Melanie Margalis, Robert Finke each secure spots on US National Swim Team
A pair of Countryside swimming standouts, past and present, will represent the U.S. National Team at the FINA World Championships July 14-30 in Budapest.
Melanie Margalis, who graduated from Countryside in 2010, won the 200 IM in 2 minutes, 9.57 seconds at the U.S. National Championships. Her time ranks as the third-fastest in the world this year.
Margalis won a gold medal in the 4x200 meter relay at the Rio Olympics after swimming a leg in the preliminaries. She also took fourth in the 200 IM in Rio.
This week, she secured a spot on the U.S. 4x200 relay thanks to her third-place finish in the 200 free at the national meet.
Margalis swam for the Cougars from 2006-09 and won the state title in the 200-yard IM three times, including a state-record time of one minute, 57.07 seconds in '09, a mark that still stands. She went on to swim for the University of Georgia.
Robert Finke, a rising senior at Countryside, made the team after taking second in the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:01.31 at the national meet.
The field in the 1500 was wide open with no Olympians or national team members in the finals. True Sweester, a sophomore at Stanford, won in 14:59.73.
Last year, Finke was selected for the FINA World Cup, a short-course meet in Japan. Trouble, was, the World Cup coincided with the Class 4A state meet.
Finke decided to swim against his high school counterparts instead of those at the international level.
Part of the reason was so Finke would have a chance to win the first individual state titles of his high school career.
Finke achieved that. He won the 200 IM in 1:49.34.
Finke was more dominant in the 500 free, his signature event. He coasted to victory in 4:22.92, nearly eight seconds faster than the rest of the field.