Woodruff’s ace tops at Pekin Sectional — Pogioli sets three records
PEKIN – Of the three Journal Star area girls swimming state qualifiers, Woodruff’s Lia Pogioli made the biggest splash at the Pekin Sectional on Saturday.
The senior easily won the 200-yard freestyle and 500 free for her seventh and eighth sectional titles, setting three records in the process.
Pogioli’s 5:05.20 in the 500 broke the sectional record of 5:06.94 and her own Pekin pool record of 5:08.59. That was after Pogioli’s 200 time of 1:55.88 broke the Pekin pool record of 1:57.04.
“There’s still more she can do,” Woodruff coach Tricia McDaniel said. “We haven’t tapered at all . . . It’s scary to think where she’s going to be next week (at state).”
Richwoods senior Kelly Huson, who won the 100 backstroke in 1:03.14, and Notre Dame’s winning 200 free relay of Jessica Henby, Stephanie Cady, Liese Ringness, and Brooke Baldi will join Pogioli as JS-area participants at the State Meet in Evanston on Friday.
In the 200, Pogioli won by nearly six seconds despite two botched turns.
“I was so nervous before the 200, I was jumpy,” Pogioli said. “Every turn I was trying to get there and get back and not focusing on the actual turn. I was all over the place.”
Despite the struggles, Pogioli was pleased with her race.
“I know that if I do well in the 200, the 500 will be there,” she said. “I was happy with my 200 time, not just for the 200 time but because I knew it would be there for the 500.”
After a short delay before the 500, Pogioli finished :19.75 ahead of second place. She had only one 50-yard split over :31.
“That’s what she needs to do,” said McDaniel of Pogioli having splits under :31.
Huson’s win in the 100 backstroke helped Richwoods to second place overall with 213 points. U-High, behind three first- and four secondplace finishes won its first sectional since 1994 with 226 points.
“We knew it was possible,” said U-High coach Ryan Burroughs. “But we knew Richwoods was going to be tough.”
Bloomington (199) was third followed by Notre Dame (180).
Huson returns to state in the 100 back for the second straight year after missing a trip in the 100 butterly.
“I was a little nervous in the fly,” said Huson, who advanced to state as a sophomore in the Knight’s 200 medley relay. “I was hoping to make it in (the fly) too.”
Huson said she hasn’t had much luck with her strokes lately and Richwoods coach Mic McCormick said Huson has been in a slump recently.
“It’s nice to see she was able to snap out of that and get it going,” McCormick said.
“Last year she dropped even more at state and I would anticipate that again this year,” McCormick added. “She has a habit of showing up when it counts.”
In the 200 free relay, it took a strong finish by Baldi to get the Irish to state.
“I figured if its going to come down to it I need Brooke at the end,” ND coach Derek Amerman said of the freshman, first-time anchor. “I know the other three would do their job and there’s no better fourth person than (Baldi).”
She came back from about a one second deficit and beat U-High by :00.31.
At Rock Island
With nine top-six finishes, Galesburg (165) finished tied for third with Ottawa.
In the 100 butterfly, Emily Wilson and Carlie Mangieri finished second and fourth respectively for the Silver Streaks.
Dunlap’s Lauren Paul finished second in the 200 and 500 free, about two seconds behind first place in both events.
Paul helped the Eagles (140) to seventh place.
Sterling won its first sectional meet with 251, followed by Moline (196).
The host, which had eight state qualifiers, won its second straight sectional title with 298 points.
Macomb (41) finished sixth, led by Nancy Johnson’s third in the 50 free. Her time of :26.26 was .20 seconds off the winning pace.
Host Champaign Centennial ran away with eighth consecutive sectional title with 322 points, more than twice as many points as second-place Urbana (158).
Olympia’s best finish was an eighth by its 200 free relay.
“It’s hard to compete against kids that swim under a minute in everything,” Olympia coach Kendra Rollins said.
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