The Evanston High School girls’ swimming and diving team sent their state contingent to Gillette over the weekend for the 4A State Swimming and Diving Championships, placing 11th as a team.
“I thought it went really well,” said EHS head coach Kendra Asay. “We had Teghan Hoff, who made it to the finals in both of her events, and that was great to see, because it got us a few extra points. The other girls who qualified in individual events did really well on Day 1. Obviously, they didn’t make it to the finals, but they all swam their hearts out.”
Of the four Lady Devils qualified in individual events, Teghan Hoff was the only one to make it to the finals on Day 2, eventually placing 10th in the 50 freestyle (26.46) and 11th in the 100 freestyle (59.03).
“Going into prelims, Teghan was ranked fifth in the 50 free, so we were stoked about that,” Asay said. “Going into the finals, she was ranked ninth in the 50 free and 10th in the 100 free — she ended up 10th and 11th. She really had some fast times on Day 1, it was awesome to see her cut so much time. And having her in the finals on Day 2 — it’s just exciting for the rest of the girls to see the potential, to see what they can do if they are working hard, and see the results pay off. Teghan didn’t swim quite as fast on Day 2, but I still feel like she gave it her all. She was happy with how everything turned out, and she is just really excited for next year, and the new goals she has set. She met all of her goals this year, and she already has in mind her goals for next year — she really wants to go for the school record in the 50 free, and I think that’s definitely in her sights.”
Tayler Davis also qualified in two events, finishing 23rd in the 50 freestyle (27.31) and 17th in diving, with a preliminary score of 142.75.
“Tayler Davis was not feeling very well on Day 1 — she didn’t quite make the cutoff on diving,” Asay said. “But I was able to utilize her in relays, which benefitted us a lot, because she has speed.”
Emily Sawyer qualified for the 100 breaststroke at the Green River Last Chance Meet, and was able to swim another qualifying time in the prelims at state, posting a time of 1:18.20.
“Emily Sawyer still swam a qualifying time in the breaststroke, which was good for her to get,” Asay said. “Last year, she didn’t quite make that time again, but this time she did.”
Lady Devil sophomore Kyndall Fernandez had probably the most bittersweet experience at state, after being disqualified in the the 100 butterfly; officials deemed she had used a ‘short stroke’ on two of her turns. Fellow sophomore Allyssa Sepos finished 29th in the 50 freestyle, with a time of 28.10.
“Kyndall Fernandez ended up getting DQ’d, but sometimes, that’s kind of a lesson learned,” Asay said. “Hopefully it will help her not make the same mistake with her stroke. I think it will help her in the long run, though it’s not a fun thing to have happened at state.”
Evanston’s relay teams enjoyed success at the state meet, especially on Day 2. The 200 medley relay team of Sepos, Sawyer, Fernandez and Davis placed eighth overall, posting a time of 2:07.50.
“Since Teghan had made it to finals, I didn’t use her in the 200 medley relay like I have been all season,” Asay said. “But I was able to use Tayler Davis, and they ended up getting their fastest time of the season. I was really happy about that — I wasn’t expecting it, so when it happened, we were thrilled. That was really fun to see on Day 2.”
In the 200 freestyle relay, the team of Sepos, Davis, Fernandez and Hoff finished 11th, with a time of 1:53.07; the 400 freestyle relay team of Sepos, Fernandez, Sawyer and Hoff also finished 11th, posting a time of 4:23.29.
“All of the times improved from Day 1 to Day 2 in the relays,” Asay said. “That all makes it worth it. And the girls had great attitudes — I feel like it was a really positive experience for all of them.”
As the state meet ended, and other teams gathered around their seniors, Asay said she felt grateful that all of her state seniors will be returning next year. A drop to Class 3A next season also has the team excited for their prospects.
“Our team was kind of the exception, because we don’t have any seniors leaving us,” Asay explained. “Everybody knows they’re coming back next year, and it wasn’t a sad feeling. All of them talked about the switch to 3A next season, and how much easier it’s going to be for them to qualify earlier in the season, and then taper for state, rather than tapering for the Last Chance Meet. I think overall, it’s going to be a really positive thing for them.”
4A State Swimming and Diving Championships
200 Medley Relay
8. Allyssa Sepos, Emily Sawyer, Kyndall Fernandez, Tayler Davis 2:07.50
10. Teghan Hoff 26.46, 23. Tayler Davis 27.31, 29. Allyssa Sepos 28.10
1 Mtr Diving
17. Tayler Davis 142.75
Kyndall Fernandez DQ
11. Teghan Hoff 59.03
200 Freestyle Relay
11. Allyssa Sepos, Tayler Davis, Kyndall Fernandez, Teghan Hoff 1:53.07
15. Emily Sawyer 1:18.20
400 Freestyle Relay
11. Allyssa Sepos, Kyndall Fernandez, Emily Sawyer, Teghan Hoff 4:23.29