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updated: 11/10/2012 7:35 PM

Huntley's Curits makes school history

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  • Ali Cazel of Huntley swims the 200 yard freestyle race during the St. Charles North girls swimming sectional Saturday.

       Ali Cazel of Huntley swims the 200 yard freestyle race during the St. Charles North girls swimming sectional Saturday.
    BRIAN HILL | Staff Photographer

  • Brittany Podczerwinski of Jacobs swims the 200 yard IM during the St. Charles North girls swimming sectional Saturday.

       Brittany Podczerwinski of Jacobs swims the 200 yard IM during the St. Charles North girls swimming sectional Saturday.
    BRIAN HILL | Staff Photographer

 
By Darryl Mellema
Daily Herald Correspondent

No matter how she performs in Evanston next weekend, Chanel Curtis is already a record-setter as the first Huntley swimmer -- boys or girls -- to qualify a state swim meet.

Curtis booked her place after she finished third in the 50-yard freestyle in Saturday's St. Charles North Sectional.

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"It's really exciting and I'm really happy," Curtis said.

Curtis is a senior who anchors Huntley's freestyle relays and will cap her high school career on the state's biggest stage. The 50 freestyle is the shortest race in the meet consisting of a start, a turn at the far end of the pool and then a 25-yard sprint to the finish.

"I was just so excited to qualify," Curtis said.

As she heads to the state meet, Curtis said she will establish some simple goals in preparation for Friday's prelims.

"I want to swim faster, as always," Curtis said. "I want to get closer to 23. I don't think I can actually place at state. I'm just happy to go. It's a great way to end senior year for me."

Although she was plenty happy after qualifying for the state meet in both the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle, Crystal Lake co-op senior Marisa Barton was happy, but in a controlled way.

"Right now, I'm really tired because I'm semi-tapered, not fully-tapered," Barton said. "That's why my 100 was so slow. Last year, I was more tapered for sectionals."

Barton won the 50 freestyle in 23.31, then returned to swim 53.67, which was good for fourth place in the 100 freestyle.

"The 50, that totally surprised me," Barton said. "I didn't think I could go that fast. So that got me excited for next weekend. And the 100, that shows that I'm excited for the (state) meet tapered."

Crystal Lake co-op senior Nikaya Dahl also qualified for the state meet when she swam 23.95 and finished third in the 50 freestyle.

Barton said she is now setting her sights on the state meet.

"I'm definitely looking for some time drops," she said. "I've always wanted to be in the 22's for the 50, so that's the goal for next weekend. And then I want to swim faster in the 100 than I did today."

Barton attends Prairie Ridge while Dahl is a student at Crystal Lake South, so the two see each other at practices, meets and other team functions.

"We all like it," Barton said. "If you go to school and you're with those people eight hours a day, you can get sick of them. I don't how other teams are, but I feel that's how I would get. When we see each other at practice, we catch up on how the day's been."

St. Charles East won the sectional title with 315 points and St. Charles North was second at 349.

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