Clint Freeman and Cyrus Blankenship were the top swimmers for the Heritage boys, each scoring 28 points due to victories in two individual races and two relays. For the Heritage girls, Madison Applegate and Haley Rose Love did likewise, winning two individual events and two relays of their own for 28 points each.
“Right now, we’re getting pretty strong,” said Patriot Coach Craig Carson. The events that I was really worried about were the breast stroke and the back stroke. But the kids are really swimming well there. They’ve made substantial time improvements and those are much more solid events. We have pretty good depth for the league meet at the end of the season. We have four very solid swimmers in every event. So I think they’re going to show well there.
“We took a trip down to Mission Viejo and our girls got sixth place out of 32 teams. And on our two relay teams that scored points for us down there, all of the girls other than Jessica Crawford were freshmen or sophomores. That’s a very competitive meet; a lot of the top teams from the western states go compete in that.”
As for the boys team, which dealt with a number of early season challenges, including a flu bug, Carson said, “They’re coming together nicely. The whole group’s been working really hard over the last month or so. The team has done a lot of conditioning and weight training. We just need to continue doing what we’re doing. We’re going to start tapering a bit here in the next week and start resting for the end of the season. And all that hard work we put in is going to pay off.
“It’s always exciting to see them swim well when they’re really tired and find that toughness, in racing. We’ve been trying to stress that all year and I think that we’re starting to see that, and we’re winning the close races and swimming aggressively. Last year we had some phenomenal time drops at the end of the season, where kids just swam really well. And I think that they’re setting themselves up to do that. A lot of the kids have already gone faster this year than they did last year (when they) shaved (time off their races) and rested at the end of the season. So I think they are really going to drop their times in another big chunk over the next few weeks. It’s kind of exciting to see it start to come together.”
The Patriot boys and girls teams are 4-0 in BVAL play, finish the regular season on Friday with a dual meet at Liberty and host the BVAL championships May 14 and 15.