Boys seek 12th title

From left, Badger swimmers Kendra Tapia, Samantha Rockey, and Kaily Neal.
From left, Badger swimmers Kendra Tapia, Samantha Rockey, and Kaily Neal. Sierra Star

This year’s Yosemite High School boys swimming team will rely on four experienced team members to lead the 13-member team to its 12th consecutive league title - two seniors, Owen Bassett and Peter McLean and two juniors, Hunter Kahn and Hunter Duke are being counted on to give Yosemite and Coach Brandon Brokaw another league title. All went to the D-II section finals last year.

Brokaw has won the boys league title every year since becoming the head coach in 2006 after assisting one year.

Bassett swims the 50-yard butterfly and the 50 freestyle. His best time in the 50 free is 23.4 and he hopes to break the school record of 22.02 this season. In a Feb. 28 meet at San Joaquin Memorial, Bassett won the 50 free (24.22) and the 100 butterfly (1:07.63).

McLean is coming off basketball season where the 6-foot-2 senior recorded 8 double-doubles and set the school career rebound record at 788. He swims the 100 backstroke and the 200 IM along with being a member of two relay teams. He finished third in the 100 backstroke at the Sunnyside, Edison meet (1:08.16).

Kahn is a transfer from Merced High. The son of YHS interim superintendent Leonard Kahn, Hunter knows his way around the pool. He was the Badger’s leading scorer in water polo with 98 goals on the season that saw the YHS place fourth in league with a 6-6 record. He swims the 50 and 100 freestyle and placed first in the 100 free at Memorial in 55.22.

Duke specializes in the distance freestyle events, the 200 and 500.

Freshman Josh Johnson is also expected to make some waves in the pool this season. He placed first in to events at the Memorial meet - the 500 free in 5:38.36 and the 200 IM 2:16.42. He won the 100 backstroke race against Sunnyside and Edison (1:02.21.

Girls team

The girls team had a streak of eight league titles (2007 - 2014) until Kerman edged the Badgers for the title in 2015. Yosemite came back last season to win the NSL championship, but this season will be tough as five competitive team members decided not to swim, leaving 15 girls to carry the load for the team.

Seniors Kaily Neal and Kendra Tapia, junior Samantha Rocky and sophomore speedster Randi Johnson will get their share of victories in the pool this year.

Neal swims the 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and the 200 IM. Against Memorial, she placed second in the 100 backstroke in 1:16.24.

Tapia swims the 50 free and placed second in a recent meet with Edison and Sunnyside in 29.21.

Rocky swims the 200 IM and the 500 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke. Against Memorial she placed first in the 200 IM in 2:33.34 and first in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:19.29. Against Sunnyside and Edison, she took first in the 500 freestyle (5:54.58).

Johnson placed first in the 200 freestyle against Memorial (2:16.01).

The girls 200 medley relay team of Neal, Johnson, Rockey and Tapia placed first (2:14.31), seven seconds ahead of Memorial.

The team includes divers Olivia Mattos, Ben Johnson, Justin Talley and Tyler Gails. Johnson, Talley and Gails swept the boys 1 meter diving competition against Sunnyside and Edison.

The girls JV coach is Brenna Neeley and Sallie West is the diving coach.

The teams swim in Kingsburg Friday and will host Madera on March 21.

Swim Schedule

3-10: at Kingsburg

3-14: at Hoover

3-16: at Reedley

3-21: Madera at YHS

3-23: at Sierra

3-30: at Dos Palos

4-1: at Sunnyside

4-6: Firebaugh at YHS

4-20: Kerman at YHS

4-21: at Clovis West

4-22: at Clovis West

4-27: Chowchilla at YHS

5-6: at Kerman