With two dual meets and two tri-meets under their belts, the Yosemite High swim team is off to a good start on the young season.
This year’s team is a relatively young with more incoming freshman than outgoing seniors.
The boys varsity team will attempt to win its 13th consecutive North Sequoia League title with standouts Hunter Duke and Josh Johnson anchoring the team.
Duke, a senior, won two events (200 and 500 yard freestyle) at last year’s NSL end of season league meet. As a freshman last year Johnson also won two events at the league meet (100 backstroke and 200 medley).
The girls varsity team has won outright or tied for the league title in 10 of the last 11 years. The Badgers were co-champs with Kerman last year.
Senior Samantha Rockey took first (100 breaststroke) and second (100 free) at the league meet last year. Rockey went on to take fourth place at the CIF Central Section D-II Championships in the 500 yard freestyle (5:41.15).
Junior Randi Johnson was a double winner for the girls (200, 500 freetyle) at the NSL meet last year.
“To date all meets have been non-league, but many members of this team are doing amazingly well,” said first year Head Coach Rachel O’Keefe. “Johnson and Rockey are on track to set new school school records this season in the 500 free and the 100 breaststroke,” O’Keefe said.
Of note is junior Kelsey Wasem who has never swam competitively and is already racking up points for the girls varsity team in the 50 and 100 freestyle, and is an integral part of the girl’s relay teams.
O’Keef, a former swimmer for Clovis West, has coached with the Yosemite Marlins Swim Club the past 6 years, as has first year JV Coach Rae Rockey.
They follow Coach Brandon Brokaw who stepped down at the end of last season to spend more time with his family. But not before establishing himself as one of the all time winningest coaches at YHS, having captured 12 consecutive boys league titles since becom ing the head coach in 2006, after assisting one year and winning the girls league title 10 times.
“I realize I have some big shoes to fill in taking over the program from Coach Brokaw, but I have a fresh energy to bring to the program,” O’Keefe said. “I’m looking forward to to building a winning team and starting my own Badger legacy.”
“I am really proud of this team both on and off the deck,” O’Keefe said. “ They are a great group of athletes who have risen to the occasion, and have already made this a great swim season so far. All of my swimmers have posted personal best times and we are early in the season.”
YHS swim schedule
April 5 - Dos Palos at YHS
April 6 - 7 Clovis West Invitational
** April 12 - at Firebaugh
April 14 - Sunnyside Sprint Meet
** April 19 - at Kerman
** April 26 - at Chowchilla
All swim meets atarr at are at 3 p.m.
May 4: NSL Championships
** Denotes NSL meet