Rose Curley, Yosemite High's talented 14-year-old freshman, continues to make waves for the girl's varsity swim team. She placed second, 1.4 seconds behind YHS sophomore Kimiko Smith in the 100 yard breaststroke against Sierra March 21 in 1:25.0. Both Curley and Smith's times were two of the top 10 fastest times in that event in the school's history.
Good size for a freshman at 5-foot-7, 115 pounds, Curley swam on the Yosemite Hornet club team while she attended Rivergold Elementary School in Coarsegold, but stopped swimming to take up dancing.
"I'm very happy I came back to swimming," Curley said after the Sierra meet surrounded by her biggest fans, her mother Sarah and her little brothers, Henry, 12, and George, 8. "I like swimming because I love the water and the competitive nature of the sport. My teammates are very supportive and kind."
Curley's speciality is the breaststroke but she also swims freestyle and butterfly and has swam on three relay teams -- 200 medley and the 200 and 400 freestyle. She also placed third in the 200 individual medley (2:47.71).
If last week's meet against Sierra, the first North Sequoia League meet of the season, is any indication of the season, the Badger boys and girls look ready to make a run at their eighth and sixth consecutive league titles. All three Yosemite teams overpowered Sierra with the boys varsity winning 147-13, girls varsity winning 120-38 and Yosemite's girls JV team made a big statement winning 113-21. that's a combined three-team score of 380-72.
Highlighting a very successful meet for the Badgers were the varsity 200 medley relay team of Jared Wood, Phillip Kudela, Jeff Foster and Alex Mears who captured first posting a time of 1:59.33.
Foster, a junior, also placed first in both the 50 freestyle (23.82) and 100 butterfly (1:01.58) and swam a leg on Yosemite's winning 400 freestyle relay team (3:55.80) with Mears, Kudela and Wood.
Mears, a junior, won the 100 (58.37) and 200 (2:12.29) yard freestyle races.
Sophomore Kudela also had two first place finishes -- 200 individual medley (2:24.70) and 500 freestyle (5:34.85).
Emma Madsen, Haley Clark and Kylie Johnson took the top three spots in the girls varsity 200 freestyle finishing in 2:17.77, 2:25.98 and 2:29.91 respectively.
Senior Molly Casey won the 200 individual medley (2:40.70) and the 100 backstroke (1:07.72.) Casey hold s the school record in that event at 1:05.34.
Coach Brandon Brokaw noted Julie McConville is the first girl on the team this season to break the one minute mark in the 100 freestyle (59.86).
Brokaw also said he was glad that volunteer diving coach Sallie West, after a year's absence, has returned to to re-build the dive team. Divers Augie Kleist and Dillan Masai placed and second in the one meter diving event.
Back to back meets
The team traveled to Clovis North Friday focusing on personal goals and stamina. Badger swimmers really challenged themselves competing two days in a row.
Brokaw explained that the Badgers are working on improving conditioning and technique.
"We don't expect a lot of time improvements with meets on consecutive days," Brokaw said. "During this part of the season we work a lot harder in preparation for the championship meets at the end of the year. It was a good experience for our swimmers to race against such strong swimmers that Clovis North has."
Sophomore Haley Clark had a great swim in the 500 freestyle, dropping 10 seconds from the day before which had been her personal best.
The team swims at Dos Palos April 4 and hosts Firebaugh at 4 p.m. on April 11.