Despite that, or perhaps because of it, Patterson coach Lew Boyle said the individuals on the team are as focused as ever.
“Their hard work is paying off,” Boyle said.
The Tigers have focused on individual accomplishments this season. And some of the athletes looking to qualify for postseason tournaments continue to swim strongly, even through defeat.
Patterson was swept at Sonora High on March 23. The Tiger boys fell 132-32, while the girls were handed a 135-27 setback.
“Sonora has an amazing team with almost 100 swimmers, so we were up against a great group of athletes,” Patterson co-coach Lauren Cozart said. “Our kids came to swim and didn’t let the size of the other team intimidate them. We put up a fight. We were really impressed by how our swimmers performed.”
Patterson’s Mariah Boos had a personal-best time in the girls 200-yard freestyle, finishing in 2 minutes, 37 seconds. Teammate Erin Polyzos shaved three seconds from her previous personal best in the girls 100 free, finishing in 1:29.
Patterson’s Kyle Johnson (27.8) and Justin Ludwig (29.4) each clipped a second off their previous best times in the boys 50-yard free.
The Tigers swam with mixed results at a tri-team meet Friday, March 26, besting host Ripon in both the boys competition, 91-46, and the girls competition, 113-43. But Patterson fared less well against Sierra of Manteca. The Tigers boys suffered a 95-56 loss to the Timberwolves, while the girls were defeated 133-36.
But Cozart insists the team scores don’t tell the whole story.
“Despite the team scores, some of our swimmers continue to improve remarkably,” Cozart said.
Patterson’s Bethany Sonnefeld improved her personal-best time in the girls 500 free by 22 seconds, finishing in 7:40. Teammate Garrett Murray also improved in the boys 500 free to finish in 6:34.
Ludwig, Murray, Johnson and Moses Menchaca gave the Tigers a first-place win in the boys 200 free relay with a time of 1:52.9.
“We have a core group of athletes that continue to put in the time and the work,” Boyle said. “That’s the type of dedication that is necessary to help build a strong program.”