By Race Archibald
You can make it a perfect 8-for-8 for Charleston swim team records held by Angela Coe.
The last record to fall, the 100 freestyle, was broken by nearly two seconds, when she finished first with a time of 52.52 Saturday at the Mattoon YMCA against St. Thomas More.
That swim gave her the team record in each individual event at the high school level, as only a sophomore.
But that should not be too surprising considering that Coe is ranked the second best swimmer in the state by SwimCloud.
“It makes it quite a bit easier,” Charleston coach Dwight Pentzien said, talking about putting a lineup together with Coe on the team. “We’ve had her swim every event because she’s wanted to try everything. She’s good at all four strokes.”
Coe was born in Taiwan, a reason she joined the team later in the season. She moved to the United States in 2018 but spent this past summer training in Taiwan.
“She started school at the beginning of September,” Pentzien said. “Our girls from February hadn’t been in the pool at all. Their first day in the pool was our first day of practice.”
Coe has rarely been challenged this season, winning every single race she has competed in so far.
She says she started swimming at age 4, joining because her sister swam as well. She knew at 6 years old that she wanted to continue swimming and knew this was the sport for her. Coe’s favorite events to swim, she says, are the 500 freestyle, 100 butterfly, and the 200 Individual Medley.
“She’s a unique swimmer,” Pentzien said. “Sprints to distance, all the strokes, as well as freestyle – she’s proficient in all of them.”
Last summer, Coe swam at the Illinois Age Group Long Course Championships, a club meet where the top swimmers in Illinois compete, and won six different events in the 13-14 age group, including the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley, and 400-meter freestyle, which is equivalent to the 500-yard freestyle swim in high school competition.
It was senior day at Saturday’s last dual meet of the season for Charleston, where the Trojans defeated St. Thomas More, 87-38.
Abby Woodall and Savannah Warner were the two Trojan seniors recognized.
Charleston won six of the nine events.
In addition to her record-breaking 100 freestyle, Coe also won the 50 fly with a time of 25.67, about four seconds ahead of second place.
Other wins for the Trojans included Ava Zheng in the 50 backstroke, Molly Weber in the 200 freestyle, Woodall in the 500 free, and Eva Zheng in the 100 breaststroke.
There is no state swim championship this year in the IHSA this year, so Charleston’s last meet of the season will be a sectional meet in Champaign next Saturday.