STOUGHTON WINS 2 STATE TITLES

Tom Batters
Becky Stoughton

When asked to compare Becky Stoughton’s performance to the many other great swims he has seen during his career, Peoria Notre Dame coach Derek Amerman said, “There is no comparison. That’s the best I’ve ever seen. Period.”

Stoughton, a junior, won the state title in the 200 and 500 freestyle races at the state championship meet Saturday in Winnetka.

The Peoria Notre Dame team finished 11th overall, which was the best finish in the history of the storied program.

“Becky was on fire,” Amerman said. “It was a great meet from start to finish — for everyone on our team. I couldn’t be happier.”

Richwoods junior Hannah Freyman won two state medals — fifth in the 50-free and eighth in the 100-backstroke.

The Notre Dame 400-free relay (Lauren Lambrecht, Nicole Miller, Kiersten Seidel and Stoughton) won a medal for its eighth-place finish.

“Kiersten, Lauren, Nicole and Becky came up huge in that race,” Amerman said. “We needed that one and they all came through. Everyone was hungry, and it showed. What a great relay.”

Saturday night, Stoughton said her accomplishments had not set in yet.

“It will hit me later and then I’ll probably start bawling,” she said.

Stoughton said she felt confident going into the finals on Saturday.

“Last year, I was too nervous, and I wasn’t happy with how I did,” she said. “This year, I just wanted to have fun. I wasn’t as nervous.”

Amerman said Stoughton was ready.

“I took one look at her this morning (Saturday), and I knew she was going to do it,” he said. “She was so focused.”

Stoughton became the first Notre Dame swimmer ever to win a state title, but she said that was not the best part of her day.

“The best part for me was seeing my teammates do well,” she said. “It was great to be here with them, and stand with them on the block. We’re such a close team. That’s what I’ll remember most about this weekend.”