Deciding to attend College of the Canyons two years ago, Cougars men’s swimmer Rowdy Feather wasn’t sure if he was going to continue his swimming career after graduating high school.
Two years later, the Canyon High School alumnus retires his Cougars’ speedo as the winningest swimmer in men’s swim and dive program history.
“I think I kind of set the bar a little high for future swimmers coming in,” Feather said. “But I think that it shows what the capabilities of the coaching staff here are. They are very capable in training swimmers up to be at that level. Especially going into my sophomore year, we had a 100% increase in swimmers going to state versus my freshman year which is great because we are making progress.”
Entering his freshman year, Feather had an idea of what he was getting into because of his prior relationship with Canyons swimming and diving head coach Sean Kakumu, but took some time to get accustomed with the routine.
“…Coming in here I realized that it was also a very competitive swim team,” Feather said. “It was more so getting into the groove of practicing and competing every couple of weeks and once that happened I was super ready and super excited to keep going.”
Feather had a strong showing in his first season swimming with the Cougars and wound up winning the Western State Conference individual title in the 400-yard individual medley in four-minutes, 16.27 seconds.
He finished as the runner-up in the 200-yard backstroke (1:54.56) and fourth place in the 100-yard backstroke (53.47) and qualified for all three events at the California Community College Athletic Association Championship state meet the following month.
“Really unexpected,” Feather said of his 400-yard IM swim. “It was an event that I never really swam before in my previous swimming career. I ended up swimming the event because I opened up my mouth and made a bet with Sean. It was a great feeling to win in the event and it was something that challenged me all the way through and was very rewarding to win it in the end.”
In his sophomore campaign, Feather picked up first-place finishes in the 200-yard IM, 200-yard backstroke, 400-yard IM and the 400-yard medley relay along with Emilion Santoyo, Miguel Martinez and Ian Werner.
He even powered the Cougars men’s swim team to win its first ever conference meet in program history at WSC Swim and Dive Meet No. 3, edging runner-up Bakersfield by one point in a 130-129 victory.
Feather was part of the 400-yard medley relay team that took first place as well as winning the individual titles in the 400-yard IM and 200-yard backstroke.
“Going into the day, it was kind of more exciting more than anything it was one of the meets that we realized that we could start to win things and we wanted to prove and show what we could do,” Feather said.
Guiding the men’s swim team to a sixth-place finish in WSC Championships, Feather qualified for the CCCAA state meet after finishing as the runner-up in 200-yard IM (1:56.86) and 400-yard IM (4:15.83) and the conference champion in the 200-yard backstroke (1:54.58).
At the state meet, Feather finished the 400-yard IM race in 4:06.09 to finish with second-place honors. He placed third in the 200-yard backstroke and ninth in the 200-yard IM.
His second-place finish in the 400-yard IM is the best individual finish of any Canyons swimmer and concludes his swimming career as a Cougar.
“It was a great experience,” Feather said. “So much more than my freshman year because I had more of my team there with me for relays and they were there to support me for my individual events also. Going into the 400 IM on the second day, I wanted it all and wanted to do everything I could and I did my best to do so. I think it showed with my second-place finish and I was super ecstatic with that and wanted to continue that into the 200 backstroke and keep rolling with the great feeling that I was on. It led me to have a satisfying feeling to know that I went out with a big bang and I did something with my time at COC.”