The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

October 8, 2013

Vikings clock Tigers

The Commercial-News

---- — DANVILLE — No more duct tape and no more delays.

The Danville High swim team showed off its brand new timing system on Monday night with a dual meet victory over the Urbana Tigers 109-76.

“It really means a lot to our team,’’ said Danville junior Madeline Swiersz, who won the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 breast stroke events. “It’s helped the meets go fast and we are getting a more accurate time.

“It makes us feel really appreciated to have this new system.’’

On Monday, the dual with Urbana lasted just over 90 minutes. The new system was a gift from the Team Phoenix Aquatics.

“To have the community help out is very fortunate,’’ said Danville first-year head coach Marcie Burleson. “Last year, I think we had duct tape every where.’’

There was nothing slowing down the Vikings on Monday night.

Danville started the meet winning the first four events and the 200 medley relay team of Swiersz, Marissa Burleson, Grace Jackowski and Victoria Omark got things started right with a time of 2 minutes, 6.76 seconds, winning the event by nearly 19 seconds.

“We do a lot of bonding activities together and we are here, at the pool, twice a day,’’ said junior Marissa Burleson. “We work really well together, so our relays do better because of that.

“We tied this meet last year with Urbana, so it was important for everyone to get their best times today to win this meet.’’

Coach Burleson made sure on Sunday that her girls knew how important this meet with Urbana was going to be.

“I sent a text to all the girls on Sunday, to remind them to get a good rest, because we would need it,’’ she said.

And shaving hundredths of a second off their best times was another goal on Monday for the Danville swimmers.

“I got first in the 200 IM and I almost had my best time, but I did get my best time in the 100 breast stoke,’’ said Swiersz, who credited her performance on the team’s work ethic in practice.

“The way that we are working out and pushing ourselves is paying off,’’ she added.

According to coach Burleson, Danville had 13 personal bests on Monday. That is the second highest total this season as they had 19 personal bests in a meet earlier this season.

“That means we are doing something right,’’ she said.

Senior Grace Jackowski, who won the 50 free and was second in the 100 free, admitted she is a little surprised with how well the Vikings have done this season.

“It’s been really good,’’ Jackowski said. “Overall, our team is dropping time and everyone is doing great. I’m so proud to be on this team.’’

And why has this team done so well?

“I think it’s because we have really bonded together,’’ Jackowski said. “Each one of us has something that we are good at and that variety is very important for the team.’’

That was evident as Danville won eight of the 12 events in Monday’s meet, including two relays — medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay.

Abbi Cortapassi, who was on the 200 freestyle relay team, also claimed the 200 freestyle event, while Omark was on both winning relay teams for the Vikings. Also picking up an individual victory on Monday was Tess Shore in the 500 freestyle.

Urbana’s Gabi Rajic won the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke and she anchored the Tigers winning 400 freestyle relay team.