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Swimmers dive into new season
The Jefferson swimming team started the season by beating Rogers 119-55.
Even more impressive, Jefferson swimmers swept all events with first-place finishes.
I dont think weve ever done that, at least not while Ive been coach, said Jefferson coach Kevin Zacher. The kids swam well. It was a good way to start the season.
Jason Hesla, Trevor Cray, Danny Smith and Andrew Jung each won two individual events. They also teamed up in various combinations with Matt Diotte, Steve Schneider and B.J. Smith to win all three relays. Jeffersons Billy Holdsworth won the diving competition.
When we were coming into the meet we had no idea how good Rogers would be, said Hesla, a senior. We came in thinking it would be a very close meet, but we really stuck it out to get all first places. That was quite an accomplishment. We would not only get first, but get third or fourth. We had the backbone. Thats basically how your team wins.
But Jefferson didnt dwell on the victory. The team jumped right back into the pool on Thursday with a non-league race against Auburn. This time, however, the Raiders lost 102.5 to 83.5.
I think theyre tired theyve been working hard, Zacher said of his swimmers. I expect were going to do well as the season goes on.
Hesla, Cray, Jung and Danny Smith picked up individual wins for Jefferson.
Between Rogers and Auburn, the difference was in our team, said Hesla. At Auburn, we had some guys who were sick and couldnt come. Those guys would have been crucial to getting the points we wouldve needed to win.
Im pretty excited about whats to come because of how hard were training, Hesla said. In years before weve relied on guys who swam on club to provide the backbone for our team. But we were lacking the middle structure of a team. In the past couple years weve been increasing the workload at practice. Compared to some of the other teams that practice at the pool with us, they seem to be playing games almost every day. Whats going to be a reality slap for them is when they think they are going to be competitive against us but they havent been putting in the time and weve been working our butts off.
All in all, well have a pretty good district team this year with a lot of guys going. The state team should be most of the same guys as last year.
On Tuesday, the Decatur swimming team started the season with a 104-79 loss to Puyallup.
The first meet is kind of like a wake up, said Kevin Sweeney, a junior at Bellarmine Prep who swims for Decatur. Were going to be good eventually, but it will take work. If we want to make it to state and place at state, we have to work harder.
The teams were tied at 38 points each after the first five events. Decatur swimmers won the first three races: Joon Youm, Tyson Sullivan, Kevin Sweeney and Adam Reinick teamed up to win the 200 medley relay, Sullivan won the 200 free and Youm won the 200 individual medley.
We have a lot of kids and theyre fast, said Youm. Were going to win a lot of our meets. We put a lot of effort into it and we have a lot of swimmers.
But Puyallup pulled ahead as the Gators picked up just one more win in the next seven events Sullivans victory in the 100 breast.
Im really excited for this year and this is a great start, Sullivan said. We have a lot of new freshman who are good, and some other guys who were training with club teams. We just have a better turn out this year.
Two of the stronger freshman for the Gators are Eric Johnson and Alan Silver. Johnson finished second in the 500 free and second in the 100 breast. Silver was second in the 100 back and third in the 100 free.
Its real weird doing a varsity sport for a high school when Im only in junior high, said Johnson, who is a ninth grader at Lakota. Its fun. Weve got a strong team. I think we might turn out good and get a couple of people to state.
Were focusing on both winning and improving throughout the season, Sullivan said. This is a base meet and were going to work on doing better as the season progresses.