By Mark Maxwell
The senior girls on the New Trier swimming team are going out on top after winning their fourth consecutive state championship last weekend.
This was the Trevians’ 14th state title and their second longest title streak in school history (Seven state titles from 1982-88). The Trevians topped Downers Grove North by an ultra slim margin of only three points. The only two state finals that were decided by a closer margin were in 2006 and 1976.
“It was actually kind of a surprise to us as the meet ended that it turned out being as close as it was,” said Trevians coach Mac Guy.
“Really, I think it's a testament to our girls that throughout the beginning of Saturday, they really did an exceptional job staying calm and staying in control from start to finish. We knew going in on Friday that we had a little bit of room to move up and that Downers had a little bit of room to move up too. To Downers Grove North's credit, they did an exceptional job on Saturday. They swam really, really well but for every time they stepped up and swam better, we did the same. I think just in general, to have a team that out of twelve qualifiers that were swimming Friday, eleven of them came back to swim on Saturday. It's a pretty exceptional feat for a high school girls team.”
Senior swimmer Liza Gallagher represented New Trier in the 100-meter butterfly. She credited a strong group of underclassmen for their contributions to the team.
“I think being in the state championship was awesome. We got to train real hard all year and the results really showed,” Gallagher said. “Everyone really stepped up. It was a blast. I loved it. It was a lot of pressure definitely but we had a great senior class this year. We weren't sure if we were going to win this year, but a lot of underclassmen really stepped up and we had a great team. It turned out really well.”
A Trevian senior diver, Juliette Corboy is committed to swim for the University of Michigan in college. She has a unique perspective as she has been on the winning and losing side of the state title swim meet during the last four years.
“It's really hard to top something as nice as four championships in a row. I wasn't on the team my freshman and sophomore year because I was at a different school,” she said.
“I was still on a state team there and I remember New Trier winning it. It looked like they were having the best time of their life. They really built up a great reputation as one of the best swim teams in Illinois. It's really hard to top winning state by three points.”
It’s difficult to quantify what it is that makes a winning culture, especially in a high school or college environment where rosters see so much turnover from year to year. However, this experience will likely live on with the underclassmen into next season and give them an extra advantage in their future endeavors. The bar has certainly been set very high at New Trier.
Coach Guy talked to CSNChicago.com about the added pressure of continuing the state title streak.
“I think there is a lot of pressure and a lot of high expectations going into a meet like this where we've won several championships in a row,” he said. “But for them to really rise up and stay focused on what they have control over and attack their events one by one, they really narrowed their focus down to what was important. They were able to look beyond that overall pressure.”