The Star Swimmer

Junior Aubrey Lonergan becomes the second girl in school history to make it to the state swim meet.

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Emily Holmes

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For any athlete, the end goal is to make it to the Illinois High School Association State Meet. For junior Aubrey Lonergan, that goal was met this school year when she qualified to swim at state, which was held November 18 and 19. This goal was not met without years of hard work and dedication.

Lonergan started swimming when she was seven years old, during the summer after first grade. She was not involved in many extracurricular activities and her parents encouraged her to get involved.

“I wasn’t really involved in anything,” Lonergan said. “My mom was a swimmer, so she kind of introduced me to it.”

Since she began swimming, Lonergan swam with three teams aside from her team at Antioch.

“Up until fourth grade I swam just in the summer for the Antioch Waves,” Lonergan said. “Then for two years I swam at the YMCA, and then from sixth grade to now I’ve been swimming at the Pleasant Prairie Rec Plex for the Patriots.”

Lonergan swims the 50 free and the 100 free, but she prefers the 100 free since the 50 is so short and it can be very stressful.  But like any athlete, Lonergan trusted her training that she would excel and make it to the state meet.

“I try not to think too much about it [the race] because I psych myself out,” Lonergan said. “I just try to stay positive and motivated.”

Her friends and family all try to help her stay calm before the race so that she does not psych herself out too much. Lonergan’s parents come to all of her meets to show their support for her and her dreams. Lonergan takes the support and motivation from her family and friends and tries to help motivate others by working hard. Teammate and sophomore Grace Hellen has been swimming with Lonergan for four years now and uses Lonergan for motivation to get better.

“She can do it, so I might get closer to it,” Hellen said. “I may not reach the goal exactly, but she could help me get closer to it.”

Hellen hopes to follow Lonergan on the road to state within the next two years. Another teammate Lonergan has been able to motivate is junior Lauren Annunzio, who has grown up swimming with Lonergan.

She was always optimistic and motivated people,” Annunzio said. “Especially me, because she was always faster so I wanted to beat her.”

In school history, Lonergan became the second girl to make it to the state swim meet. Alumna Dominique Bessette qualified for the state meet all four years as an individual since Antioch did not field a team.  

“It was really exciting,” Lonergan said. “It’s been a goal of mine to make it to state so it is kind of exciting to be compared to her.”

Lonergan hopes to make it to state again next year and place higher than she did this year.