The last two seasons have been romps in the CHSAA girls swimming finals for Sacred Heart. And while the program still has a great deal of star power, improved depth for St. Anthony's could allow the Friars to finally wrestle the championship crown away. They get their chance at 1 p.m. Sunday at Nassau Aquatic Center.
"It's going to be a really, really close meet tomorrow," St. Anthony's coach Dan McBride said. "Sacred Heart is completely dominating first place and I wouldn't be surprised if it comes down to the last relay."
Sacred Heart has three swimmers seeded first in both of its events: Francis Warren (200-yard freestyle, 100 butterfly), Casey Francis (200 individual medley and 500 freestyle) and Megan Brady (50 freestyle and 100 backstroke). In addition, Emily Tan is seeded first in the 100 freestyle and second in the 50 freestyle. All four could be in contention for meet MVP, and nearly everyone beat their seed times at Saturday's preliminaries.
But despite that impressive quartet, St. Anthony's did deal Sacred Heart its lone blow of the dual-meet season, winning, 88-82.
"It was a nice surprise winning the meet, I didn't expect that," McBride said. "I thought I'd have a better shot at winning the championships. But I think that probably helped us today - having the confidence to know they can do some damage."
The Friars are led by twins Chandler (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle) and Shannon Lulley (200 IM and 100 butterfly).
Said McBride: "They were the co-MVPs of our program last year. Everything pretty much works around them."