Following consecutive sectional champion what are your expectations for this year’s team?
Louret: My expectation is always to perform at the best of our ability and have fun doing it. This year, I do have another small group of girls similar to my last two years coaching, but that won’t get in the way of our performance. We would love to win sectionals again, but know there is a lot of great competition around us, and we’ll need to bring it. We’re hoping to send as many girls to the state meet as we can to represent Champaign-Urbana.
Who are some of your girls we should keep an eye on this season?
Louret: Megan Bernacchi (our only senior and captain), Hannah Hong, Ava Bernacchi, Annika Scott and Marin McAndrew.
What are the biggest challenges facing this year’s team?
Louret: Our small size, but we have proven that the size of the team doesn’t necessarily matter. It’s the quality of the swimmers. Also, not being able to practice consistently in our pool right now. Due to the renovations at Centennial Pool, we aren’t able to practice there until it’s completely finished. We’ve been practicing at Sholem, (Champaign) Country Club and now the YMCA. It’s awesome these places are allowing us to use their facilities, but also very difficult since we’re moving around so much. Central is in the exact same boat as us, but we are making it work.
Swimmers and divers to watch in 2019 season
NAME YR. SCHOOL
Megan Bernacchi Sr. Centennial
Reed Broaders Jr. Uni High
Emma Clapp Sr. BHRA
Alice Gao Jr. Uni High
Natalie Heaton Jr. Mahomet-Seymour
Honora Hoey Soph. Urbana
Madeline Hogg Sr. Danville
Hannah Hong Jr. Centennial
Angelynn Huang Sr. Uni High
Amalie Johnson Jr. Champaign Central
Hope Lee Jr. Champaign Central
Sally Ma Soph. Uni High
Olivia McMurry Soph. Mahomet-Seymour
Alyssa Pankau Jr. Urbana
Tyann Parker Sr. Urbana
Emme Pianfetti Jr. Centennial
Alexia Popa Sr. Champaign Central
Natalie Porter Soph. Danville
Lexie Seten Soph. Centennial
Gabrielle Spain Jr. Sullivan
Madison Stoffel Sr. Monticello
Payne Turney Sr. Clinton
Abbie Vessell Soph. St. Thomas More
Lela Wagner Sr. Danville
Julia Wilson Sr. Champaign Central
Events to watch
➜ Centennial, Champaign Central and Normal Community, Saturday, at Normal Community. The Big 12 Conference triangular begins at 10 a.m. Originally slated to take place at Unit 4 Pool in Champaign, it’s among the events moved due to Unit 4 Pool’s ongoing renovation.
➜ Centennial Charger Invitational, Sept. 21, at Bloomington. Much of the area’s local talent will be involved in a meet that begins at 9 a.m., including the likes of Centennial, Champaign Central, Danville, St. Thomas More, Uni High and Urbana. Also another contest displaced by Unit 4 Pool construction.
➜ Mahomet-Seymour, St. Thomas More, Uni High at Urbana, Oct. 16. It's not only senior night for the Tigers at the Urbana Aquatic Center, but also a good chance for the other three area programs involved to square off against one another.
➜ Twin City Invitational, Oct. 22, at Unit 4 Pool. Take all of the swimming squads from Champaign-Urbana and throw them into the same waters (starting at 4 p.m.) with one more month of experience under their belts, and you’ve got some quality competition slated. Always a good meet ahead of the postseason as well.