Neuqua Valley squeaks past Waubonsie Valley at DVC meet
Individual and relay accolades were spread among five schools at Saturday's varsity competition of the DuPage Valley Conference boys swim meet at Naperville North.
And as it has consistently all season, Neuqua Valley walked out of the pool area with the championship plaque.
The Wildcats scored 354 points. Waubonsie Valley put in a big showing as well, placing second at 350.5, and Naperville Central was third at 304.
Naperville North was fourth with 297 points, followed by Metea Valley (251.5), Wheaton Warrenville co-op (179), Lake Park (174) and Glenbard North-East Co-op (167).
Neuqua senior John Ruan said that with sectional meets just two weeks away, winning a conference meet is always welcomed momentum.
"It means a lot to the team. It's good to look back and see what we can achieve," he said.
Ruan was a member of Neuqua's two winning relays. He, Kyri Chen, Sathya Subramanian and Connor Boyle won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1 minute, 27.12 seconds. The same group set a meet record in the 400 freestyle relay of 3:10.56.
Neuqua coach Chad Allen said the 400 relay has come on strong of late after struggling most of the year.
"We have four solid guys on those relays and the other swimmers stepped up across the board today," he said. "We're going to get guys healthy and we have two weeks (until sectionals) to get a little more swimming in."
Freshman Connor Boyle set a meet record of 46.99 in winning the 100 freestyle. The old record had stood for 10 years.
Waubonsie went home with two conference champions. Aayush Deshpande won the 200 freestyle in 1:44.14 and Jared Simpson touched the wall first in the 200 individual medley at 1:56.34.
Top finishes for Naperville Central were Cameron Kalish's second-place 419.45 points in diving, held Friday, and Wyatt Weaver's third-place 402.65 in the event. The 200 freestyle relay of Dominic May, Luke Klein-Collins, Matt King and Brad Sanford placed third.
Sam Flessner was also third in the 100 breaststroke, the tightest race of the day.
Naperville North's Josh Tak won the race in 1:01.11 followed by teammate Calvin Chow in 1:01.43 and Flessner.
"It came down to the last 15 yards. I still had some left in the tank," Tak said.
Like many at Saturday's meet, just a couple of seconds separate the top three finishers and reaching state-qualifying time.
"What I'll have to do is to make sure I take on the first half of the race as fast as I do the second," Tak said.
Horace Qiao set a meet record by winning the 100 butterfly in 50.61. He, Noah Ellis, Tak and Chow also set a meet mark in prevailing in the 200 medley relay clocking in at 1:36.30.
Metea diver Alec Marquardt racked up 447.10 points to win the diving. Teammate Janssen Gamilla was second in the 100 butterfly and he, Michael Chan, Jeddrick Gamilla and Samuel Kastan were third in the 200 medley relay.
Lake Park saw one of its swimmers win two DVC titles. Sophomore Benjamin Kimmel won the 100 backstroke in 51.04 after winning the 500 freestyle in 4:50.58.
"My shoulders were a little sore, but I think I'll be fine for sectionals. I think today was around my best time this season," Kimmel said after winning the 500.
Glenbard North-East co-op's Peter Andreev won the 50 freestyle in 21.90. He was also third in the 100 freestyle.
"I was kind of sore. I was not seeded to win, but I had a good flip turn," he said.
Patrick White was top finisher for Wheaton with a third-place medal in the 500 freestyle.