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Boys swimming: Munster cruises to win in Highland Invite

Highland's Stephen Castillo raises his hands victory celebratiafter breaking pool record Boys 50 Yard Freestyle Finals during Highlboys swimming invite

Highland's Stephen Castillo raises his hands in victory celebration after breaking the pool record in the Boys 50 Yard Freestyle Finals during the Highland boys swimming invite held at Highland High School on Friday December 28, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 30, 2013 6:11AM



HIGHLAND — Four races and four wins. Not a bad way to spend a Friday in December.

Munster’s Wilson Beckman won a pair of individual races and was also part of two relay victories, leading the Seahorses to a first-place finish at the 8-team Highland Invitational.

The Seahorses posted a team score of 267 to earn the victory, putting them ahead of second-place Crown Point (257) and third-place Lake Central (194).

Beckman, like all the swimmers on Friday, had to shake off the fatigue of multiple daily practices during the holiday break.

“It’s right in the middle of the break so I think we’re all a bit tired,” he said. “But I was pretty focused today; I got a good amount of sleep last night. I think I wanted to make a little bit of a statement today.”

Beckman won the 100 fly (52.75) and 100 back (53.62) on his own and then teamed up with Sammy Odtallah, Jeremy Gonzalez and Joe Gardner to win the 200 free relay (1:29.78) and the 200 medley relay (1:40.18).

Gardner added a pair of second-place finishes in the200 IM and 100 Breaststroke, while Odtallah added third-place finishes in the 50 free and 100 free.

“Those guys all had a great meet, spearheaded by what Wilson did today,” said Munster head coach Matt Pavlovich. “We were just trying to figure out where to put all of our guys, being in the middle of our Christmas break training. That was one of the biggest challenges for us.”

Beckman said he picked up an adrenaline boost by watching a record-setting performance from Highland’s Steve Castillo.

Castillo continued his quest for a return to state with an impressive home meet. The Trojans’ senior set a pool record with a time of 20.63 in the 50 free and then tied the pool record in the 100 free with a time of 46.58.

His time in the 50 free was better than the 2011 state-winning time of 20.79 posted by Highland alum Adam Johnston and within striking distance of Johnston’s all-time school record of 20.51.

“I jammed the turn, too. I got too close to the wall,” he said. “Today was a great day, but it’s not my best day. We know that there’s more to look forward to; 20.63 was a good time but I know that I have got more to give.”



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