February 26th, 2011

SHA Celebrates 23rd Swim & Dive Victory

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

SHA Celebrates 23rd Swim & Dive Victory
photo by Sarah Menefee

Stephens, Faulkner and Mercke Lead State Title

Even without a single individual champion, the Sacred Heart Academy Valkyries were able to swim their way to a 23rd KHSAA Swim & Dive State Title Saturday over duPont Manual High School.

“This was a complete team victory,” said SHA Head Coach Jim Luebbe. “We were in the hunt all day with second and third place finishes, and altogether we came together with the points.”

SHA had a weekend full of great swims from various swimmers and divers.

“We had senior leadership from Summer Stephens and Elly Faulkner,” said Luebbe. “Miranda Mercke had a great meet as well, but with these girls it’s hard to pick just a few standout swims. They all did well.”

Stephens picked up second places in the 200 Individual Medley and 100 Butterfly, as well as a second place on the 200 Medley Relay and a third place 400 Freestyle Relay finish.

Faulkner took fourth in the 200 Freestyle, third in the 100 Breaststroke, second in the 200 Freestyle Relay and third in the 400 Freestyle Relay, while Mercke finished with a third place finish in the 200 Individual Medley and second in the 100 Breaststroke, along with a second place in the 200 Medley Relay and second place in the 200 Freestyle Relay.

SHA Diving also excelled with a third place finish by Becca Corbett, who helped put additional points on the board for the Valkyries.

“I think today went really well overall,” said Corbett. “It was the second time I’d ever done my last dive, and it was so exciting to have all of SHA cheering for me. We are just trying to do our best, and that’s more important than winning.”

While SHA walked away with a team victory, Notre Dame Academy’s Ellen Williamson won Outstanding Competitor with new state titles in each event she swam this weekend including the 200 Medley Relay, 200 Individual Medley, 100 Butterfly and 400 Freestyle Relay.

“I wanted to go really fast today,” said Williamson. “It’s my senior year, and I wanted to keep the momentum going after a great nationals in December and after signing with Virginia. For not fully tapered right now, it’s been a good meet. Notre Dame’s doing well, and we’re really excited. We wanted to win as many individual races as possible.”

Assumption High School also showed power in the water as the school took fourth place at the competition.

Head Coach Julie May says she’s proud of the team’s performance.

“Our girls swam very well this weekend,” said May. “We had eight girls swim this weekend, and four girls swim today (in finals). It’s awesome that we finished fourth, and I’m really proud of our seniors. They are great girls.”

Three of Assumption’s swimmers today included seniors Carolyn Stewart, Brittany Morguelan, and Michelle Gasior. Stewart picked up a third place finish in the 100 Backstroke, Morguelan placed eighth in the 100 Breaststroke and Gasior picked up second in the 200 Freestyle.

“I felt good in the water today,” said Stewart. “I felt myself gaining on the other girls towards the end of the race (in the 100 Backstroke), and I’m really happy as a team about getting fourth. We had more girls swim this weekend than last year, and that’s great.”

The meet concluded with awards and trophies along with Williamson’s honor for Outstanding Competitor. Outstanding Swim Coach went to Keith Marquess and Outstanding Dive Coach went to Jamie Palumbo.

In addition, SHA jumped into the pool after the win to sing the school song loud and clear for everyone to hear.

Said Luebbe: "The girls wore camouflage today to follow the theme about ‘No Valkyrie Left Behind’. We wanted to make sure to help one another if someone had a bad race. You have to go and pick your teammates up. Today was an entire overall effort.”

All State First Team Girls included: Ellen Williamson, Summer Stephens, Caroline Thomas, Sarah Love, Susan Marquess, Miranda Mercke, Caitlyn Forman, Hannah Magnuson, Kaylin Burchell, Rebecca Hamperian and Elly Faulkner.

All State Second Team Girls included: Meredith Brownell, Michelle Gasior, Emily Holt, Mackenzie Margroum, Katherine Hornaday, Konnor Rist, Molly Hinken, Kelsey Buese, Kelly Rogers, Carolyn Stewart, Kelly Ren, Ellie Grimes, Becca Corbett, Carly Hill, Carly Scheper and Kara Fredlock.

For complete results, check out the following link: http://www.khsaa.org/swimming/2011/state/index.htm


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