EVANSTON – Crystal Lake Central co-op’s Marisa Barton learned two valuable lessons Friday at the Girls Swimming and Diving State Meet.
Barton qualified for today’s consolation finals with a seventh-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle in 23.71 seconds. After finishing third last year in the 50, it was disappointing not to make the top six and have a chance to equal or better that performance.
With that success, a lot was expected from Barton this year, mostly from herself.
“I put a little too much pressure on myself,” Barton said. “I should have relaxed more.”
Barton, a senior at Prairie Ridge, also learned that you can’t control what other people do. Last year, Barton qualified for the championship finals with a 24.04. Only three swimmers were under 24 seconds.
On Friday, 14 swimmers swam under 24 seconds.
“The only good thing to take out of it is I was faster than last year,” Barton said.
Tigers coach Lindsay Swartz said Barton not making the championship finals should not detract from a great season and a great three years for Barton, who qualified for state each of those three years.
Swartz said the 50 freestyle has little margin for error. Barton missed the championship finals by five-hundredths of a second.
“That race is so hard,” Swartz said. “You think about how fast even a tenth of a second is. You can’t even comprehend how fast that is.”
Also for Central, Nikayla Dahl placed 35th in the 50 freestyle in 24.70. Huntley’s Chanel Curtis was 50th in 25.02.
Cary-Grove sophomore Melissa Rose swam an almost identical time as she did at sectionals in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.08) to place 23rd. After adding about a half-second from sectionals to state last year, Rose thought she was progressing this year.
“I felt better about it,” Rose said.
C-G coach Scott Lattyak said he was happy with Rose’s swim.
“[Rose] looked a lot more comfortable this time around,” he said. “The pressure of the meet still does get to you.”
The two years of swimming in the intense state finals should be good experience for Rose moving forward.
“It makes all the other meets seem easy,” Rose said. “This is really stressful.”
In the 100 freestyle, Barton finished 55th in 55.89.