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Excitement surrounds Panthers' swim program

Published: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 3:44 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 3:50 p.m. CDT
Erica Benson - ebenson@shawmedia.com Glenbard North's Marisa Savegnago swims the butterfly during practice Monday at the Fountain View Recreation Center. The senior is a three-time state meet qualifier.

CAROL STREAM – The Glenbard North swimming program has had a lot of success in recent years despite not having its own facility.

Now with the team finding a home at the Fountain View Recreation Center in Carol Stream, the excitement level for the program has reached an all-time high.

“For the first time in five years, we have our own place,” said coach Chris Del Galdo, whose team used to have to find time to practice at a local LA Fitness. “We have our own pool and blocks for the first time. For the first time in five years, the girls are practicing on equal ground with the people they race against.”

One other big change that has come to fruition in 2013 is Glenbard North is not part of a co-op with Glenbard East this fall. Because of that, along with higher costs to participate, the squad has only nine girls on the roster.

“It’s a small group,” the coach said, “but I’m having a blast coaching them. They are great, they all get along and they are very appreciative of the surroundings they have. They feel like they’ve worked hard to get into a situation where they are a full-fledged team. They are excited and practices are fun.”

Despite the small numbers, the Panthers are not devoid of talent. The team is led by a pair of three-time state qualifiers in Marisa Savegnago and Danielle Homere.

“Both of them have goals of scoring at the state meet,” Del Galdo said. “Scoring is a high goal and it’s difficult to do. What they have done in the past has been good enough to get to the meet. What they are doing now in practice, I think they have enough to score. It’s a realistic goal for them.”

Glenbard North won a triangular meet with Andrew and Crete-Monee to begin the season and later competed well against one of the top teams in the state in Naperville Central. The team was scheduled to host their first-ever meet yesterday against Naperville North.

“It’s exciting,” Del Galdo added. “For the first time, there is a future and it’s a real thing now.”

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