Neuqua Valley dominates West Chicago
Updated: September 17, 2011 8:10PM
Brooke Bedford is “Ms. Versatility” for the Neuqua Valley swimming team.
On Saturday Bedford won the 200 freestyle, swam on both two winning relays, the 200 medley and the 200 freestyle, and finished second to teammate Gia Dalesandro in the 100 butterfly to help lead the Neuqua to a decisive victory in the West Chicago Wildcat Invite.
Neuqua Valley won ten events, including all three relays, to score 309 points.
Lyons Township finished second with 214 points, followed by Waubonsie Valley in third with 189. Rosary (164.5) finished fourth, followed by Metea Valley (153.5) and West Chicago (139).
“Brooke can swim anything,” said Neuqua Valley coach Brandon King. “At state last year she was the flyer on the medley relay, but her freestyle has come on this year. She broke two minutes in the 200 free at Naperville North, which was a pleasant surprise. We’re putting her in a lot of freestyle events this year and she’s been great.”
Added Bedford: “My freestyle has gotten faster because the team morale has made me want to work harder. I’m pushing myself so I can race some of our top swimmers.”
Bedford, a junior, is also motivated by what she sees as unlimited potential for this year’s team.
“I think our team can make top three at state,” she said. “We have a chance to do great things.”
Bedford’s goals for state will be to score by finishing in the top 12 in the 100 fly and for the 200 medley relay to make it to the top six after being disqualified at the state meet last year.
“Brooke is competitive and she’s a hard worker,” said King. “And she’s someone who does it for the team.”
Bedford’s teammates on Saturday’s 200 medley relay team were Gia Dalesandro, Courtney Taylor and Tara Blanzy.
Dalesandro finished first in Saturday’s 100 butterfly and in the 100 backstroke, Taylor, who also swam on the 200 freestyle relay, won the 200 IM and Blanzy finished first in the 50 freestyle and swam the third leg on the winning 400 freestyle relay team.
Megan Childs won both the 100 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke and swam on both freestyle relays, as did Riley Schroedter.
“Riley did a great job on both relays,” said King. “We talked about how hard it is to get up for those relays because they’re at the end of the meet and you’re really tired. But if you can get yourself going in those free relays it’s important, because it means that you’re stepping up for the team.”