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Kofa's Dewhurst continues to shine but Yuma High wins
Kofa boys swimmer Josh Dewhurst has had an embarrassment of riches this season, having qualified in six different events for the Arizona Interscholastic Association Division II State Meet coming in November.
Not bad for a freshman.
The talented young swimmer continued his winning ways by taking first in both his individual events and helped anchor two first-place relays in a meet against Yuma High, San Luis and River Valley on Thursday at Marcus Pool.
“Josh isn’t just a great swimmer, he’s a great kid," Kofa coach Mark Van Voorst said of Dewhurst, who has qualified in the 500 meter freestyle, 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle. "He’s a leader on the team, he’s a leader at the school and he’s got a strong support system in his parents so he has everything he needs to be successful.”
A swimmer can only participate in two individual events at the state meet and Dewhurst said he's leaning toward the 500 freestyle and the 200 freestyle.
However, Dewhurst's performances on Thursday weren't enough to keep the Yuma High boys from beating Kofa 153-145. San Luis finished with 82 and River Valley had 80. On the girls side, Yuma High also won with 160 points to beat out Kofa (153), San Luis (92) and River Valley (9).
“We’re just a deep team this year – I think we got about 10 more kids than (Kofa) – and they’re trying really, really hard this meet because it’s always a rivalry with Kofa," Yuma High coach Jon Rochelle said. "We haven’t beat them since I've been here. They got some top-tier swimmers, then we have a deep amount that are getting that second, third and fourths."
While Kofa dominated the first-place finishes, Yuma High senior girls swimmer Saeda Tecumseh won the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.39 seconds.
"I felt pretty good, even though my goggles were filling up with water," said Tecumseh, who was also on the Criminals' first-place 200 medley relay. "I just had to keep going."
The most exciting race of the afternoon came in the girls 100 breaststroke, where Kofa's Chantal Rodriguez (1:35.29) narrowly edged out Yuma High's Janae Conde (1:35.94)
“I was pacing myself because I was really worried I wasn't going to have enough energy for (the 400 freestyle relay)," Rodriguez said. "But I was like, ‘Uh uh.' I had to push it all the way because you’re not going to get better if you don’t push yourself.”
Likely to join Dewhurst, who is ranked No. 4 in the 500 freestyle, at the state meet is teammate Kyle Chappel, who is currently No. 17 in Division II in the 100 breaststroke, which along with the 100 butterfly, he won on Thursday. With the region meet coming on Nov. 1-2 and the state meet on Nov. 8-9, Chappel said he's ready for the intensity of the meets to crank up.
“It’s really stressful. We recently went to Tucson to a big meet at (the University of Arizona) and there were about 100 kids per race," he said. "It’s very nerve-wrecking, but I feel alive and in it.