Panther swimming starts season out strong

The Panthers finished third in a meet last week in O'Fallon against Edwardsville and Peoria Notre Dame. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Sam Scinta)

The Panthers finished third in a meet last week in O’Fallon against Edwardsville and Peoria Notre Dame. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Sam Scinta)

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Township High School Swimming Team posted a pair of strong showings during a busy week of competition.

The Panthers finished in third place at their home meet on Wednesday evening, finishing behind only conference rival Edwardsville (second place) and perennial IHSA State Power and overall meet winner Peoria Notre Dame.

Head Coach Suzanne Gibson saw a lot of growth in her swimmers during the successful meet, and was hopeful that the growth would continue into their tournament over the weekend.

The Panthers then made the trip north to Springfield, Illinois on Saturday, where the Blue and Gold placed second out of ten schools at the City Classic Meet.

“I’m very happy with how the girls looked and competed [Saturday]. It helps to clarify our areas of focus moving forward from here and how we should adjust our training,” Gibson told the Weekly.

The four-swimmer team of Nicole Moran, Natalie Edwards, Sierra Workman, and Grace Williamson finished in second place at the 200 Medley Relay. Edwards would continue to have a particularly strong meet, as she would go on to finish in second at the 200 Freestyle before winning the 500 Freestyle.

Edwards would also team up with Moran, Sydney Keefe, and Sierra Workman to place in second of the 400 Freestyle Relay. Moran would later place third in the 100 Backstroke.

On the JV side of the pool, the Panthers dominated the 50 Backstroke by sweeping the gold, silver, and bronze placements for the race. Lili Ward would win the event, followed by teammates Sarah Lamontagne and Natalie Spain. This was the only event of the meet that featured a 1-2-3 sweep from the same team.

The Panthers will continue their 2016 campaign later this week when they again head to Springfield for another meet on Wednesday.