By Marty Farmer
Riverside-Brookfield High School swimmer Madeline Wenig earned a return trip to the IHSA swimming and diving state finals by winning the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1 minute, 05.08 seconds at the Fenwick Sectional on Nov. 10.
The sophomore, who is seeded 10th entering Friday's state meet preliminaries, set a team record in the 100 breast. It'll be her second appearance at the state meet in that event.
"Making it [to state finals] last year will help her as far as how different of a meet it is if you haven't been there before," RBHS coach Michael Laurich said. "She has a good placement I feel in the heat she should swim in. We just need to make sure we address a couple things and then she should be good to go for this weekend."
Wenig also placed third in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:12.05.
Although Wenig is the team's lone state qualifier, the Bulldogs set two other team records Saturday's sectional.
RBHS placed third in the 200-yard medley relay (1:48.88) to set a team record. They just missed the state cut of 1:48.58.
Freshman Mary Izzo claimed the third team record with a fourth-place showing in the 100-yard backstroke (59.67).
"She had a great swim, a second off the state cut and with room for improvement for sure," Laurich said. "She also was close to our 100 free record."
Izzo also finished fourth in the 100-yard freestyle (54.03). Fellow freshman Cece Rosa fared well with a pair of fifth-place results in the 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle, respectively, at 2:01.82 and 5:31.50.
"The freshman did awesome in their first sectional meet, which can be pretty intimidating for a first-timer," Laurich said. "Cece Rosa dropped six seconds in the 200 free and 17 seconds in the 500 free. If you would have asked me if she would swim those two events in the beginning, I wouldn't have picked those two for her."
Junior Claire Kawiecki touched the wall at 1:01.15 to earn fourth place in the 100-yard butterfly. Senior sprint swimmer Veronica Cariveau took fifth in the 50-yard freestyle at 25.10.
In the other relays, the Bulldogs came in fourth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:44.85) and 400-yard freestyle (3:41.94).
"Sectionals are a roller coaster of a meet for all," Laurich said. "Veronica and Claire were solid in their events and key to our relay performances. Shea Connelly had five wisdom teeth pulled in October. She came back and dropped over three seconds in her 100 breaststroke (1:16.00/9th) at Fenwick."
Evanston High School hosts the state finals on Friday, Nov. 16 and Saturday Nov. 17.