Boys Swimming: Naperville Central earns sectional title
BY NEIL SHALIN For Sun-Times Media February 16, 2013 7:32PM
Naperville Central's Connor Lamb swims to second place in the 200 individual medley Saturday. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 18, 2013 6:45AM
Naperville Central’s boys swimming and diving team proved Saturday that the postseason is often Redhawks Time.
The Redhawks qualified two relays, got some great individual state qualifying swims, and just generally performed well across the board to edge an equally impressive Waubonsie Valley 203 to 189 to win the team championship at the Neuqua Valley Sectional.
For Naperville Central, sensational freshman Scott Piper and junior Connor Lamb finished one-two in the 200 IM, Noah Wood won the 500 and Joe Gucwa won the diving to lead the way.
“We’ve been close all year,” said Naperville Central coach Mike Adams. “And we’ve just kept getting better and better. These guys just got up and raced today, and they really showed what they’re capable of. It was a team performance. We qualified both free relays and some great individual swims. Piper has worked really hard all year and he swam exceptionally fast today.”
“It all came together for me,” said Piper. “I knew I would be close to the state time, but I didn’t think I would do nearly as well as I did. I’m excited to be going to state next week.”
Lamb, who also qualified in the 100 breaststroke, was impressed by the work of his teammates throughout the meet.
“Piper was awesome,” said Lamb. “But we also got great swims from David Johnson and Noah Wood, who has suffered some disappointment at this meet, but was just killing it today. For us it’s always about the end of the year. We know we’re going to swim fast at the end and that gives us confidence when we’re really training hard during the season. We also got some great swims today from a lot of other younger guys, who didn’t quite make state but show a lot of promise for next year.”
Wood qualified for state in the 200 freestyle, Johnson and Piper both made it to state in the 100 backstroke as well.
The second-place Warriors won all three relays and got winning performances from Adam Stacklin in the 200 freestyle and Michael McWhirter in the 50 freestyle and kept pace with the Redhawks throughout the day.
“Our guys showed today how much drive they have,” said Waubonsie Valley coach Nick Arens. “Adam finished second in the 100 free and he swam tired. We know that when he gets fully tapered, he’s going to put up some great times. McWhirter was on all three wining relays, and he showed that he has the potential to be the second scorer we need in order to finish in the top ten at state.”
Metea Valley finished third in the team standings with 173 points, followed by Naperville North (167) Marmion (166), Neuqua Valley (144), Oswego (135) and IMSA 95).
Naperville North’s Kevin Kielma continued his strong senior year by winning the 100 butterfly and IMSA’s Steven Tan won both the 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke.
“What got me motivated in the 100 free was that Adam Stacklin who was my teammate at Waubonsie Valley my freshman year was right next to me,” said Tan. “I know there’s going to be a lot of competition at state, and I wanted to see how I did this week and improve on that.”