Neuqua shows strength in win over CentralNeuqua Valley's Courtney Taylor reacts as she sees her winning time in the 200 individual medley on Thursday at Naperville Central. Jeff Cagle / For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 1, 2011 10:24PM
Neuqua Valley’s first-year girls swimming coach Brandon King’s philosophy is for his team to just go out and race, and the times will eventually take care of themselves.
And that’s exactly what the Wildcats did Thursday in their first dual meet of the season as they won all three relays and six individual events to defeat host Naperville Central 111-75.
Based on early results, the Wildcats, who finished eighth at state last year, despite suffering disqualifications in two relays, should be listed among the contenders for a top three trophy.
Gia Dalesandro, a junior who scored in two events at state last year, won both the 500 freestyle and the 100 backstroke on Thursday. She’s hoping to finish top two or even win the backstroke at state after finishing fourth last year.
“As a team we were awesome today in both the relays and the individual events,” said Dalesandro. “This is a good sign for the rest of the season.”
Riley Schroedter, also a junior, is one of the most improved swimmers in the area. The sprint freestyler, after falling short of scoring at state last year, hopes to make it to the top six in both the 100 and the 50 free, both of which she won in Thursday’s dual meet.
“In the past couple of months I’ve been working harder and harder to the point that I’m exhausted,” Schroedter said. “I’ve been racing against boys, against college athletes. I’m obsessed with being top six in state. Last year I was a little iffy. I’m much more confident now.”
The Wildcats also got individual victories from Courtney Taylor in the 100 IM and Megan Childs in the breaststroke.
“This is the beginning of the building blocks for the end of the year,” King said. “To me, it’s more about the race at this time. If they can get out there and try to beat people, that will equate to a better end-of-the-year time. I was very happy with tonight’s meet. Everybody look’s hungry. They’ve been there and they know how to get it done.”
Naperville Central’s Molly Schatz won the diving and Julia Roller, who was sixth at state in the 500 free, won that race and 200 IM.
“Julia has a lot of power and she works very hard at practice every day,” said acting head coach Kelly McNichols. “She sets a great example for her teammates. We have a good nucleus of girls who will do well at state, but tonight we saw that Neuqua Valley is a powerhouse.”