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ZACH PICKETT swims backstroke in the 200 medley relay Wednesday. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum


Pickett returns to action in Cougar sweep

By From page A9 | March 01, 2013

El Dorado hosted Ponderosa in nonleague swimming action Wednesday. The Cougar boys and girls both defeated their counterparts: the Lady Cougars prevailing 100-62 while the boys edged the Bruins 86-81.

The El Dorado girls won eight of 11 events including two of the three relays. The Cougar boys touched first in nine events.

Wednesday’s meet marked the return of Ponderosa’s Zach Pickett who was excited to get back into the swimming pool.

“It’s nice being out here with all my friends,” Pickett said. “Trying to get back into swimming.”

A junior, Pickett’s life changed last August. Working as a lifeguard at Cameron Park Lake, Pickett went for a quick dip at the end of his shift only to hit a sandbar and break his c-7 vertebrae. Confined to a wheelchair but going through therapy at UC Davis Medical Center, Pickett said he’s regained some movement in his left leg.

Hayden Cooksy, one of Pickett’s teammates, pulled him out of the lake after the accident. He was thrilled to see Pickett performing in the 50 backstroke and a member of the relay team.

“Seeing him in the pool brings tears to my eyes,” Cooksy said. “It’s so great to see Zach back in the pool doing what he did before.”

In the 50 backstroke, Pickett finished with a time of 35.86 seconds, qualifying him for the U.S. Paralympics Spring Swimming Nationals in Minnesota this April.

Tod Pickett, Zach’s father, is proud of the hard work and determination his son has put forth toward his recovery.

“It’s great to see him with the team,” said Tod Pickett. “He enjoys competing.”

Since the accident, three fundraisers have taken place to help with medical costs for the Pickett family.

Pickett’s game plan is to play on the Bruins’ water polo team this fall, he said.

Below are Wednesday’s winners.

200 MR: 1-Sammie Woo, Katie Weiss, Gabby Avallone, Jacqueline Nissen, PHS, 1:59.49. 200 free: 1-Rose Christeson, ED, 2:08.93. 200 IM: 1-Kaela Marcus, ED, 2:20.28. 50 free: 1-Leigh Thomas, PHS, 30.72. 100 fly: 1-Ellen Tiedemann, ED, 1:05.02. 100 free: 1-Woo, PHS, 57.09. 500 free: 1-Haley Owens, ED, 5:45.03. 200 FR: 1-Christeson, Tiedemann, Jessica Clough, Kyle Covington, ED. 1:51.29. 100 back: 1-Marissa Garcia, ED, 1:07.59. 100 breast: 1-Owens, ED, 1:09. 22. 400 FR: 1-Molly Covington, Owens, Garcia, Marcus, ED, 4:07.93.

200 MR: 1-Garry Wriedt, Matthew McNichols, Mac Guinn, Dakota Keeton, ED, 1:54.17. 200 free: 1-Andrew Coen, ED, 1:57.12. 200 IM: 1-Matt Coen, ED, 2:27.24. 50 free: 1-Graham McClone, PHS, 22.43. 100 fly: 1-Guinn, ED, 1:05.02. 100 free: 1-Hayden Cooksy, PHS, 56.47. 500 free: 1-Andrew Coen, ED, 5:21.64. 200 FR: 1-A. Coen, Keeton, Micheal Webb, M. Coen, ED. 1:39.95. 100 back: 1-Guinn, ED, 1:00.51. 100 breast: 1-M. Coen, ED, 1:13.26. 400 FR: 1-M. Coen, Guinn, Dylan Thompson, A. Coen, ED, 3:35.63.

Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter. 

Mike Bush

Mike Bush has been a Staff Writer at the Mountain Democrat since August 2011. Follow him on Twitter @MBushMtDemo
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