By Marty Farmer
The Riverside-Brookfield High School girls swimming team topped host Hinsdale South 110-60 in the Bulldogs' season opener this season on Thursday, Aug. 31.
The 200-yard medley relay of sophomore Sarah Strubbe, freshman Madeline Wenig, junior Veronica Cariveau and sophomore Claire Kawiecki opened the dual meet with a win.
RBHS won 9 of 11 events overall against the Hornets. Individual race winners included Chloe Marello (500 freestyle), Wenig (100 breaststroke, 200 individual medley), Sophie Bruno (200 freestyle), Cariveau (50 freestyle), Kawiecki (100 butterfly) and Strubbe (100 backstroke).
"Our main focus right now is to put in some good work at the beginning so we can be more competitive at the end of year meets," RBHS coach Michael Laurich said. "We just missed third place at sectionals [in 2016] on a really incredible performance by the girls.
"We think we will be better and that is what we are working towards. We are already doing more work at this time than last year and some great efforts are being seen in practice."
For all their hard work, the Bulldogs are keeping practice fun, too, with the occasional weight room dance party included in the team schedule.
Last season, RBHS went 5-5 in dual meets and finished fourth in conference and at sectionals. With the exception of standout 500 free swimmer Julia Keller (graduated in 2017), the Bulldogs return the majority of the starting lineup.
"Julia will be missed on relays," Laurich said. "We return three of four swimmers from our medley and 400 free relays, and the entire 200 free relay team is back.
"With a large freshman class that has some experience, they will be pushing the upper classes for spots at the end of the year, which should make the relays that much better."