The historic swim season for the Charleston High School Trojans keeps getting better.
At the girls swimming sectional, CHS girls head coach Dwight Pentzien was named the IHSA Sectional Coach of the Year, which included a pool of nearly 30 coaches. The girls’ swim team had its best postseason showing in school history. Out of 29 teams, the Trojans placed second overall, just missing out on their first-ever sectional title.
It was the highest placing for Charleston in team history.
“I think this is one of those years I will always remember,” said Pentzien. “Not just finishing second in the sectional, but just how everyone was a competitor all year. At the sectional, we saw everyone have significant time drops. Usually, you might have a couple of swimmers do well, a handful gets a personal best, and some others do not swim very well. I would say that every person was exceptional that week.”
Angela Coe led the charge by qualifying for the IHSA State Swimming Championships with a first-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley and a first-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly. Coe set the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center pool record with a time of 54.63. Coe won by nearly 4 seconds, pool record 54.63 (just off 54.12 at sectionals last year)
“Obviously, having Angie on the team helps our team, but we had a good combination of swimmers,” said Pentzien. We had a girl transfer in from Sullivan who was a really good athlete. We had some younger swimmers step up fr us this year. Overall, we had a really good balance of swimmers this year than in years past. In the past, we have had an average of eight to ten, while this year we had 14 girls.”
This is the 11th year that Pentzien has been the head coach for the Trojans and his 13th season with the program. Pentzien said that the team and his success couldn’t have been possible without the help of his wife, Kirsten, who is also the team’s co-coach.
“I work a full-time job at the hospital and I am not a teacher,” said Pentzien. “I’m don’t work at the school, so, without her help, I would not be able to do this. She covers for me when I can’t make practice because of a meeting. She takes care of everything when I am not there and has been doing this for a long time.”
Charleston’s successful season has included wins over Mahomet-Seymour, St. Thomas More, Urbana, Danville, Lincoln, and Springfield Southeast. As a team, CHS has placed fifth at the Capital City Invite, second at both the Urbana Invite and the Urbana University Invite and won the unofficial Apollo Conference championship.
Despite the historic events, Pentzien thought the award was equally deserving to the coach of Champaign Central.
“It’s a testament to the hard work the girls put in,” said Pentzien. “I was shocked with our place at sectionals. Champaign Central won the sectional for the first time. The previous six years were won by Champaign Centennial. I voted for the Champaign Central coach. I thought she did a great job with her team.”
CHS Season Recap
8/31/21 Champaign Central 125 Charleston 58
9/4/21 Charleston 233, Mahomet 176, St. Thomas More 38
9/11/21 Capital City Invite Charleston 5th /13
9/14/21 Charleston 104 Urbana 77
9/18/21 Charger Invite 7th /11
9/25/21 Bloomington Raider Invite 10th /14
10/4/21 Charleston 161, Mahomet 135, Urbana 123, Danville 90
10/9/21 Urbana Tiger Invite 2 nd /8
10/12/21 Olympia 185, Charleston 170, Lincoln 79, Springfield Southeast 78
10/16/21 University Invite 2 nd /6
10/23/21 Mahomet 114, Charleston 102, Lincoln 68
10/30/21 Apollo Conference Charleston 190, Mahomet 147, Lincoln 77
11/6/21 IHSA Sectionals 2 nd /29