Girls Swimming: Naperville Central wins DuPage Valley title

Updated: October 27, 2012 11:19PM

Naperville Central knew it needed every point it could get in order to beat crosstown rival Naperville North at the DuPage Valley Conference Meet Saturday at West Chicago.

And the Redhawks, led by a strong senior class, came through pulling out the narrow victory over the Huskies 306 to 304 to win their first DVC title in six years.

“Our main goal for the team this year was the DVC title,” said Taylor Campbell, who helped clinch the championship by winning the 100 breaststroke. “I see swimming as a team sport and I was motivated to put up as many points as I could for the team. All the girls were behind the blocks in my lane cheering me on the whole race, and that really helped. They were chanting my name and that really motivated me.”

Naperville North won the final event of the day, the 400 freestyle relay, but the Redhawks’ second-place finish in that race was enough to maintain a winning margin.

The Redhawks’ Julia Roller won both the 200 IM and the 100 butterfly, Leslie Calabrese finished first in the 500 freestyle and Molly Schatz won Friday’s diving competition with 381.70 points just ahead of her teammate Sophia Heiser with 379.15

Roller, Kamryn Gallowich, Jessica Sanford and Erin Stevens combined to win the 200 freestyle relay just ahead of Naperville North. “We wanted that DVC title,” said Roller. “People worked hard in the offseason and we all work hard at practice. Today we had our game faces on. We always realized that it takes the whole team to get a win like this. I expect us to do well at sectionals and state as well.”

“We didn’t care about the times today because the girls are all tired,” Naperville Central coach Sue Welker said. “Today was about the racing and we needed them to place high for the team. We’ve worked hard to get that team feeling. And the girls have been thinking like champions. The mental training is very important for this kind of victory.”

Welker lauded Calabrese, who “swam long and loose and concentrated on her turns and streamlines” and she praised the work of all the girls who were tapered for the conference meet for their showing as the Redhawks placed second to Naperville North at both the freshman and the JV levels.

The coach also recognized Maggie Chong for her sixth-place finish stepping in for Sydney Weeks in the 100 breaststroke and Kelley Lehane for her second-place finish to West Chicago’s Maya Skorupski in the 100 backstroke for providing vital points for the Redhawks late in the meet.

Naperville North’s highlights included wins by Amy Novak in both the 50 and the 100 freestyle and Devin Jacobs in the 200 freestyle. The Huskies’ Michelle Law, Rachel Prorok, Anna Williams and Novak teamed for the victory in the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay was won by the combination of Jacobs, Sarah Thomas, Novak and Law. “Central’s finishing ahead of us will make us more determined to push forward at sectionals,” Novak said.

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