Yosemite High swim Coach Brandon Brokaw knows a little bit about success - his boys team has won nine consecutive North Sequoia League titles, and his girls team is just a step behind, capturing eight consecutive titles (co-champs with Kerman last year).
Now entering his 11th season, there is no reason to believe Yosemite’s dominance in the league will end anytime soon, with a strong group of swimmers returning this season - including senior Phillip Kudela, following in the foot-steps of brother Wes, who graduated in 2012.
Wes left YHS with his name in the swimming record book five times - 100 yard freestyle (48.16), 200 freestyle (1:45.29), 100 butterfly (54.35), and as a a members of two relay teams - 200 medley (1:43.35), and 200 freestyle (1:32.41).
Phillip should prove to be one of the top swimmers in the Central Valley, and is working hard to qualify for the first ever State Swim Meet at the end of the regular season. He holds the Yosemite record in the 500 yard freestyle at 4:54.11.
“As good as Phillip has been the past three years, now he’s swimming at a different level this season,” Brokaw said.
Senior Julia McConville holds two individual record and is a member of two relay teams that have school records - 50 yard free (25.91), 100 free (57.38), and the 200 free, and 400 free relay teams.
“Julia is looking to improve her own records and is working hard to add a couple more,” Brokaw said. “We also expect great things from senior Aaron Mulkey, juniors Rose Curley, Trevor and Travis Wood, sophomores Dylan Thacker, Jayden Malcolm, Kaily Neal and Sierra Sosa. Freshman to keep an eye on include AnnaMaria Luther, and Hunter Duke.
The team also has a diver, Ben Johnson, who is expected to garner some points for the team this year.
“We think Ben is going to be outstanding,” Brokaw said. “He is an accomplished gymnast which translates directly to the diving board. He has the ability to compete for a valley title in a couple years.”
Boys and girls defeat SJM
In the season’s first home meet, the Badger boys crushed San Joaquin Memorial 143-25, with the girls team winning 101-75. Yosemite’s girls JV team overwhelmed SJM 127-12.
Against SJM, Phillip Kudela won the 100 fly (58.83), and the 500 freestyle (5:08.78). He was also a member of two first place relay teams - 200 medley (1:56.17) with Mulkey, Thacker, and Trevor Wood, and the 400 freestyle (3:40.91) with teammates Trevor Wood, Mulkey, and Jaden Malcolm.
Mulkey won the 100 free (58.12), and Thacker won the 100 breaststroke (1:13.04).
McConville took first in the girls 200 free (2:10.07), and the 100 free (58.12).
The swimming teams were at Madera High Tuesday, and will host Hoover, and Sierra, at 3:30 p.m. on March 17. League meets begin at Sierra on March 26. The Badgers do not return home until April 16, hosting Firebaugh in an NSL meet.
- Staff Report