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Corbin, Kaba lift Cibola over Kofa in opening meet
Cibola swimmer Ryan Corbin shaved over eight seconds off his 200-yard freestyle time and helped the Raider boys beat Kofa 134-46 in the first meet of the season Tuesday at Valley Aquatic Center.
The senior wasn't exactly jumping for joy, though.
“Personally, when I saw it, I went ‘Darn.' Because I really should have been faster. I really should be under two minutes. But I am happy with it,” Corbin said of his 2:01.52
Cibola coach Richard McClure expects big things out of Corbin, who was also apart of two first-place relays and a second-place relay.
“I think he's going to be one of the kids to really watch this year,” McClure said. “He's really starting to shine. His backstroke is going to be phenomenal, I just feel it.”
The team of Corbin, senior George Gould, senior Freddy Martinez and junior Danny Russell-Cheung finished first in the 200 medley relay (1:49.91) as well as the 400 freestyle relay (3:39.54).
For the Raider girls, who won 105-40, senior Jesse Kaba and junior Anna Gould won both of their individual events. Kaba, who has never lost an individual race in the region, took the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:12.97 and finished the 500 freestyle with a time of 6:19.28 — more than three minutes ahead of second place. However, McClure was more enthusiastic about the other racers in the 500 freestyle — freshman Bailey Lugo (9:31.77), sophomore Jelly North (:38.75) and freshman Rebecca Broschat (9:46.30) — than the usual domination by Kaba.
“That is just amazing to me,” McClure said of the three new swimmers taking on the longest race of the meet, “a lot of kids plowing through the difficult events. They're willing to swim anything and that's something you want to see during your first meet.”
Even though Cibola had Kofa greatly outnumbered in a quantity of races, plenty of Kofa swimmers made their mark on the opening meet. For the boys, senior Gabriel Sanderson finished second in the 100 freestyle (1:00.36), a half-second behind first place Chris Bodine (59.98) of Cibola. In his next race, the 100 backstroke, Sanderson (1:18.34) narrowly edged out teammate Kyle Chappel (1:19.27).
“I knew it was Kyle, too. He usually is in the lane next to me and he's pretty close to me. We always push each other. I knew I had to swim hard, I couldn't let Kyle beat me,” Sanderson said.
For the Kofa girls, senior Adly Wiley won the 50 freestyle (29.34) ahead of teammate Melissa Gibson (34.39) and also took the 100 breaststroke (1:25.30).
“I felt like I did pretty good. We've been working pretty hard on dry land and in the pool and I felt like it was for this meet. We all went out with a bang and showed them what we got,” said Wiley.
With the first meet of the year done, the Raiders and the Kings both feel like they were happy with the way they swam but realize it's only a starting point.
“The first meet is always the mood setter and gives you an idea on how well you're going to do in the season,” Sanderson said. “My times, I was happy with them, but I know I can always do better. So I like (the times), but I don't love them yet.”
Jesse Severson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 539-6881. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson.