District 300 co-op boys swimming coach Rick Andresen thought he had enough talent to end Cary-Grove's 10-year reign as Fox Valley Conference champions.
Spearheaded by Most Valuable Swimmers Harold Ogaban and Elijah Stuart, District 300, which is comprised of Dundee-Crown, Jacobs and Hampshire high schools, tallied a score of 327 points to claim first place honors at the FVC meet held at Woodstock North Saturday.
"We had a good group coming back plus we had some key additions", said a happy Andreesen. "We could enter three quality swimmers in each event. We had great depth. I am very proud of the kids. They swam very well."
Ogaban and Stuart each won 2 individual events and were part of the winning 200 medley relay team.
Ogaban won the 200 freestyle in 1:47 and 100 backstroke with a clocking of 53.98.
"I am really tired and have been battling flu all week, " said Ogaban. "I was a little rusty but I like the way I competed and raced. I need to get rest before the sectionals next week."
Stuart claimed top honors in the 50 freestyle in a time of 22.01 and 100 freestyle with a time of 48.42.
"I really went hard and PR'd (personal record) in both events," said Stuart. "I swam with confidence and feel good going into sectionals. I will taper this week to be ready for next week."
Stuart, Ogaban, Eric Boysen and Alexander Le comprised of the winning 200 medley relay team in a time of 1:38.83.
A fifth individual first place finish from the FVC champs came from Vince Chiappetta in the 500 freestyle (4:56.22).
Cary-Grove was in second place with a score of 318.
The Trojans' lone first place individual effort came from Hunter Jackson in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.16).
"I was really focused and was really pleased with the way I started the race," said Jackson. "I liked my continuous pace throughout the entire race. It was a good race going into the sectionals next week."
Cary-Grove, which also includes swimmers from other District 155 schools Prairie Ridge, Crystal Lake South and Crystal Lake Central, won the 200 freestyle relay (1:29.16, Omid Babakhani, Cameron Castro, Connor Dolezal, Kolin Fadden) and then ended the meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay (3:15.85) with the same foursome.
Huntley placed third with a score of 170.
The top Red Raider effort came from Maxwell Hagberg, who was second behind Ogaban in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:48.39.
Hagberg was also a runner-up in the 100 freestyle behind Stuart with a clocking of 48.52.
Huntley was third in the 400 freestyle relay (Hagberg, Mark Vandy, Marco LoPiccolo, Kaeper Cebula, (3:26.86).