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  • Written by Anthony Nasella

SPORTS-WRAP -GIRLICHPhoto by Jeff Vorva: Junior Anna Girlich (middle, with crutches) was one of the favorites to capture the all-around title at last Wednesday’s SWSC gymnastics meet before being sidelined with a knee injury suffered five days earlier.

 

  All season long, Stagg’s boys’ swim team has been setting both small and big goals. Primary among them are titles in the SouthWest Suburban Conference and sectional meets, and strong representation and a good showing at the state meet.
  The goal-oriented Chargers have been seeing visible fruit. Highlighting their accomplishments to date are a 4-1 conference ledger and first —place finishes at the Downers Grove, Lincoln-Way North and Lockport invitationals.

  And in last Thursday’s SWSC meet against Lincoln-Way East, the Stagg quartet of Lucas Smiarowski, Harlan Long, Zack Amendola and Evan Johnson set pool records while swimming to victories in both the 200-yard medley (1 minute, 38.55 seconds) and 400-free relays.
  Amendola added individual triumphs in the 100-butterfly (54.55) and 100-breaststroke (1:06.44), while Johnson also set the pace in two events: the 200-free (1:55.50) and 500-free (5:19.93).
  Their combined handiwork enabled the Chargers to bag a convincing 120-66 victory over the Griffins.
  “Right now, we’re working real hard,” Stagg coach Jason Carr said. “Our goal is take first place at conference and sectionals. We get a lot of competitive teams [there, but] it’s a goal that the kids are really working toward.
  “They’re really psyched about it. We’re doing everything we can to see that we can realize those two goals.”
  Of the many swimmers on the squad who are making strides, Carr said that Amendola, Long, and Smiarowski have been especially sharp.
  “Those three, as with the whole team, have been working real hard on the varsity squad,” Carr said. “We’ve seen improvements at the invites. This is the first year we’ve taken three first-place finishes at five of our invites, and the three wins were all in a row, which was great.
  “We’ve definitely noticed the improvements. In our invite victories, we had hope at Downers Grove, at the Lincoln-Way North Invite almost everyone who swam actually swam their best time up to that point, [and] it was the same at the Lockport Invite.
  “The kids really wanted to go after it at the Lockport Invite, and they did. This team is very goal-oriented this year. They keep setting goals, and they’re trying their very best to accomplish them.”

 

SPORTS-WRAP -MussalemPhoto by Jeff Vorva: Hanna Mussalem took fifth for Sandburg-Stagg co-op in the all-around at last Wednesday’s SouthWest Suburban Conference gymnastics meet