VERNON HILLS – McHenry senior Michaela Matthys can now add state qualifier to her swimming resume.
Matthys took second in the 100-yard butterfly (56.82) but was well under the state qualifying standard of 58.94. It was her first time qualifying for state.
At the Barrington Sectional, Cary-Grove junior Melissa Rose won the 100 breaststroke (1:05.44) to qualify for state for the third consecutive year.
Matthys was confident heading into sectionals after beating the state cut several times during the season. That confidence was bolstered when she got a 25.46 in the butterfly leg of the 200 medley relay.
“It definitely was a confidence boost because that was my fastest split (ever),” Matthys said.
Matthys may have been the last person in the Vernon Hills natatorium to realize she made it to state because her view of the scoreboard from lane 3 was blocked.
“I couldn’t even see what I got,” Matthys said. “I had to jump a couple of times.”
Warriors coach Mike Shanahan said the expectations were high for Matthys but it was nice to see those expectations fulfilled.
“This has been her best training year by far,” Shanahan said. “But you never know, nerves play such a big part.”
After swimming a personal best (1:05.91) at the Fox Valley Conference Championships a week earlier in the breaststroke, Rose followed that up with another personal milestone at sectionals.
“I feel a lot stronger this year,” Rose said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to do another personal best at state. I know what to expect this year.”
Swimming at state the past two seasons has given her a lot of confidence, Rose said.
“I’m a lot stronger mentally,” Rose said. “This year I’m a lot more confident.”
Trojans’ coach Scott Lattyak said he was happy to see Rose improve on her time from the FVC meet and is hoping that improvement will continue at state.
“I think it’s all mental at this point,” Lattyak said. “She looks like a lot stronger swimmer. In practice she’s holding splits that impress me.”
At Vernon Hills, Woodstock’s Tess Devinger missed qualifying in the breaststroke by less than a second but helped her team break a school record in the 200 medley relay. Devinger, along with Lizzy Kruse, Giannia McGuire and Allison DeWane, took sixth in the relay in 1:55.41 to beat the previous mark of 1:56.42.