Recently at Del Norte High School, the Cathedral Catholic girls swim and dive team won their fourth straight CIF Division II title after a meet-long, pressure packed battle with Valhalla in which both teams outdistanced Mt. Carmel, Westview, Canyon Crest and La Jolla. Going into the finals, Valhalla appeared poised to threaten Cathedral’s title streak. That Valhalla was a threat was not lost on Cathedral head coach Jeff Owen. “We scored out the meet based on the prelims and diving which showed us going into finals tied 195 to 195 with Valhalla.”
True to form, the two teams went into the last event of the meet with Cathedral holding a slim 6-point lead and the relays for the two teams seeded first and second. As the meet announcer let everyone know how tight the team race was, Owen reflected that “after watching the girls consistently hit best times throughout the meet I was confident they could do it, but I’d be lying if I did say I was nervous.” Cathedral’s 400 free relay of Jenna Harris, Kim Boone, Molly Barry and Roz Kackman stepped up and shaved over five seconds off of their top qualifying preliminary swim to win and clinch the title for the Dons.
Throughout the morning, the Cathedral girls responded to the pressure with great swims. Owen noted that “the girls knew that every opportunity to move up a place from their prelim standing was the way to win the meet.” The tone was set in the first event of the meet, the 200 medley relay. Jenna Harris, Kim Boone, Roz Kackman and Katie Kochalko won for the Dons with Valhalla finishing third.
In the 200 freestyle, Cathedral got big swims from Roz Kackman (1st), Molly Barry (3rd) and Ashley Weedman (7th). Kackman’s time of 1:51.92 was an All-American consideration time, and she continued her outstanding performance winning the 100 butterfly. Barry took second in the 500 freestyle with a 4:59.43, also an All-American consideration time. Other key contributors for the Dons were Harris (4th – 100 backstroke/5th – 50 free), Kochalko (8th – 100 butterfly/ 9th – 200 IM), Weedman (5th – 500 free), Emilie Myers (8th – 100 butterfly), and Boone (6th – 100 breaststro ke). Weedman, Myers, Barry and Kochalko combined to take 5th in the 200 freestyle relay and diver Kylie Sullivan placed 7th.
Owen enjoyed the team victory because “every swimmer had a role to play, and swimming is usually such an individual sport. It was great watching the girls accomplish this together.” Graduating senior Kim Boone was selected as the recipient of the CIF Sportsmanship award.