FLORENCE, S.C. — Isabelle Guerriero’s two top-10 finishes at the recent SCHSL state meet are meaningful in more ways than one.
First, to place eighth in the Class 4A 100 freestyle (55.25 seconds) and 100 backstroke (1:04.33) gives the West Florence junior plenty of momentum.
“It makes me motivated to know that I made top 10 twice as a junior,” she said. “Hopefully, some of the others ahead of me this year are seniors, and I can have a chance at a top-five finish next year. But knowing I accomplished what I did this year makes me so happy.”
Count F1S swim coach Janmarie Chatlosh is also proud.
West Florence teammate Emily Howard posted a ninth-place finish in the 100 backstroke (1:04.33) and was 15th in the 100 free (56.71).
Chatlosh, who coaches each of Florence One School’s high schools, is especially proud of both.
“Isabelle Guerriero swam strong the entire season. She was in shape coming into the shortened season due to COVID-19. Emily came into the season and improved throughout working hard to get into shape,” Chatlosh said. “Both girls are hard workers and very focused athletes.”
April Guerriero, Isabelle’s mother, remembers how focused her daughter had to be to come back from an injury.
“She came off a right-shoulder injury that had put her on the sidelines for about a year and a half,” April said. “She had been working her way back to where she was prior to that. So, now we feel that she’s very close to returning to 100 percent. She’s not quite there yet, but we’re feeling like she’s close. We’re super excited for her to get a top-10 finish after being out for a while because of that injury.”
But after Isabelle finished her races in North Charleston, the accomplishments eventually sank in.
“I was very tired after it, and I wasn’t expecting much,” she said. “But when I saw the results, I was blown away. I wasn’t excited at the moment because I was numb to it. But afterward, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I actually did this.’ I couldn’t believe it. I posted a top-10 finish in this for the first time ever.”
Guerriero and Howard also swam in the Knights’ three relay state events for West Florence. The 200 free relay team (Guerriero, Howard, Sarah Howard, Faith Fields) finished eighth at state (1:47.47). The 400 free relay placed ninth (3:57.71), and that team included Guerriero, Emily and Sarah Howard, as well as Sarah Beth Bailey.
The 200 medley relay (2:11.34) was 16th, and that included Bailey, Aven Wightman, Fields and Mariah Docherty.
Other individual results included these: Sarah Howard placed 12th in the 500 free (5:52.61), Docherty 22nd in the 100 breaststroke (1:18.31), Wightman 26th in the 100 breaststroke (1:19.08) and Bailey 29th in the 100 backstroke (1:11.70).
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