MEDFORD -- Every team has a different recipe for success. For the North Medford boys swimming relay team, the ingredients have been familiarity and laughter.
Sophomore Daniel Olson, sophomore J.D. Madsen, sophomore Isaiah Ward, and junior William Anderson have been swimming together on club teams for years now and that familiarity is starting to show in the pool.
"We know exactly how they're feeling in the pool, whether they're having a good race, bad race," Olson said, "At districts, we all felt we had our best race yet."
This quartet of swimmers hasn't lost a race all season long, including at districts, which qualified them to reach the state tournament. It's the first time in head coach Scott Kohlmeier's 10 years at the helm that he's sending a relay team to the 6A state meet.
This is a special group," Kohlmeier said, "I've never had this solid a group of four swimmers like this in my entire time being here."
This is also Kohlmeier's last season as North Medford's head coach, so the team will be trying to win a state title for him before he leaves. That doesn't mean they're putting more pressure on themselves, though. In fact, their joking demeanor has kept them as loose as ever.
"There's going to be a clown in the group, so you make everything fun," Madsen said, "We don't act serious most of the time, so people look at us and go, 'Oh, they're not going to be that fast.'"
They have been fast and so has a freshman swimmer on the girls side: Zoey Dodson. In just her first year of high school competition, her work ethic has put her near the top of the state field in the 200-meter freestyle and 100-meter fly. She will compete in both events at the state meet.
"All my winter break was just training," Dodson said, "I didn't go up to the snow or anything, I just never did anything except come to the pool all the time."
All five will compete on Friday, and if all goes well, Saturday in the quest for state titles.
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