Audrey Cavaliere understands why Lyons Township High School girls swimming coach Scott Walker and teammates consider her a team mom, even as a sophomore in her first full varsity season.
“For starters, I’ve swum with these girls forever. Finally reuniting with them at LT, it’s all clicked. It’s not like joining a new team,” Cavaliere said. “A lot of people think I’m a team mom because I really try to bring out the team aspect of swimming.”
There was plenty for the Lions to enjoy at the West Suburban Conference Silver Meet on Oct. 21 at Hinsdale Central, even though the host Red Devils (316 points) edged out LTHS (311) for the conference title.
Seniors Maggie Adler and Becky Phillips, sophomore Ella Jean Kelly and Cavaliere won the 400-yard freestyle relay in a pool-record 3 minutes, 32.69 seconds and the 200 free relay (1:36.77).
Individual event winners were Adler (100 free in 53.26) and junior Amelia Mariano (50 free in 24.46).
They were the first varsity conference titles for everyone.
“I definitely didn’t expect to win three, but really the relays pulled through, which was huge,” said Adler after her fourth varsity WSC Silver meet.
“As a freshman, I never expected to be in the spot I’m in so that was cool, especially being [unrested],” Adler said. “I was in gymnastics and I didn’t take swimming as seriously. I didn’t think my whole life would revolve around the sport. I’m especially proud of our relays.”
Finishing 2-3 were Grace Karan (2:12.81) and Phillips (2:12.83) in the 200 individual medley, Lindsay Forebaugh (59.21) and Karan (59.95) in the 100 butterfly and Lauren Jablonski (1:08.26) and Dylan Jorgensen (1:09.26) in the 100 breaststroke.
Also taking second were Phillips (100 free in 53.54) and the 200 medley relay of Kylie Thompson, Jablonski, Karan and Cavaliere (1:48.81). Adler (200 free in 1:55.54) and Cavaliere (50 free in 24.74) also were third.
The Lions next compete at the IHSA Hinsdale Central Sectional on Nov. 5. Sectional champions as well as entries that achieve state-qualifying time standards at the meet advance to state.
With the focus on sectionals, many Lions weren’t rested on Oct. 21. For others, it was their chance to excel in the final meet of the season.
“I love seeing girls get their goals and achieve what they’ve been working so hard for,” Cavaliere said. “I think this year’s conference meet is my favorite meet I’ve ever watched. Seeing people’s faces after they get their dream times is the best feeling, even though they’re not suited or tapered. It’s good seeing everyone have their good last meets, last races.”