GAMBIER — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets, swimming aggressively, narrowly defeated Dublin Scioto and Marysville in their double-dual meet at the Kenyon College Athletic Center on Saturday.
“We talked to the kids about going out, being aggressive and chasing other kids down and trying to get them at the wall during those close races,” said Mount Vernon swimming coach Jeff Gottke. “I think they did that. Overall, we had a pretty good meet.”
The boys team led the Jackets over Marysville, 112-68. The Mount Vernon boys team of Mike Johnson, Gavin Rundell, Johnson Cochran and Ian Richardson won the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:46.50. Richardson had a terrific day, also winning the 50-yard freestyle with a sizzling 21.58 and the 100 freestyle (48.72).
“Ian set a school record with his time in the 50,” said Gottke. “Several people had best times, so we’re making progress.”
Rundell was the top placer in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:27.46. Cochran was first in the 100-yard breaststroke with a PR time of 1:04.59. Richardson, Rundell and Cochran, along with Allen Sant, combined to win the 200 freestyle relay (1:36.49).
Meanwhile, it was the girls who lifted the Jackets over Dublin-Scioto with a combined score of 113-81.
Mount Vernon’s Kayla West made significant improvement cutting her times in the 200 individual medley (fourth, 2:45.50).
“Kayla West had two best times,” said Gottke. “Hayley Adkins dropped three seconds in her (100-yard) breaststroke.” Adkins finished fourth with a time of 1:21.29. Caroline Caldwell was second in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:14.04. Caldwell was third in the 200 medley while Adkins was fifth (2:49.67).
With workouts becoming more intense, Gottke expects his kids to become even more aggressive in the water.
“We talked to the kids about finishing up your race — finishing strong,” said Gottke. “We’ve really got the kids really working on the second half of the race. We tell them that everyone else is as tired as you are. You just have to learn to deal with that fatigue and outrace them.”
To teach that kind of aggressive swimming takes more than just talk.
“We did a thing in practice where we paired them up with somebody of a similar time,” explained Gottke. “One person went a few seconds ahead and the other tried to catch him. Then, we would decrease the time so that, by the end of set, they were racing each other. That builds that awareness in the pool but, also, that sort of aggression to get in and beat them.”