Boys swimming: Metea Valley takes 2nd at Trojan Invite

By Stan Goff
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/22/2022 8:14 PM

This time of year boys swimmers tend to be drained yet excited about the postseason, and after having all that fun taken away last year, this winter seems to have brought even more excitement.

Saturday's Trojan Invite at Downers Grove North featured some of the top programs in the state and many individuals who look primed to make a splash in the postseason these next few weeks.


For senior freestyler Tyler Leslie and his Metea Valley teammates, the meet featured some great times, plenty of victories and great hopes come time for sectionals and the state finals. Last year's COVID-shortened season consisted only of dual meets, so there was no Trojan Invite and no official state series.

"There were a lot of good teams here so I'm confident of how we'll do at state," said Leslie, who took first in the 100 free, the 200 free and helped the Mustangs claim the 400 free relay. "It's going to be a lot of fun [having a state series this year]"

With Leslie and junior Jaeddan Gamilla leading the way, Metea Valley took second to state power Lyons Township in the team standings. The Lions led with 268 points, the Mustangs were second at 228 and Naperville Central placed third at 211.

"I think we did really well as a team today," added Leslie, who also swam with Gamilla on Metea's runner-up 200 IM relay. "Practices this week have been really challenging. So, I think all that effort we put in this week has really paid off. I'm looking forward to really hammering down before we start our taper. And then I'm excited for conference, sectionals and state and I think not only will I do well, but our team will do phenomenal at state."

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Gamilla was first in the 200 IM with a time of 1:54.77 that easily held off Downers Grove North's Ethan Weingust (2:03.64). Gamilla also won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 58:00, while Weingust, a sophomore, gave the Trojans a win in the 500 free with an impressive 5:03.38.

"Coming to this meet I didn't feel entirely the best," admitted Gamilla. "Our team had a hard practice yesterday but I'm really happy with the results. The ability to push through that ... we did amazing in my opinion. Our effort level, insane, I'm just proud of my team."

The Mustangs' winning 400 relay consists of Leslie, Gamilla, Henri Marchand and George Wang and turned in a time of 3:16.27 on Saturday.

In the 50 free, Bobby Sayre of Downers Grove South won in 22.10 with Benet's Jack Larson second in 22.35. Downers South picked up another win when Aras Buozius won the 100 butterfly in 55.60 to edge Benet's Jack Hansen (56.21).

Lyons and Naperville Central finished 1-2 in the 200 free relay, and Downers North's Charles Platt took first in the 100 backstroke with a clocking of 54.22.

"We knew coming in here that it was really tough competition. I think the boys were really excited about that too," said Benet Academy coach Nelly Musso, whose Redwings took sixth with a team score of 160. "The opportunity to race against some of the best in the state is awesome. We had about 95 percent best times. They've been putting in the work so it was fun to see them do well."

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