Chart toppers: Top swimmers and divers

Chart toppers: Top swimmers and divers

Area swimmers and divers to watch, courtesy Tony Bleill

No. 1

Audrey Rodawig, Centennial

She's a multi-event standout, but Rodawig probably is best in the 100-yard butterfly. Her top time is 57.27 seconds, and that's a range that puts her in the mix to earn a spot in the six-person championship finals at state. (A year ago, the sixth-place finisher swam 57.13 in the final.) She's also tops in the 200 free (1:54.49), which if repeated at the sectional would easily qualify her for state.

No. 2

Hannah Newman, Champaign Central

Older sister Emma, The News-Gazette's 2010 Swimmer of the Year, has moved on, but Hannah has adjusted just fine, thank you. She's a factor in every event she swims, from freestyle sprints to butterfly to backstroke. As for the postseason, the butterfly seems a given (previously a state qualifier), as well as relays, and perhaps the 200 free.

No. 3

Gabi Rajic, Urbana

As versatile a swimmer as you'll find in the area, Rajic is highly ranked in the freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke. A sophomore, Rajic is part of Urbana's solid 200 free relay squad that figures to battle Central in a spirited sectional race. Rajic went to state last fall in the 100 free, but she's arguably the area's best breaststroker.

No. 4

Kristin Verkler, Danville

Strong all-around competitor, which is why she's at the top of the Honor Roll chart in the 200 individual medley at 2:21.03, just ahead of Rajic. Her best shot at a state berth likely lies in the butterfly, where her 2011 best time (1:00.77) is just off the state qualifying standard (59.40).

No. 5

Katherine Penwell, Central

She's part of a deep Maroons team that gets quality scoring from Sara Fundator, Sarah McGill and Margaret Goldsmith, among others. Penwell, McGill, Fundator and Newman make up a crackerjack 200 medley relay, which won the Charger Invitational title in 1:55.17.

Comments embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments