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Un-FOUR-gettable! Athletic Department Celebrates "FAB FOUR:" 200 Freestyle Relay State Champs!

Communications Team

They were certainly FOUR-midable.

They had a winning FOUR-mula, so to speak.

And that led to an un-FOUR-gettable Saturday for the Stevenson girls swim team last weekend that was full of good FOUR-tune.

Abby CollinsStephanie KirovaLinnea Florin and Izzie Gattone made up a Fabulous FOURsome for the Patriots that happened to clock the fourth-fastest time (1:33.06) in state history in the 200 freestyle relay at the IHSA State Finals last weekend. And their first-place finish in that event set the table for, you guessed it…a fourth-place team finish for Stevenson.

The “FAB FOUR” was honored this morning by the Athletic Department for their state championship, as was the entire swim team (pictured right recording the "Pledge Of Allegiance") for their fourth-place finish at state.

“I don’t think we could have done it if it weren’t for all of our teammates,” Collins, a senior and team captain who led off the relay, said as she spoke to the entire team. “Everyone who was on deck or in the stands definitely played a role in getting us going, getting us excited and just cheering us on. We couldn’t have done it without you.”

That energy and encouragement helped the “FAB FOUR” blow away the competition. Gattone, the other senior in the group and the anchor of the race, crushed her leg and finished with room to spare, thanks in part to the big lead her three teammates provided.

“When I was on the block, not only was I thinking about my start, I was also thinking about how badly I wanted this for my team,” Gattone said. “Even though swimming is an individual sport, in that moment, it was more than that because that race was a culmination of everything we had worked towards this entire season. So when I finished and hit the wall, I couldn’t see the board but I saw my teammates and I knew we had done well. It was an amazing experience.”

The Patriots had been building to it for weeks.

They set a new Lake County record earlier in the season and, in each subsequent race, kept shaving their time from there.

“Through sectionals, state prelims and state finals, they had lowered their own team record on every occasion. It was really building to that moment (at state) and it was timed perfectly,” girls swim coach Ayrton Kasemets (pictured above left) said. “That group just works together well, they know each other well. And some have been swimming together for at least eight years or so. There was a lot of cohesiveness between them. They were a really special group.”