If swimming meets were determined by simply a tally of wins and loses in each event, the La Salle-Peru girls co-op would have finished only one-winning tally behind Byron in Wednesday’s non-conference dual in La Salle.
However, collect and accumulate points for victories, second place and third, and the Lady Cavaliers found themselves losing 61-41.
Although the co-op fell to the Lady Tigers, L-P coach Rob McNally was excited about his team four meets into the season.
“We had several close races and they were a lot of fun to watch,” McNally said. “I love close races. Of course, it makes a difference if we win them or lose them, but they’re fun to watch when you see kids fighting for the wall as hard as they do. I was pretty pleased with that.”
The Lady Cavs won five events to the Lady Tigers’ six victories.
Behind L-P’s winning tallies were senior Ashley Heagy winning the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:03.28, junior Nicole Pocivasek taking the 200 freestyle in 2:08.48 and the 500 freestyle in 5:45.30 and sophomore Peyton Heagy winning the 100 freestyle with a time of 56.4 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:12.15.
“Ashley Heagy did really well again today considering the fact she has decided to devote more of her time to cross country because of her talent in that area,” McNally said. “She broke the team record in the 500 (freestyle on Tuesday). She’s still working really hard in the pool.
“Peyton is following in her sister’s footsteps. I honestly believe if she continues to work hard, she’ll probably be faster than anyone who has come through the program. Nicole was in cross country last year and decided to devote more time to swimming. That is paying off for her in the swimming pool.
“It’s early in the season and it’s hard to see where they’re going to be at the end of the season. But, I’m optimistic about how things are going because of how well they’re doing so early in the season.”
McNally was pleased with his seniors — Ashley Heagy, Cora Walker, Emma Mertes, Sam Satterfield and McKaylay Hanus — who have improved from meet to meet to help the Lady Cavaliers have a 2-2 mark five weeks into the season.
Byron coach Adam Gura had heard his swimmer’s stories about the struggles they’ve had in the pool at L-P’s East Gym.
However, the first-year coach was impressed with how they handled them Wednesday, especially against the Lady Cavs’ talented swimmers.
“I thought some of us swam well. We have a ways to go still in a couple events,” said Gura, who has begun his Lady Tigers’ coaching career with a 4-0 start. “I thought we swam particularly well in the 200-yard IM (individual medley) and the 200 medley relay. Both of our 400 (freestyle) relays ended up pulling away at the end. Some of those individual events we’ll keep working on.
“(The Lady Cavaliers) did a great job. They were pushing a lot of our best swimmers. I was glad. We haven’t gone against a lot of fast swimmers. The Heagy sisters were tough and are really good swimmers. This is our fourth meet and it was good for our top swimmers to go against other top swimmers.”
The L-P co-op is back in action on Saturday at the Rock Island Relays.
Note: The Lady Cavs junior varsity team fell to Byron 49-26.
Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6995, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.