SWIMMING and DIVING: Pecos boys win nine events in District 4-4A meet
Jan 27, 2013 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
ANDREWS For the first time since the 1990s, the Pecos boys did not swim their way to a team district championship.
The Eagles still left the Andrews Natatorium on Saturday feeling like they blew their competition out of the water.
Pecos, which had its streak of 14 consecutive district team titles snapped by Lubbock High, did all it could to overcome the Westerners' superior depth. The Eagles won nine of the 12 boys events at the District 4-4A Swimming & Diving Championships, setting meet records in four of them, and still finished second in the team standings by a margin of 34 points.
"Our team is just smaller than theirs," said Pecos senior Bradley Shaw, whose Eagles have 10 swimmers and divers compared to 19 for Lubbock High. "Win or lose, we feel like we're champions."
Lubbock High, in its first year as a Class 4A program after placing second in Region I-5A last year, won other three events. Senior Davis Wilson won the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events, setting meet records in both, and the Westerners ended the day with a 12-second victory in the 400 freestyle relay.
Everything else was all Eagles. They began the day with a record-setting swim in the 200 medley relay and later edged the Westerners in a 200 freestyle relay that featured two record times.
Two members of those relay teams, seniors Damian Perea and Nathan McCormick, both won two individual events while setting records in one apiece. Shaw and fellow senior Anthony Natividad, who won Friday's 1-meter diving competition, added victories in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke, respectively, after placing second in those events in Friday's preliminaries.
"My guys left it in the pool today, they gave it everything they've got, and I'm extremely proud of them," Pecos head coach Terri Morse said. "They exceeded what I thought we could do today."
The 200 freestyle relay might have been the race of the day. Lubbock High entered the meet seeded first in the event, and beat Pecos in preliminaries, but the Westerners spent most of the final chasing the Eagles.
McCormick, the anchor leg after Perea, Jacob Natividad and Shaw, narrowly held off Victor Beruvides as the Eagles won by .38 seconds.
"I knew I had the lead, but going into the finish, I saw that guy close to me," McCormick said. "I knew it was going to be close, and I just pushed with all I've got."
The Eagles and Westerners will meet again Feb. 7-9, when they return to Andrews for the Region I-4A Swimming & Diving Championships. Pecos will be looking to win the regional team title for the seventh year in a row, while Lubbock High hopes to once again unseat the Eagles.
Pecos likely will need to swim even better than it did this weekend, which isn't impossible according to one of the Eagles.
"We're a little disappointed," Anthony Natividad said. "But we're going to come back for regionals and do the same thing -- cut more time and just get better ... and get more golds."
Contact Adam Zuvanich on twitter @OAzuvanich, on Facebook at OA Adam Zuvanich or call 432-333-7649.
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