July 19, 2019
"Quiet for the start, please. Quiet for the start."
The crowd hushes. But only momentarily.
As soon as the starter beep sounds and the lead swimmer dives in, the crowd erupts in cheers. The noise steadily grows louder with each leg of the race.
The free relay at the NCISC conference championship at the Kishwaukee YMCA in Sycamore is a highlight every year. And this season is no different. The pool is bursting with excitement. The Trails swimmers are supporting their teammates, slowly builing a mob at the end of the lanes, roaming from one end to the other depending where each race takes place, culminating with the final battles of the free relays as the meet concludes. One highlight being the 15-18 year old Women's 200 Yard Freestyle Relay taking over first in an exciting finish that led to a first place medal and personal records for Lauren Bednaroski, who is the team's 8&under age group coach, Elizabeth McAuliffe, Grace Gatto and anchor Grace Kozlowski, who swam 26.01. The girls finishd with a season best 1:47.52.
Other relay conference champions include the 11-12 Boys 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (Antonio Aguirre, Jace Kranig, Gabe Niemi and Charlie Mason) started with a solid lead and kept it the entire way, completing the relay 11 seconds ahead of the next finisher; the 8&under 100 Yard Freestyle relay (Johnny Marzalik, Max Gaylord, Camren Creech and Logan Droste); and the 8&Under Boys 100 Yard Medley relay (Logan Droste, Carter Tomasz, Johnny Marzalik, Max Gaylord).
Two teams also broke team records with their wins at the conference meet. The Girls 9-10 Medley Relay team of Eliana Niemi, Sarah Hillyer, Penelope Brereton, and Natalie Zimmerman set a new record with a time of 2:22.31. The previous record of 2:25.61 was set by K. Gallas, S. Leger, B. Pierson, & A. Smith in 1993. The Boys 11-12 Medley Relay team of Luke Johnson, Mason Gaylord, Charlie Mason, and Noah Brereton broke their record from last week (2:05.06) with a time of 2:02.89.
The first individual conference champion was Alec Orndahl, assistant coach, who won the Men's 15&Over 50 Yard free from lane 8 with 22.90. Luke Johnson was first in the Boys 11-12 Yard Free; Penny Brereton was first in the Girls 9-10 50 Yad Breaststroke; and Mason Gaylord took the win in the Boys 11-12 50 Breaststroke.
Several individuals also broke team records. Oliver Brereton broke the Boys 6&U 25 Yard Free record with a time of 18.86, breaking David Gatto's 2017 time of 19.39; Penny Brereton broke the Girls 9-10 50 Yard Back record with a time of 33.98, breaking the Kelli Gallas 1993 record of 34.75; Penny Brereton, who broke 14 of the possible 16 9-10 Girls team records this season, also broke the Girls 9-10 50 Yard Fly record with a time of 32.79, breaking the 1992 Liz Proffitt record of 32.95; and Alec Orndahl broke his Boys 15 & Over 100 Yard Fly record (55.10) with a time of 54.57.
Trails finished fourth of the nine teams, trailing the Geneva River Rats, Kishwaukee YMCA/DCST, and the Oswego Otters. Other teams participating in the conference meet included Cary Barracudas, YMCA of Rock River Valley Rays, Huntley Stingrays, Woodstock Dolphins and McGuire Aquatics.
The Trails Swim Team is a recreational, not-for-profit organization that provides a positive atmosphere for physical and emotional development for its members within a competitive swim program.
1. The 15-18 year old Women's 200 Yard Medley Relay, featuring Grace Kozlowski, Lauren Bednaroski,Sara Merkelz and Elizabeth McAuliffe. 2. The Trails Swim Team has a roster of 128 swimmers from age 4-18.