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Huntley places eighth in swimming sectional


The clock reads 50.56 seconds, only 8 more feet to the end of the lane. If she can grab the wall in 9 seconds or less, she can qualify for state. Her arms swing above and behind her head, slicing the frothy water, propelling her forward. Her feet kick rapidly to assist in the exhausting backstroke.

The crowd roars, words incoherent, energy spiked. 6 feet left, the very tips of her fingers stretch towards her teasing victory. 4 feet, the red numbers adding up impossibly fast. 1 foot turns into zero as she turns onto her front, hands slapping the wall at the finish.

Her chest heaves, lungs filling with air and anticipation. She bobs in the water for a few more seconds before hauling herself out of the pool.

The clock reads 1:00.08 seconds. 2 seconds better than her previous time. She does the math, two seconds too long. Hailey Hill did not qualify for state in the 100 yard backstroke.

This heart-racing event was just one out of 12 events for the IHSA Girls Sectional Swimming and Diving competition held at St. Charles East High School on Nov. 16. Fifteen teams attended the event for three spots to make it to state.

“They were ok,” said coach George Keenan. “The competition was fast, this is sectionals, and it determines whether you make it into state or not.”

Huntley placed eighth in the competition and none of the girls qualified for state. This was the last race of the season.

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