After 12 years of competing for the Woodland Swim Club team, Woodland Christian’s standout swimmer, Caden Drefs, has signed for Biola University.

“I’m super excited to go to Biola,” Drefs said. “I felt immediately welcomed on campus and I look forward to growing up as a family. The family aspect of the team is very important to them. They are awesome guys. »

Drefs is the only member of the Woodland Christian swim team alongside his 10-plus-year coach, David Karacozoff, but does most of his high school swimming alongside the Pioneer High School team when they meet. home to Charles Brooks Pool, located next to Woodland High School.

This season at the high school level, Drefs qualified for the CIF Sac-Joaquin section championships at Tokay High School in Lodi in the 100-yard backstroke and the 200-yard individual medley. He finished in 11th place with a time of 53.94 seconds. The top three times qualified for the CIF State Swimming competition.

He also swam the 200 yard individual medley and was an alternate for the finals, finishing in 17th place.

“I’ve been swimming since I was five, but over time I thought it was something I could go to school for,” Drefs said. “Swimming has always been something I couldn’t live without.”

While the high school schedule left him much to be desired, Drefs is a sensation for the Woodland swim team who trains and competes year-round.

With the club team, he hit his personal best in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 52.83, a time he set at the 2021 California Nevada Speedo Sectionals in December.

In March 2022, Biola’s head swimming coach, Nate Harding, came to see him compete at a meet in Carlsbad. He set personal bests in the 50-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke during that meet.

“I knew he was leaving since we had contact, so I felt it was time for me to show up, and I had to do what I had to do,” Drefs said. “My coach told me I knew what to do and told me not to be nervous.”

Drefs had to balance his high school meets with practices for Woodland Swimming, sometimes all on the same day. He would be alerted that it was time to run during practice, walk to the other side of the pool, compete, and then return to practice.

“All I had to do was make times at high school competitions,” Drefs recalled. “Then I would go back to training.”

Drefs is thrilled to attend a school that also happens to be his mother’s school, Alma Mater. Apart from that, Drefs is excited about the prospect of upping his swimming game among the biggest and best competitions.

“The visits were always positive and the coach really wanted me in the team but didn’t know if he had a place,” Drefs said. “I came into the process a bit late, so I’m lucky to have this opportunity. I want to get to the highest possible competition to move forward. You always want to go further. I have reached the sections, but I want to go further, like junior nationals or nationals. My goal is to always go a notch higher.

In class, Drets amassed a 3.78 GPA while completing a comprehensive list of courses, including AP Government, English 12, Physics, Personal Finance, and Men of God.

Drefs not only knows the pool and competitions well, but he’s also a good swimmer in the real world. Last summer in early July, Drefs and a friend who frequents Biola and a few other swimmers swam from Alcatraz in San Francisco to shore. On-water guides define a pre-mapped two-mile path.

“I’ve done a few long distance open water swims before,” says Drefs. He plans to return in August with other team members for another swim.

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