Focus. Or more accurately, not enough focus.
That’s what cost the Pekin co-op boys swimming and diving team a victory Wednesday as the Dragons dropped their home opener to Washington co-op 95-88.
“No question we would have won the meet if we had more focus and some better finishes,” said Pekin coach Mitch Richards.
“We have a young team. Many guys don’t realize we need every point we can get, and that means winning close races. We didn’t do that enough (against Washington) and it cost us the win.”
Pekin had plenty of first-place finishes Wednesday. Eight in the 12 swimming events as a matter of fact.
All three relay teams won.
Jack Marlatt, Adam Peterson, Brady Hild and Tyler Cummins won the 200 medley relay (1:52.92).
Garrett Oliver, Jarad Presley, Marlatt and Cummins won the 200 freestyle relay (1:41.43).
Hild, Presley, Oliver and Peterson won the 400 freestyle relay (3:49.86).
Peterson won the 100 freestyle (:52.10) and 100 breaststroke (1:04.13). Marlatt won the 50 freestyle (:23.35) and 100 backstroke (1:04.15). Presley won the 200 freestyle (2:04.30).
Hild was second in the 500 freestyle (5:53.97) and Presley was second in the 100 butterfly (1:07.84).
The Dragons placed third in the 200 medley relay (Josh Helm, Matt Peterson, Samuel Dunn, Kyle Leichtenberg, 2:08.75) and 200 freestyle relay (Leichtenberg, Helm, Dunn, Isaac Watson, 1:49.68).
What hurt was Washington’s depth. The Panthers often placed second, third and fourth behind Pekin’s event winner and scored nine points to the Dragons’ six.
“We needed more close races (behind the first-place swimmer) to go our way,” Richards said.
One Pekin relay team didn’t make it to the starting block on time and couldn’t compete, which didn’t help matters.
Adding to Pekin’s angst was its lack of divers. Washington had three and all did the required five dives, scoring 13 points for the Panthers.
While Wednesday was disappointing for the Dragons, Richards is certain the meet will become a learning experience.
“We’ll learn from the loss. Hopefully, it will motivate the guys to not let it happen again,” he said.
“I’m confident as the season goes along we’ll have more focus and better finishes.”