Riverside-Brookfield High School senior Riley Daun began the 2022 swimming and diving season already enduring right shoulder problems from another sport.
After the RBHS Invite on Sept. 10, the pain became too much to take.
“I tore my labrum. I can barely lift up my arm. I’m pretty sure I’m getting surgery in a few weeks,” Daun said. “I was just pushing it until I couldn’t do it anymore. I went to the doctor. I was told I wasn’t supposed to swim.”
That was the case until Oct. 13. It was Senior Night.
Daun not only returned but competed in three events in the 86-67 dual victory over Latin.
The Bulldogs honored 11 seniors — Anna Breit, Kate Briolat, Claire Cervi, Daun, Madyn Dron, Ella Ford, Scarlett Hall, Aja McKay, Emma McVicker, Gemma Sambugaro and Anna Swade.
All are four-year members of the team except Briolat, a first-year diver. Tri-captains are Daun, McKay and McVicker, who will swim at Augustana.
RBHS coach Mike Laurich began with 13 freshmen.
“Eleven [seniors] is a good size. Especially with the middle two years with COVID, I’d like to think they had each other through that and that’s one of the reasons they stuck together,” Laurich said.
Daun swam the breaststroke leg of the winning 200-yard medley relay with Breit, McKay and McVicker (2:06.82), was part of the second-place 200 free relay and placed second the 100 breast (1:25.05), her primary event, to McVicker (1:17.05).
“Honestly, it was really nice [competing] but it was also very hard,” Daun said.
Other event winners were McKay (50 free in 26.47), Ford (100 free in 1:08.30), Sophie Ivan (200 individual medley in 2:42.55), Maria Ellis (100 butterfly in 1:05.60) and the 400 free relay of Hailey Vlcek, Emily Baartman, Audrey Simpson and Ellis (3:58.56).
McKay, also battling shoulder issues, said the captains focused on improving team morale and bonding.
“I feel like we really took charge this season and we have more people cheering than we ever have before, especially in the 400 [free relay finales],” McKay said.
“That’s the whole purpose of our swim team, where you have a really good support system. I’m really proud of the girls because we’ve really shown other teams that we can cheer as well as everyone else can.”
Daun remained hopeful that she could compete once more at the Independent Conference Meet on Oct. 22 at Oswego East.
“I’ll see how everything goes,” Daun said. “I’m in pain. I’m ready to go lay in bed, do some homework and just chill out. I do ice a lot. Take some Advil. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”