75 points).
100-Yard Butterfly (Gia Dalesandro, Neuqua Valley, 54.93): Carly Kramer, Plainfield co-op (57.43), Maria Papes, Providence (58.65).
100-Yard Freestyle (Gabby Sims, Downers Grove North, 50.53): McKenna Avery, Plainfield co-op (53.06), Emily Gallagher, Lincoln-Way West (53.80).
500-Yard Freestyle (Hannah Boyd, Normal University, 4:58.46): Taylor Jach, Lincoln-Way East (5:05.52), Brittany Felice, Lincoln-Way East (5:10.83).
200-Yard Freestyle Relay (Glenbrook South, 1:36.23): Lincoln-Way East (1:38.70).
100-Yard Backstroke (Olivia Smoliga, Glenbrook South, 54.35): Trisha Cavarubbia, Joliet co-op (58.19), McKenna Avery, Plainfield co-op (59.04), Amanda Moran, Lockport (59.22), Carly Kramer, Plainfield co-op (59.36), Kim Bernhard, Lincoln-Way Central (59.87).
100-Yard Breaststroke (Evan Swenson, Loyola, 1:03.82): Emily Gallagher, Lincoln-Way West (1:07.01), Caroline Kelly, Plainfield co-op (1:07.97), Allison Goldsmith, Lincoln-Way East (1:08.15).
400-Yard Freestyle Relay (Downers Grove North, 3:30.42): Lincoln-Way East (3:35.83).
Updated: December 19, 2012 11:53AM
The Plainfield co-op swim team is a team without an official home.
Well, sort of.
Because none of the four District 202 schools has a pool, the co-op team practices the C.W. Avery Family YMCA in Plainfield.
“It has become our adopted home,” coach George Sam said. “The cool part is that with girls from all the Plainfields, the team truly represents the whole community with girls from all over.”
The formula has worked for Sam’s squad. Swimming at the fastest sectional in the state last week, Plainfield finished ninth as a team but still managed to make history. The program never had qualified more than one swimmer for the state meet, but at the Metea Valley Sectional, three individual swimmers and a relay team advanced.
State preliminaries are to be held Friday at Evanston High School. The top 12 finishers in each event advance to Saturday’s championship and consolation heats.
“At sectionals, 10 medley relays out of 12 teams advanced,” Sam said. “With that many individuals and relays advancing, it’s amazing to watch. We know we’re going against good teams, but we weren’t worried about places, just making our time.”
Swimming at the YMCA, Plainfield has thrived. The team typically practices from 2:45 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 6 to 8 a.m. Saturdays while working around dual meets and invitationals.
With the potential for complaints, Sam has heard none.
“The girls have really taken to it,” Sam said. “Many of the girls swim club together, but they wish they were at the same school so they could see each other more. This gives them that chance.”
Among the individual qualifiers, McKenna Avery attends Plainfield East, while Carly Kramer and Caroline Kelly go to Plainfield North.
Kelly was the team’s lone state qualifier last year, finishing 41st in the 100-yard breaststroke. The junior is back in that event and will be joined by Avery (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke), Kramer (100 butterfly, 100 back) and the 200 medley relay.
“We’re looking to swim the state cut again, maybe drop some more time,” Sam said. “Our mentality before was just swim fast, and I think we’ve got a couple of more good swims in us.”