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Normal West's Melissa Pish competes in the 200-yard freestyle during the Girls Intercity Swim Meet on Oct. 5 at Normal Community. Pish enters Saturday's sectional with the state's top times in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles.

Sectional swimming

Advancement: Winning swimmers and those meeting a qualifying standard advance to the Nov. 17-18 state meet at Winnetka. Winning divers and the next 32 best non-winners statewide also advance.

Qualifying standards: 200-yard medley relay - 1:48.58; 200 freestyle - 1:55.10; 200 individual medley - 2:09.59; 50 freestyle - 24.39; 100 butterfly - 58.18; 100 freestyle - 53.03; 500 freestyle - 5:09.63; 200 freestyle relay - 1:38.23; 100 backstroke - 58.69; 100 breaststroke - 1:06.76; 400 freestyle relay - 3:35.52.

At Normal West

When: Saturday: Diving, 9 a.m.; swimming, 1 p.m.

Area entrants: Bloomington, University High, Normal West, Normal Community, Lincoln, Clinton, Pontiac, Metamora co-op, Olympia.

Team outlook: Intercity and Big 12 Conference champion NCHS is ranked No. 5 in the state behind No. 1 Rosary, No. 2 Oswego East, No. 3 St. Charles North and No. 4 New Trier. Normal West is ranked No. 20 while the Metamora co-op is among five teams ranked just outside of the top 20. U High has won the sectional the past two years. 

Individual outlook: Texas recruit Grace Ariola of NCHS has entered the 50 free and 100 back, in which she owns state-leading times of 23.04 and 54.27, respectively. Duke-bound Melissa Pish of Normal West has the state's top times in the 200 free (1:49.42) and 500 free (4:55.49). Julia Heimstead of NCHS boasts the state's No. 3 clocking in the 100 fly (56.13). She also will contest the 200 IM in which her season best of 2:07.54 is under the qualifying standard of 2:09.59, a mark U High's Lilly Culp (2:08.73) also has been under. Likewise, Culp's 100 breaststroke best of 1:06.02 is under the standard. NCHS owns a state-leading 3:32.03 in the 400 free relay and also ranks sixth in the 200 medley relay (1:47.23) and 10th in the 200 free relay (1:38.48). The top-seeded diver is U High's Dana Siverly (466.90). Metamora senior Noelle Peplowski, a six-time state medalist bound for Indiana, is the sectional's top seed in the 200 IM (2:05.40) and 100 breaststroke (1:03.83). Rounding out the top seeds is Ashley Bengtson of NCHS in the 100 free (53.33). Others under the 500 free cut are Illinois-recruit Sidney Kennedy of U High (5:05.56) and Saint Louis-recruit Claire Koh of NCHS (5:07.00).

— Compiled by Randy Sharer

— Compiled by Randy Sharer

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Sports Writer

Sports Writer for The Pantagraph.

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