Just a few minutes after cruising to a win in the 500-yard freestyle, Moline senior swimmer Sophie Greko was tasked with anchoring the Maroons’ 200 medley relay in Saturday’s Panther girls swim invite at United Township High School.
She posted a lifetime-best 50 leg of 24.25, helping Moline post a 1:43.32 to edge Byron (1:43.62) for relay gold alongside Clara Van Note, Hailee Messerly, and Hannah Gault.
It was one of Moline’s five event wins as the Maroons placed fourth among 12 teams with 197 points at the 27th annual invite. Dunlap (241) took home first-place hardware, followed by Byron (232) and Pleasant Valley (227) to round out the top three.
Greko was the top seed in the 500 by 12 seconds, which allowed her to focus more energy in the relay. Her 24.25 split down the stretch would have won the 50 free event and was even under the state qualifying mark of 24.34 in the 50. And it came at a mid-season meet in the thick of harder practices.
“I was really trying to go like a 24 low, which I got, so I was happy with that time,” Greko said. “With all of our hard practices, it’s really impressive that myself and the whole team have been going season and lifetime bests.”
Greko also won the 200 free and dropped over a second. Greko, Messerly, Van Note, and Gault also paired up to place second to sectional rival Dunlap in the 400 free relay to close the meet.
“I’m just really excited to see how sectionals goes because I think everyone is going to taper really well,” Greko said.
Messerly dropped time and won the 100 fly and placed fourth in the 200 individual medley. Van Note was third in the 100 free and 200 free and Darien Sanders placed fourth in diving.
Moline coach Michael Roche said the team had some good swims ahead of Homecoming on Saturday. He said a lack of extra depth on his team showed up at the invite, but it was a good opportunity to compete in the same pool where the sectional will take place on Nov. 6. Matching up against other strong teams not at its sectional like PV and Byron was also a good tune-up.
“It was a fun meet,” Roche said. “It was good for the girls to see some competition and get out there and race.”
PV was led by senior Grace Veach, who placed second in the 50 free and third in the 100 back. Dawsyn Green dropped time to place second in the 500 free, Maddie Glaus was third in diving and Ellen Tews was third in the 100 fly for the Spartans.
Veach, Cait Quinn, Leah Patton, and Green were second in the 200 medley relay.
“We had some mid-season type swims. The girls are pretty tired I think and that showed a little bit,” PV assistant coach JJ Patton said. “We did have some good swims. Dawsyn Green had two lifetime bests today and that was probably the highlight of our team.”
Green, a freshman, also dropped over a second in the 200 IM to place fifth. PV had nine swim practices this week and Patton says the team is about at the peak of its training intensity.
“Overall they swam tough and swam through the pain,” Patton said, “but we didn’t really expect anything jaw-dropping at this point of the year.”
Galesburg was sixth, Morrison was seventh, Rock Island was ninth, Monmouth-Roseville was 10th and UT was 12th in the team standings.
Rock Island senior Olivia Sholl placed third in the 100 breaststroke for the Rocks’ best finish.