By John McCallum

Blackhawks’ swimmers show improvement despite two opening losses


John McCallum

Chris Boyle stays a couple strokes ahead of a West Valley-Yakima swimmer in the 100-yard breaststroke Dec. 6. Boyle captured first in the event.

The Cheney boys swimming team showed improvement in their first – and last – two meets of the 2012 portion of the season. The Blackhawks lost both times out, 105-68 at home Dec. 6 against fellow 2A school West Valley-Yakima and 119-49 Dec. 8 on the road against 4A Walla Walla.

Chris Boyle and Scott Nadeau led Cheney against the Rams. Boyle captured a pair of first place finishes, winning the 50-yard freestyle in 25.64 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:13.97. Nadeau captured first in the 500 free in 6:01.45.

Nadeau also took second in the 200 individual medley in 2:25.27, while Nick Steele notched second place finishes in the 200 free (2:13.12) and the 100 backstroke (1:10.59). Kit Foster was third in the 50 free (28.48) while Caleb Prophet was third in the 100 butterfly (1:20.60).

Cheney was second in all three relays, to 200 free team of Steele, Boyle, Foster and Nadeau in 1:58.59; the 200 medley team of Prophet, Jeff Meyers, Arseniy Tepp and Xavier Meyer in 2:02.37 and the 400 team of Steele, Boyle, Prophet and Nadeau in 4:01.58.

Boyle and Nadeau had the highest finishes Dec. 8 at Walla, with Boyle second in the 50 free in 25.89 and Nadeau second in the 100 butterfly in 1:02.11, and shaving 10 seconds from his West Valley-Yakima time for second in the 500 free in 5:51.01.

Steele was third in the 200 (2:06.96) and the 500 free (5:53.54) while Jeff Edwards was third in the 200 IM (2:34.91) to wrap up individual events. In the relays, the 200 free team of Boyle, Foster, Nadeau and Steele touched the wall first in 1:46.49 while the 400 free team of Nadeau, Boyle, Edwards and Steele was second in 3:56.31.

Head coach Jennifer Hochwalt was pleased with the results after two meets, noting Walla Walla was competition against one of the fastest, and with a roster of over 40 swimmers, one of the biggest the Blackhawks have faced in a while. Several Cheney swimmers turned in surprising results in new events for them, with most all showing good racing form in the shorter events.

What the Blackhawks need to work on now is conditioning, something Hochwalt hopes they will be able to get in over the holiday break.

“The kids new to this sport are finally getting into it and are ready to race longer races,” she said. “Everybody is in the same boat at the other schools, get a couple meets in and now we have a three-week layoff to work on things.

Cheney’s Dec. 16 home meet with Selah was canceled due to the Eastern Washington playoff football game. The meet has been rescheduled for Saturday, Jan. 12 at EWU’s pool.

John McCallum can be reached at


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