Girls take home second straight title

Young roster beat out Hinsdale by 18.5 points to secure championship


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Swimmers and coaches keep tradition by jumping into pool with state trophy following victory

Despite it being the Trevian’s 16th state title, this year’s victory was far from expected. With the 149.5 point performance, it took contributions from all the team’s qualifiers to stay ahead of second-place Hinsdale. Senior Charlize Escasa, who helped start the meet strong with her role in the 200 yard medley relay, knew just how important this early victory was.

“What set us apart was definitely our first event, the medley relay, because in the prelim session we lost that by 10,” said Escasa. “So immediately going into finals and winning the first event we previously lost really got the ball rolling for the rest of the meet.”

From the start of the season to prelims just before finals, where qualifiers for the state meet are determined, the Trevs didn’t dominate. Nobody expected the team to win by 82 points like they did last year, and it took until the final race to decide a winner. Sophomore Olivia Safarikova, who led this 400 yard freestyle relay, knew this year would be different.

“This year, we had a bunch of new people and it was a little bit iffy at the beginning,” said Safarikova. “ But it turned out to be a really strong team, and by finals we were able to really put it together.

This year, we had a bunch of new people and it was a little bit iffy at the beginning. But it turned out to be a really strong team, and by finals we were able to really put it together.

— Olivia Safarikova

With a younger team, and several players who had yet to experience a finals meet, it was unclear how they would be able to perform with the increased pressure and cheering from the stands. Head coach Robert Guy, however, was proud of how the team handled this.

“They were calm and relaxed, and still had a sense of fun and supported each other,” said Guy. “It helped us get to a point where Hinsdale couldn’t make any mistakes, and where we were just too deep and swimming too well.”

The state meet is remarkably different from any other meet during the season. With so many teams at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont, along with a stunning amount of fans, staying locked in becomes incredibly difficult.

“It’s so loud, and you can’t even hear your own thoughts, so it’s definitely nerve wracking,” said Safarikova. “Then right before the start of the race the starter asks for everyone to be quiet and it’s just all eyes on you.”

It’s almost impossible to prepare for an environment like that, but the team works at the mental aspect of swimming throughout the season. Meditation and different breathing methods are taught to help calm nerves, and even right before races they become incredibly useful tactics.

“The idea is you take three deep breaths and you notice three things in the room that you haven’t noticed before,” said Escasa. “I’ve done that a lot throughout my championship meets so I can say that it works very well.”

It was very clear that nerves weren’t an issue, as the team put up some of their best performances of the year. Sophomore Tierney Lenahan finished second in both the 100 yard freestyle and the 100 yard backstroke, and relay groups finished extraordinarily well.

“Everyone was really hyped and the team’s really excited because you’ve been working the whole offseason for this,” said Lenahan. “There were nerves, too, but it was a lot of excitement and hope that we could win

The victories never get any less sweet. For a team that’s constantly amazing at a school where a state title isn’t uncommon, it could be expected that continuing to win gets less exciting and less meaningful each time. But players and coaches alike love the feeling as much as anybody.

“When I got back from the championship, I took the trophy up to the athletic department office and put it on the table outside with something like three or four other state championship trophies from the fall,” said Guy. “I think it’s become so commonplace at the school that to some people it’s like ‘no big deal,’ but it just doesn’t get old.”