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Girls Swimming: Downers Grove North's Gabby Sims Wins State Title

Sims, a junior, broke a pool record in the 100-yard freestyle, leading the Trojans to a sixth-place finish at the IHSA swimming and diving finals.

Downers Grove North junior Gabby Sims won her second individual state title in dramatic fashion Saturday, breaking the pool record in the 100-yard freestyle at the IHSA girls swimming and diving finals in Evanston.

Sims posted a pool-record 49.57 in the freestyle final—the second-fastest time ever swum at a state meet. She also became one of only four swimmers in Illinois history to break the 50-second mark at a state meet, according to mom Janice Sims.

Gabby Sims finished second in the 100-yard backstroke (54:02), the event she won last year. Finishing first was Glenbrook South senior Olivia Smoliga (51.43), who also won the 50-yard freestyle (21.99).

Going into Saturday's final, Sims was ranked first in the 100-yard freestyle and second in the 100-yard backstroke.

Last year, she became the fourth member of her family to win an individual state title—following in the footsteps of father, Dave (1980), brother Burke (2009) and sister Haley (2010).

Downers Grove North finished sixth overall behind New Trier, Fenwick, Neuqua Valley, Glenbrook South and Loyola Academy.

Gabby Sims also swam the 400-yard freestyle relay with twin sister Maddy Sims, Albrecht and senior Hannah Kaufmann. The team finished fourth with a time of 3:29.41.

Downers Grove finished fifth (1:44.93) in the 200-yard medley relay. Swimmers were Gabby Sims (backstroke) and sophomores Gaby Serniute (breaststroke), Emily Albrecht (freestyle) and Daria Wick (butterfly).

Albrecht also finished 11th in the 50-yard freestyle (24.03).

Maddy Sims was ranked in the top 10 entering prelims Friday, but was hampered by a pulled groin that forced her to withdraw from the finals. In the prelims, she finished 15th in the 100-yard butterfly (57.11) and 19th in the 200-yard individual medley (2:08.15).

Other preliminary times:

  • Serniute, Wick, Kaufmann and Albrecht finished 13th—just out of the finals—in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:37.83);
  • Serniute took 47th place in the 50-yard freestyle (24.92) and 43rd place in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:08.61);
  • Wick finished 26th in the 100-yard butterfly (58.10) and 41st in the 200-yard freestyle (2:01.26).

Related stories:

  • DGN Swimmer Gabby Sims Excels Internationally
  • DGN Swimmer Gabby Sims Wins State Championship
  • Sims Sisters Lead DGN Pool Party

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