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Sedona Red Rock High School’s swimming team started off the 2017 season with a win over visiting Chandler Preparatory Academy by a combined score of 99-89 on Thursday, Aug. 31 at the Posse Grounds Community Pool.

With about 30 total swimmers on the team, there is a mix of inexperienced boys and a much deeper girls side; the boys lost 51-43 while the girls picked up the slack with a 56-38 win.

Red Rock swimmers cheer on a teammate while the lap counter is pulled from the water during the 500 freestyle event.
“We had the numbers for sure, it was a lack of experience and endurance,” Scorpions head coach A. Jay Bronson said. “Having a competition two and a half weeks after starting is tough for any sport.”

Bronson was referring more to the boys side, which has seen the incorporation of many athletes with no competitive swimming experience.

Inexperience and lack of training aside, some turned in times that exceeded what Bronson originally had imagined for them.

Senior Winston Cox finished the 50 freestyle in 28.00, out-touching the Chandler Prep swimmer beside him by 0.13 seconds.

“It’s difficult, I did it to get in better shape for basketball,” Cox said. “I like it so far. It’s a lot harder than I thought it’d be.”

Junior Sameer Sajnani and senior Charlie Parrella swept the 100 yard backstroke.

Sajnani, Parrella, Cox and freshman Andrew Tate combined to win the 200 freestyle relay as well.

“I’m really to see how they do as the season progresses,” Bronson said. “Their times are better than I had hoped or thought. I’m looking forward to two months down the road at state or regionals and see how they do.”

The girls were still without experienced club swimmer Jaxon Oles, a freshman. Oles will add to a deep girls side that took first in all three relays and five of eight individual races.

Three of those first places, won by more club swimmers like junior Zoe Porteous and freshman Dezra Dana, were in stroke events: The 200 individual medley, 100 backstroke and 100 breastroke.

Senior Eva Holowacz held things down in the freestyle events, taking first in the 100 freestyle by more than nine seconds. She was on the 200 medley and freestyle relays as well, and was second to Porteous in the 100 breaststroke.

“The depth is great and we’re still missing Jaxon Oles, knowing she’s coming back will help a whole lot,” Bronson said. “It was a good swim for the girls, but there are things to work on, it was a good stepping stone.”

Fundamentals and endurance are the two key things he wants to see improved upon moving forward. As the meet went on swimmers from the boys and girls began to get fatigued.

“I really want to focus more on the fundamentals, the legs and lungs,” Bronson said. “Having a strong kick and good underwaters.”

Being only a few weeks into the season, the team does not swim as many yards on a daily basis as it will later on. For now the veterans are swimming about 5,000 a day while the newcomers are at 2,000 and working on technique.

“The work ethic is there. They show up and work hard. I tell them they can succeed if they put their mind to it,” Bronson said. “As long as they continue the sky’s the limit.”

Red Rock next competes at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, at home against Northland Preparatory Academy, whose girls team was last year’s Division III state champion.

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