Seniors Margaret Guanci and Shannon Kearney each qualified for the state meet in two individual events and two relays to lead Loyola at Saturday’s Glenbrook South Sectional.
Kearney, who signed with North Carolina State last week, finished first in the 50-yard freestyle in a career-best time of 23.67 and won the 100 backstroke in 55.69. The Wisconsin-bound Guanci took third in the 100 backstroke (56.62) and fourth in the 100 butterfly (56.95).
Loyola head coach Mike Hengelmann said he was impressed by both swimmers Saturday.
“That was a big swim and a heck of a time for Margaret in the butterfly, and I’m still stunned by Shannon’s time in the 50,” he said.
Both Guanci and Kearney swam on the state-qualifying 200 medley relay and 200 free relay. The medley, which also included senior Cassidy Coughlin and freshman Allison Mulvey, placed second in 1:45.56. Sophomore Chloe Brown and Coughlin joined Guanci and Kearney on the 200 free relay that took second in 1:36.58.
“That medley really set the tone and gave us momentum,” Hengelmann said. “Both relays exceeded our expectations. These girls are in mid-taper, which is a good sign.”
Junior diver Emily Rourke was the sixth Rambler to qualify for the state meet. Her 376.00 points were enough to earn an at-large bid to the state meet, which is Friday and Saturday at New Trier.
Coughlin, who signed with Texas Christian on Nov. 8, came agonizingly close to qualifying in two individual events. Her 24.40 in the 50 free was 1/100ths of one second away from the state cut, and her 53.18 in the 100 free was 15/100ths of one second off the state standard.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” Hengelmann said. “[Allison] had a great day. She had a monster split in the medley. She’s worked really hard all year, and I’m super excited for her.”
Pictured above (from left to right): Seniors Margaret Guanci, Shannon Kearney, Cassidy Coughlin