Sports

Raider swimmers too deep for Gators

"When members of the Thomas Jefferson swimming team mention depth, they aren't talking about how deep the water in the pool is. One guy can get a lot of first place finishes, but he needs back-up swimmers, Jefferson swimmer Jason Hesla said. A 2-3-4 finish scores more points than a first place finish. You need good swimmers all the way down the line. The guys not even going to state are getting those places for us, and that's the backbone of the team.Jefferson used its depth to swim past the Decatur team 115-67 on Tuesday, then beat Rogers 100-86 on Thursday. Last year Jefferson lost to Rogers by three points. On Thursday, Jefferson narrowly led Rogers 88-82 before the diving scores came in. Jefferson divers James Walker and Billy Holdsworth finished one two, while Tyler Sanders finished fourth to earn 12 points and seal the victory. We have more depth than we have had in the past, said Jefferson coach Kevin Zacher. We're not as deep as Curtis and Puyallup, but we're a lot deeper than we were. People feel we are one of the top contenders.Zacher has reason to believe in his team. All three relay squads have already qualified for state, with five swimmers qualifying in individual events, so far. I'm going to have a phenomenal state meet, said Jefferson team captain Pete Friedhoff. I know where I was and where I am now. I remember how it was. I'm more focused. It took me to my senior year to say, 'Whoa, I need to look at this.' I take it a lot more seriously this year.Every time you swim, you do your best, it's just different degrees of greatness. At the state meet, you get that feeling like you're about to throw up - that's feeling the flow.Friedhoff has been feeling the flow lately. He qualified for state in the 200-meter freestyle, the 500 freestyle, and will swim on the two freestyle relay teams. Thursday against Rogers he swam a 4:50.61 in the 500 freestyle, nearly two seconds better than his school-record setting time of 4:52.23 time and 10th place finish at last year's state meet. "

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