Josh Vedder finished his swim event and nearly all of family was there to see him make it through one of the most difficult turns of his career in the pool.
His father, John, had died not long before and Josh competed with a different purpose that day in May of 2014.
“I wasn’t swimming for myself anymore,” Josh recalled. “It was for both us; kind of like a legacy for him. All my family was there that day, and it changed how I looked at things.”
Vedder has been doing great things in the pool ever since for Desert Vista and is the Tribune’s Boys Swimmer of the Year.
“Each week, when filling out the team’s lineup for a dual meet, I looked at the opponents’ top athletes and began with Josh,” Thunder coach Shawn O’Connell said. “Where could he impact the meet that would potentially lead us to a win?”
Vedder competed in four events plus relay. His best was the 100 backstroke as he won the state title for the third time this season.
“I am not going to lie, that’s pretty fun,” said the owner of two Desert Vista records. “My first year was a learning experience and I was the first sophomore at Desert Vista to ever win a title as a sophomore. I just built on it from there.”
He will be attending Arizona State on a scholarship after strongly considering UNLV and Denver as well.
Vedder said he chose ASU over the others because of the changes in the coaching staff and the potential to work with Olympians like Misty Hyman, Bob Bowman and Michael Phelps.
He has shown an impressive development each year after switching from soccer, where his Dad coached him, when an injury kept him from running in the sixth grade.
So, they chose one of the few sports that running is not required.
“He was like why don’t you give swimming a try,” Vedder said. “I’ve been doing it ever since.”
– Contact Jason Skoda at 480-898-7915 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda.
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