Girls swimming and diving dominates in the pool

Matt Nicholson, Lead Sports Editor

Coming off a win against crosstown rival Palatine on Oct. 9 and a second place finish in the Naperville North Invitational on Oct. 11, the girls swimming and diving team has been hot as of late. The Vikings currently have an undefeated record in the Mid-Suburban League (MSL) and are poised to make a run towards the IHSA playoffs in the coming weeks.

The team dominated in the meet against Palatine, winning ten of the twelve events, including all three relays. Notable individual performances include senior Erica King, who won in the 200 and 400 meter freestyle with times of 2:13.47 and 4:39.63 respectively and senior Sydney Plichta, who won in the diving competition with a score of 236.70.

Head coach Andrew Kittrell credits the team’s success this season to the attitudes of each swimmer.

“We have a strong senior class. This is a group of kids that know what they need to do in order to do well,” Kittrell said. “The kids are self-motivated and driven, but they have also done all of the work with a lot of class and a lot of integrity. They want to do well for each other. ”

Despite the team’s struggle in past years in the Naperville North Invitational, the Vikes took home a second place finish winning five events outright. Senior Grace Kneller was a key contributor to the impressive showing, winning the 50- and 100- meter freestyle.

Kittrell says that senior leadership lead to the exceptional finish at the Naperville North Invitational.

“The kids believe that they can do really well,” Kittrell said. “It’s a hard point in the year to train, but they came in looking for success and they executed.”

Senior Julia Portmann, who competed in the 200- and 400- meter freestyle relays in the Naperville North Invitational, credits the team’s continued success to the commitment made by each swimmer.

“A lot of us swim year-round,” Portmann said. “A few years ago, the Fremd coaches started a summer swimming program and that has helped the other swimmers who don’t normally swim club stay in shape over the summer, so they are prepared for the season.”

Though they are accustomed to success, Portmann and the team will not change how they prepare simply because the season is winding down.

“We are just going to keep training the way we have been,” Portmann said. “Kittrell is not going to rest us. We have been working hard and we are going to keep working hard and swim our best.”

The girls swimming and diving team will take on Hoffman Estates at home in their senior night on Oct. 16 at 4:30 p.m.