Lane, St. Ignatius impress at Sandburg Invite

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The city kids have staying power.

Showcasing their burgeoning talent, swimmers from Lane and St. Ignatius held their own against some of the top teams in the state at Saturday’s Sandburg Invitational.

Lane senior Meghan Lavelle, who is a state title contender in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 backstroke, cruised to victory in both events. She captured the 200 IM in 2:08.16 and was the only girl to go under a minute in the backstroke, where her time of 58.06 was 2.2 seconds faster than Rosary’s Kate Canfield. Teammate Natalie Martinez was fourth in the IM.

“I’m really glad because I usually don’t get a lot of competition, so I was really preparing myself for this meet,” said Lavelle, who was third in the IM and seventh in the backstroke at last year’s state meet. “I’m pretty happy with where I placed with my times as well, not just getting first each time.”

Lavelle’s performance helped Lane to 112 points, good enough for sixth place in the 10-team field. Rosary won the meet with 284 points and two-time defending state runner-up Fenwick, which was without three senior stars due to college visits, was second with 267.

St. Ignatius had an outstanding meet, finishing third with 222 points despite missing star Nikol Lagodzinska, who was visiting Iowa.

Junior Marysol Arce had a breakout performance as she won the 500 freestyle in 5:06.80 and took second in the 200 free (1:58.17) behind Sandburg’s Caitlin Krull (1:56.24).

“It really boosts my confidence because last year I didn’t really place very well at state and I feel like I can race a lot better now,” said Arce, who is the school record holder in the 500 free. “My best time is 5:03. I’m trying to get under 5 minutes and I know we can do it.”

Arce had plenty of help from her teammates as sophomore Natalie Tapia triumphed in the 100 free (53.04) and was runner-up to Fenwick star Mimi Schneider in the 50 free. Senior Rebecca Martinez took third in the 100 butterfly, as did sophomore Clare McNamara in the 500 free. The Wolfpack capped the meet by taking second in the 400 freestyle relay as Martinez, Arce, MacNamara and Tapia timed 3:38.66.

The fact that so many swimmers shined against suburban competition bodes well for St. Ignatius, which was eighth in the state last year.

“I think it really helps me because I won’t be scared when I go to state,” Arce said. “I think we’re going to do good. We know we’re going to get top 8 again but we want to get closer to the top three.”

Lane was 20th at state in 2012 and is also primed to move up. Interestingly, the Indians will see the Wolfpack before the state finals.

“I’m definitely looking forward to sectionals because Ignatius and Lane will be in the same sectional [hosted by Ignatius] this year,” Lavelle said. “We’re going to be swimming against all these guys so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Schneider was the other big standout, winning all four of her events in her first invitational appearance of the season. The senior took the 50 free (24.37) and 100 butterfly (57.05) and teamed with Katie Vulich, Genevieve Curry and Theresa Mullen to capture the 200 medley relay (1:49.72). Schneider then anchored Catherine Wallace, Adelaide Curry and Mullen to victory in the 400 free relay (3:36.66).

Rosary won the 200 free relay in 1:40.69 behind Elaina Ricci, Alexis Yager, Georgia Young and Erin Hart. The other winners were Sandburg’s Anna Girlich in diving (344.70 points) and Neuqua Valley’s Amanda Brockmeier in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.01).

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