As long as the Naperville Central swimming team realizes that its focus on racing is the key to success, things should be fine at the end of the season.
On Saturday the Redhawks outraced some solid competition to win the Hinsdale South College Events meet.
"We have that racing mentality," said Christian May, who swam on the winning 200 freestyle relay. "We just get in the pool and swim and we don't worry about times."
The Redhawks' highlights included a pair of relay victories, two individual wins including a 1-2 finish in the 400 IM and the diving championship.
The Redhawks finished with 301 points ahead of several teams that also had some impressive swims.
Hinsdale Central was second with 240 and Barrington was third with 231.
Wheaton co-op, which produced a win in the 800 free relay and a pair of individual victories, was fourth with 194, followed by Fremd, 133 and Lake Park 130.
"We got contributions from everyone here today," said Naperville Central coach Mike Adams. "We talked this morning about the need for everyone to get up and race and fight being tired. The boys know that we can't be complacent. We have to be the aggressor and lay it out on the line. And we did that today."
"Today was fun," said Eric Gerlach, who swam on all three Redhawks relays. "We're training hard and swimming tired, so it will all add up at the end of the season."
Especially impressive was the 200 free relay win in which the Redhawks (Connor May, Liam Coakley, Connor Walsh and Gerlach) touched just ahead of Hinsdale Central 1:30.47 to 1:30.58.
"That's our favorite race," Gerlach said. "And it will be our main focus at the end of the season. Today we all went about a .22. Winning at this time of the season is fun."
Adams was impressed by the team's performance in the 200, but not surprised.
"They've been doing a great job all year," Adams said. "They were outstanding in a dual meet at New Trier early in the season."
The coach was quick to point out some of the other strong performances on the day such as: Connor Lamb and Scott Piper's 1-2 finish in the 400 medley relay; Lucas Harder's first-place finish in the 200 breaststroke; and Peter Rusenas racking up another win in the diving.
"Jimmy Fox was second in the 1000 and third in the 500, and Ryan Lehane did a great job finishing third in the 200 free," Adams said. "Throughout the day everyone stepped up against outstanding competition."
The winning 400 medley relay team consisted of Piper, Harder, Lamb and Gerlach.
Hinsdale Central's third-place finish was sparked by Adam Pircon, who won both the 200 and the 500 free, and Brian Portland, who won both the 50 and the 100 freestyle.
And Wheaton co-op closed out the meet on a high note as its 800 free relay team of Tommy Reminger, Max St. George, Matt Rogers and Peter Hummel took the gold in the 800 freestyle in 7:23.16, ahead of Hinsdale Central and Naperville Central.
Earlier, Reminger won the 200 butterfly and St. George finished first the 200 backstroke.
Barrington's Mitchell Gavars won the 1000 freestyle.