Lyons’ Freund wants to relive state experience
Hinsdale Saturday 2/2/13 Lyons Twn's Lucas O'Bryan during the 200 IM. | Jerry Daliege~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 8, 2013 6:59AM
HINSDALE — Senior Eddie Mapel didn’t envision having the success he’s enjoyed when he first entered the tradition-rich swimming program at Hinsdale Central.
“I was pretty small freshman year,” Mapel said. “I was 5-(foot)-6 and 110 pounds, so I’ve grown a lot since then. I don’t think I ever imagined placing at state or doing this well.”
Now 6-5, 165 pounds, Mapel has emerged as one of the top breaststrokers in Illinois.
He placed sixth at state last season and helped the Red Devils capture their fifth straight West Suburban Silver championship Saturday in Hinsdale.
The Red Devils (327 points) finished comfortably ahead of Lyons (237) and Oak Park-River Forest (220) in the six-team field.
Mapel took first in the 100-yard breaststroke (59.90 seconds) and teamed with seniors Will Leach, Bryan Bu and Connor Schroyer to win the 200 medley relay (1:37.81).
“Eddie had a hip problem for a couple weeks, so we had a little blimp in the radar where things weren’t going so well,” Hinsdale Central coach Corky King said. “Now, he’s getting back and swimming strong two weeks in a row. He’s been our mainstay on the medley relay and the breaststroke all year. He’s doing great.”
Mapel downplayed his strained hip injury and is poised for a strong finish to the season.
Hinsdale Central will compete Feb. 16 in the Lyons Sectional.
“It wasn’t anything too serious,” Mapel said. “It was painful to swim a little bit, but just took me a couple weeks to get over it.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can do at sectionals and state. It should be awesome. I’ve grown a lot since last year, so I think I can drop some time (from last year’s state time). Anything top six would be awesome. If I can do what I did last year or better that’s definitely the goal.”
When Lyons junior David Freund qualified for his first state appearance last season as a relay member, he was just pleased to be there.
That experience only made him yearn for more this year, however.
“It was a great experience,” Freund said. “Just being in the environment and seeing everything happen, I couldn’t ask for a better introduction to state. Now, I’m hoping to make state individually and with some of the relays.”
Freund helped the Lions placed second behind Hinsdale Central at the WSC Silver meet Saturday in Hinsdale.
He took third in the 100-yard freestyle (50.74 seconds) for Lyons’ top individual finish, along with senior Joe Shannon, who was third in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.35).
“I had an OK meet,” Freund said. “I need to work on my endurance, but I feel pretty good about how I’m doing now. I feel like I can drop a lot (of time).”
Lyons will host a sectional Feb. 16 where the first-place finishers in each event and those achieving qualifying standards move on to the state meet Feb. 22-23 at New Trier.
Freund is among a number of Lions capable of making noise at the sectional meet.
“I think he’s ready to go,” Walker said of Freund. “He has good swims and kind of has mediocre swims. He’s just got to understand that his time is not yet. He has to put it all together (at sectionals). David can accomplish anything David decides to do. That will be up to him.
“The ball is in the kids’ court now and they have to mentally, physically and emotionally put it together on that given Saturday. Right now, the coaches are not really involved. We can get them ready mentally, but they have to put it all together.”