Tired Curia wins for Naperville North
Naperville North's Eric Curia is officially ready for the postseason.
Curia, who qualified for state last year in both the 500 freestyle and the 200 freestyle, won the 500 and swam on the winning 400 freestyle relay team at Saturday's Metea Valley's Mustang Invite.
"My strategy for in-season racing is to get as tired as possible, and being this tired and winning today means I'm ready for my taper," said Curia, who will play water polo at the U.S. Air Force Academy next year. "In the 500 I just try to go out fast and hang on to the end. My goals are to break 4:30 at state and finish in the top six."
Curia's time for the 500 on Saturday was 4:48.11.
Curia also was a member of the 400 free relay team that included Steven Missak, Andrew Rocco and Sam Hiller and finished first as the Huskies edged Waubonsie Valley and knocked the Warriors out of first place in the final team standings.
"The first three guys did so great," anchorman Hiller said, "that after their effort I didn't want to see Waubonsie Valley beat us, so I had to keep the lead."
Hiller also grabbed an individual event victory for the Huskies by winning the 100 backstroke in 53.45.
Neuqua Valley won the invite title with 478 points. Waubonsie Valley was just behind the Wildcats with 475, Naperville North and Naperville Central were tied for third with 444 points each, and host Metea Valley was fifth with 406.
The Wildcats won the meet without capturing the title in a single varsity event but managed to get multiple swimmers in the scoring positions in most events, which helped them accrue points in the championship scoring. They did win two of the three freshman relays, which accounted for 80 points.
"We knew we had the depth to get a lot of points," said Neuqua Valley coach Chad Allen. "So we just kind of hung in there the whole day. We may not be as strong on top as other teams, but we did a good job across the board and everybody on our team got the chance to compete. Our guys haven't won an invite in a while, so it's nice to get back on top. This was a total team effort."
Waubonsie Valley's Adam Stacklin had another sterling day, winning both the 100 and the 200 freestyle and serving as the anchor on the winning 200 freestyle team that also featured Michael McWhirter, Kelvin Newton and Stephen Ernst.
"My body is breaking down at this time of the year," Stacklin said. "But I'm feeling good about where I am at this point in the season. I'm excited to get to work in the next couple of weeks and then starting to taper."
Connor Lamb gave Naperville Central its lone first-place finish when he won the 200 IM in 1:.59.32
Host Metea Valley got wins from Peter Rodriguez in the diving, Matt Salerno in the 50 freestyle, and the 200 medley relay team of Trevor Sandberg, Jordan O'Brien, Salerno and Alex Gidlow.
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