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HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING NOTEPAD: Devils’ Azais shines

The Culpeper boys swimming team notched its first win of the season on Saturday against country rival Eastern View, with one of the highlights coming from its top swimmer.

Mason Azais captured the 100-yard backstroke in a school-record time of 55.42 seconds to help the Blue Devils edge the Cyclones 134–124 at the Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility.

Azais’ time eclipsed the 11-year-old mark set by Russell Smyth on Jan. 13, 2013.

Culpeper coach Dave Hodgson said he didn’t notice anything special about Azais’ demeanor before the meet, but that he wasn’t surprised with the time.

“He’s always ready to do something special,” Hodgson said. “We knew it was coming from him because he wanted it, and Saturday he went out and got it.”

It was the second-fastest time in the Fredericksburg area—0.3 seconds behind area leader Cameron Brackmann of North Stafford—for the junior who has been one of the Blue Devils’ top swimmers since his freshman year.

“Mason has serious dedication to swimming and has an understanding of what he needs to do to get better,” Hodgson said.

Other than Azais, both the boys and girls teams are going through an adjustment period in their new conference. So far this season, both are 1–3.

Hodgson said he already knew some of the teams in Conference 27—like Kettle Run and Culpeper—were strong, but is still trying to figure out others.

He hopes that the schedule settles down—partially due to weather postponing meets—so his team can pull together and get in full swing in the coming weeks.

Even with a tough start and difficult competition ahead, Hodgen is happy to see both teams grow in size and continue to work hard toward obtaining more state qualifying times.

“The team really pulls together and our sportsmanship is one of the best out there,” the coach said. “They always cheer for their teammates as well as the other team. So, they are always a pleasure to work with.”

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/hsfb/2014/01/13/high-school-swimming-notepad-devils-azais-shines/