2017-04-21 / Sports
Striving for perfection
Scorpion boys’ swimmers sprint closer to third straight league title
Camarillo’s one win away from perfection—again.
The Scorpion boys’ swim team, which dominated Calabasas 118-50 on Wednesday, just needs to get past Moorpark at 3 p.m. April 26 at home to complete its third straight perfect run to a Coastal Canyon League title.
“It’s going really, really, really good,” said Michael Rodriguez, a senior who specializes in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events. “We knew it was going to be a fast year.”
Second-year head coach Tim Hedrick said every swimmer contributed this season.
“I’ve had some nice, steady improvements from all the guys,” he said, “leading with Spencer Allen and Michael Rodriguez, who’s really stepped it up this year.”
Allen shattered school records in the 100 freestyle (48.23 seconds) and the 100 breaststroke (1:01.06) at the Ventura County Swimming Championships on March 24 at Buena, where the Camarillo boys’ placed second as a team. Allen’s first-place finish in the 100 freestyle was the first gold by any Scorpion swimmer at the county meet.
The Scorpion also contributed in record-breaking efforts in the 200 freestyle relay (1:30.81) and 200 medley relay (1:39.56).
Allen, Rodriguez, Nicholas Dykstra and Harrison Mello join forces in the 200 medley relay. Dykstra, a senior, also swims the 200 and 500 freestyles. Mello, another senior, excels in the 100 butterfly.
Alan Flores, a sophomore who’s clocked a 23.60 in the 50 freestyle, joined Allen, Dysktra and Rodriguez to set the benchmark in the 200 freestyle relay.
“We had a plan going into VC champs,” Rodriguez said. “We went in with high expectations and came out with two relay records.
It was unbelievable to be a part of that.”
Hedrick called Rodriguez, who will play water polo at San Jose State next year, the breakout swimmer of the year.
“He’s improved a lot in the freestyle,” the coach said of Rodriguez. “He’s what helped us get the school records.”
That quartet currently features Joseph Montoya, a junior 200 freestyle specialist; Shane Specht, a junior 100 freestyle swimmer; Aiden Carey, a freshman 100 breaststroke standout; and Mello.
“I hope these guys can knock off that third one,” Hedrick said. “It would be great to get all three relay records with these guys. That’s what we’re after.”
Carey’s a special rookie.
Hedrick said the freshman is just scraping the surface of his potential.
“I’m thrilled he’s in the mix now, but we’re looking more towards the future for him as he gets some size and bulk to him,” Hedrick said. “We’ll be talking about him in a year or two like we’re talking about Spencer right now.”
Montoya said training with such talented athletes has been a rewarding experience.
“It’s incredible to be swimming with all these people, whose names are going to be on that board for, probably, years and years to come,” he said. “Everyone’s so talented.”
Camarillo has a horde of dynamic swimmers.
Cody Johnson (100 freestyle and 100 butterfly), Liam Dunavin (50 and 100 freestyles) and Nathaniel Steward (50 and 100 freestyles and 100 backstroke) are senior leaders.
Griffin Winter and Jason Ozuna are speedy juniors.
Benjamin Lee and Flores are the only sophomores on the team.
Sam Allen, Joshua Billotte and Sean Farrell are up-and-coming freshmen.
Despite all the records, the medley relay quartet is the squad’s only automatic qualifier so far to the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 Swimming and Diving Championships, which will be held May 12 and 13 in Riverside.
The special group of swimmers plan on going after more records while the field is busy chasing the Scorpions.
“I’m just making every practice last with these guys,” Montoya said. “I see a lot more good times in the future.”