Increased Presence at State Meet Puts Cap on Season; Indicates Exciting Future for Scouts

From top to bottom, left to right: Lauren Kingsley, Ashley Updike, Kendra Joachim, Carolyn Grevers, Isabella Lewin, Mary Grace King, Emma Darling, Julia Tanna. The IHSA State Meet was Nov 23 and 24 at New Trier.

Lake Forest High School Boosters

From top to bottom, left to right: Lauren Kingsley, Ashley Updike, Kendra Joachim, Carolyn Grevers, Isabella Lewin, Mary Grace King, Emma Darling, Julia Tanna. The IHSA State Meet was Nov 23 and 24 at New Trier.

Joey Goodsir, Editor-in-Chief

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Joey Goodsir, Editor-in-Chief

Sure, LFHS Girls Swimming has participated in a variety of meets throughout their season, but after each and every one of them, it was no secret where the team mindset pointed. 

Just after their first home dual meet, head coach Carolyn Grevers said “It’s not always from meet to meet, it’s more about what the end goal will be at the end of the year,” and numerous swimmers were entirely unafraid to repeatedly show their enthusiasm for the results that waited for them in their swim calendar’s climactic “championship season.”

Finally the time came for Girls Swim, and they delivered on many levels. The Scouts placed 2nd at the NSC Championship Meet (Conference) on November 11th, and 4th in Sectionals — sending a solid group of six to the IHSA State Meet, and having many great individual accomplishments as well.

The State team included senior Kendra Joachim (200 Medley Relay (FL), 400 Freestyle Relay, 200 Freestyle, 100 Butterfly), freshman MaryGrace King (200 Medley Relay (BR), 400 Free Relay, 200 Free, 500 Free), freshman Lauren Kingsley (200 Medley Relay (FR)), senior Isabella Lewin (400 Free Relay), senior Ashley Updike (200 Medley Relay (BK), 400 Free Relay, 50 Free, 100 Free), and senior Julia Tanna (Athletes with Disabilities, 4 Events).

The size of the team and the support was relatively large in comparison to past years, to the excitement of the older swimmers who competed in the meet. 

“It was especially great because the past two years I have gone alone on Friday night,” senior Kendra Joachim said. “But there were the girls on relays and other girls there for support over the weekend, which was a lot of fun this year. It was also great being able to have more tickets to the meet with the relays.”

Lake Forest High School Boosters
The team after Conference.

Senior Julia Tanna agreed, adding that “having so many people go to State made the entire week even more exciting.”

Between a rowdy and well-attended clap-out at Lake Forest High School, to the larger group at State, it was a perfect season-ending weekend to display a whole team that has thrived on “great community” all year.

“The biggest highlight of this season was the people,” Tanna said. “I felt like we all clicked really early in the season which made every day more fun in and out of the pool.”

The same sentiments were echoed by many swimmers as a touchstone part of this team’s story, carrying as much weight as any accomplishment in the water.

“Multiple girls went to State, and I think our team really bonded overall this season compared to all the other seasons I have been here,” junior Holly Doyle said. “We built a great community, and I think we all had great races in the end.”

Freshman Lili Sandor agreed. “I think we’re all really close. There is a lot of positivity. It’s really fun.”

The State preparations only enhanced this quality of the team, according to some who experienced those extra days of practice.

“It was also nice to have the support on deck, and between the six and seven of us who swam, I feel like we got a lot closer as a team,” Kendra Joachim said.

Lake Forest High School Boosters
Scouts after capturing 4th place at Sectionals.

Once the fun began at State, there were plenty of things for this “close” team to cheer about.

“I placed 5th in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle (AWD, Class B), and placed 1st in the 100 breaststroke (AWD, Class A),” Tanna said. “I was able to drop 4.68 seconds in the 200 free, .61 seconds in the 50 free, and .83 seconds in the 100 free.”

Perhaps the biggest headlines coming out of the weekend were the impressive performances of freshman MaryGrace King, who made her presence at state very clear from the get-go in her four events — especially with an 8th place finish in the 500 Freestyle.

King was not unaware of her youth in the IHSA State experience.

“I didn’t really know what to expect, I just knew it was gonna be a crazy big meet, with a lot of people and a lot of competition. I was just excited to see what I could do after tapering for sectionals and finishing well there.”

But she was also not unaware of the exciting three seasons that stand in front of her, and her goals going forward.

“Next year, I hope to do better at State than I did at Sectionals,” King said. “I had really high expectations and didn’t meet all of them, but the focus was on sectionals and that is where we really shined.”

Even as a freshman, the team environment was still a prevalent focus — relay appearances highlighting King’s weekend at State.

“The energy was crazy!” she said. “It was so fun having a relay, with everyone cheering for each other. We knew that what we had to do was right in front of us and it was very exciting.”

King was a leading figure of a larger development for the Scouts: young talent — and it’s no secret to her teammates, who notice it with smiles.

We built a great community, and I think we all had great races in the end.”

— junior Holly Doyle

“We were thankful with a big and talented freshman group,” Holly Doyle said. “Since we only have two sophomores, it was a really nice boost for the whole team to grow. I think we are all looking forward to see how their careers turn out, even if we aren’t in school all four of those years. We’ll be reading up on them for sure!”

The excitement of their State was paired with races that older teammates cited as genuinely valuable experience.

“It’s exciting to see the younger girls get an opportunity to be at such a big meet – besides the four seniors there, it was all freshmen,” Kendra Joachim said. “It was really good for them to have that experience going into their later years when they don’t have a lot of older kids with them.”

And now, with an encouraging season in the books, the only thing left is the future — something that departing seniors and growing freshman both look forward to.

“If it was anything like this year, and with the amount of potential everyone has, there will be some great swims for the Scouts,” said senior Julia Tanna.

Waiting to swim again only seems like part of the excitement for the future, with the environment of team also contributing to the hype.

“I am honestly just looking forward to next season now that this one is over. That feeling of being on a team with everyone there for you,” freshman Lili Sandor said. “I’m excited to continue that.”