Prep girls' swimming storylines: Chargers seek fourth straight sectional title

Prep girls' swimming storylines: Chargers seek fourth straight sectional title

Preps coordinator COLIN LIKAS offers up four storylines to watch throughout the 2018 season:

Pieces to defend

Centennial is gunning for its fourth consecutive sectional championship this season, and there's plenty of reasons to suggest the Chargers can achieve that goal. Returning state qualifiers Elizabeth Gile (100 and 200-yard freestyle, 200 medley relay), Lauren Feddersen (500 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 200 medley relay) and Megan Bernacchi (200 medley relay) pace a group with several other talented athletes.

Youth is served

The club that finished between Centennial and Uni High at last year's local sectional was Champaign Central, but the Maroons return just one state qualifier in diver Caroline Dickerson. She's one of just four seniors on a 17-athlete roster, so if Central hopes to make waves this year, it'll need the youngsters to step up.

Confidence is flowing

Even with Ema Rajic out of the fold for Uni High, coach Dave Young likes what he has with his newest crop of Illineks. Led by returning state qualifiers Reed Broaders (50 and 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay), Raine Bernhard (200 freestyle relay) and Angelynn Huang (200 medley relay), Uni High also has a stout freshman class keyed by Sally Maw.

Relay power

Sullivan doesn't have the biggest swim and dive program around, but there is an interesting element in play for the Redskins. They qualified a 400 freestyle relay unit for 2017 state, and all four of its swimmers — Natalie Drury, Alison Oligschlaeger, Anna Wooters and McKenna Kull — were juniors. A big showing could be in store now.