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By Ailish Dougherty, Swimming World College Intern.
Teams in the 6&5A divisions of the University Interscholastic League dove into competition at the Lee & Joe Jamail Swim Center in Austin on Friday, February 17th for prelims of the Texas High School State Championships.
To start off the meet, Conroe the Woodlands High School girls set a state record in the 200 medley relay, the team of Lucie Nordmann, Kirsten Fields, Emily Reese, and Valerie Staffeldt touching the wall in 1:42.04 en route to securing first seed for tomorrow’s finals. Austin Westlake, the previous record-holders, sit in second place with a time of 1:43.80, swum by Emma Wheal, Amilla Dlakic, Dakota Luther, and Maggie Taylor. Third-place qualifier is the team from Round Rock High School, with a 1:44.93.
On the boys side, Jack LeVant, Evan Kolde, Gus Karau, and Landon Armstrong from Southlake Carroll came dangerously close to the 1999 state record for the 200 medley, 1:31.25, with their time of 1:31.73. They will be looking to down that record tomorrow at finals, as they battle second-place Katy Cinco Ranch (1:32.55) and third-place Austin Westlake (1:32.79).
Nordmann continued her stellar performance, breaking another state record in the girls 50 free with a scorching 22.68 to put herself into first place going into finals tomorrow. Wheal was also under 23.0, sprinting to a 22.94 for second place. Amanda Armstrong of Rockwall touched third in 23.10.
Nordmann proved her versatility in the girls 100 backstroke, absolutely dominating the field and breaking yet another state record, this time one from 2008. Her time of 52.66 is almost two full seconds faster than second-place Aria Bernal of Katy Cinco Ranch (54.59). Eisenmann sits third with a 55.10. Cowand of Katy Cinco Ranch also put up a dominant time of 47.61 for the boys, close to the 2009 6A division record of 47.37. Park is second with a 49.50, and Alberto Gomez of Conroe the Woodlands is third with a 49.69.
Relay swimmers put up a strong showing in the 200 freestyle, as Luther came out on top in 1:48.49, with Nordmann close behind in a time of 1:49.09. Austin Anderson sophomore Ella Collins is sitting in third place with a time of 1:49.31. Seven out of the eight top qualifiers for the boys were under 1:40.00, with Alex Zettle from Southlake Carroll touching first in 1:36.55, just 0.21 off of the state record set in 2013. Tobie Hickman-Chow of Conroe the Woodlands is second heading into finals with a 1:38.72, and Grant Norgan of Cypress Woods is close behind with a 1:38.79.
Austin Westlake’s Catriona MacGregor is the top seed in the girls 200 IM after prelims, with a time of 2:01.60. Jaden Bellina, from Pearland High School, is just behind in 2:01.69. It should turn out to be a close race between the two girls, as well as with Southlake Carroll’s Natalie Whalen in third at 2:01.81. The margin between the top five spots in the A-final is only 0.32. Meanwhile, for the boys, the top four qualifiers are all under 1:50.00. Matthew Willenbring from Austin Westlake is first with a time of 1:48.25, Shaine Casas of McAllen swam a time of 1:48.65, and Colter Carman of Southlake Carroll sits at third with a 1:48.96.
LeVant and Timothy Bobo of Houston Stratford fought a close battle in the boys 50 freestyle, LeVant just out-touching Bobo with a 20.19, to Bobo’s 20.22. Third is Matt Brewer from San Angelo Central with a 20.70.
Luther swam a 53.02 for first place in the girls 100 butterfly – her seed time of 52.61 is faster than Dana Vollmer‘s 2005 state record, so finals of this event should be exciting as she looks to take down the record officially. Reese from Conroe the Woodlands and Kara Eisenmann of Lewisville are second and third currently, with times of 53.46 and 53.48, respectively. LeVant picks up another first place for the Southlake Carroll boys in the 100 fly with a time of 47.86, almost a second ahead of second-place Casas’s 48.45. Glen Cowand of Katy Cinco Ranch is close behind going into finals with his time of 48.68.
Wheal was the only girl to make it under the 50.0 barrier in the 100 freestyle, but did so in dominating fashion with a 49.81. Second-place Collins touched second in 50.50, while Abby Andrusin of Keller is third with a time of 50.66. Bobo is the first qualifier for finals, with his time of 44.60. Next is Matthew Willenbring of Austin Westlake, who swam a 45.09. Jason Park of Allen is third with a 45.52.
Sophomore Kaitlynn Sims topped the field with a time of 4:49.55 in the girls 500 freestyle, two seconds ahead of second-place Peyton Quattlebaum of Richmond George Ranch (4:51.30). Audrey McMurry of Keller touched third in 4:53.05. Zettle picked up another top placement for Southlake Carroll, touching first in 4:23.00 to second-place Zach Yeadon of San Antonio Reagan’s 4:23.29. It should shape up to be a close race between the top three qualifiers, as Carman sits third in 4:24.19.
Austin Westlake’s team of Taylor, Wheal, Isabelle Guerra, and McGregor put up a solid performance to place first in the 200 freestyle relay heading into finals, touching in 1:34.71. McMurry led her team of Maddie Williams, Megan Hanson, and Sofia Maher to a second-place time of 1:36.43. Lewisville Flower Mound is third with a 1:36.85. For the boys, Cypress Ranch’s all-senior team of John Sowell, Luke Bowman, Dylan Neumann, and Sean Morey is the top qualifier with their time of 1:23.89. Zettle, Kolde, and Carman made up Southlake Carroll’s second-place team (1:24.20), in addittion to Landon Jensen.
MacGregor keeps up Austin Westlake’s strong performance with a winning 1:03.11 in the girls 100 breaststroke, ahead of second-place teammate Dlakic (1:03.57) and Victoria Hunt from Conroe Woodlands College Park (1:03.63). New faces appeared in the boys event, with Ryan Geheb from Austin Lake Travis blasting a 54.86 for first seed, about .30 off of the state record of 54.51. Jacob Schababer of Katy Taylor dropped a 56.73 for second place, with Branden Vines of Midland following close behind in 56.76.
To finish off the day of fast prelims swimming, junior Nordmann and her freshman sister, Lillian Nordmann, joined Reese and Vivian Yu to give Conroe the Woodlands the top seed heading into prelims – their time was 3:25.09. McMurry, Maher, Andrusin, and Hanson combined to swim a time of 3:28.63 for second place. Luther, MacGregor, and Guerra joined Morgan Johnson to grab third place for Austin Westlake in a time of 3:29.37.
Competition resumes tomorrow at 10am for 6A finals.
For the 5A division, Frisco’s team of Abby Lin, Jadyn Jannasch, Emily Lenihan, and Courtney Nelson beat out their heat to set a division record in the 200 medley relay, with a 1:47.00. Julia Cook, Abby Surley, K Lee Rudd, and Cat Darnell combined to grab second place for Bryant. Top seed Magnolia (Savannah Schwienteck, Olivia Gonder, Dove Niccum, Caitlin Clements) ended up the third qualifier, touching 1:49.28.
On the boys side, College Station A&M Consol put together a top-qualifying team of Andrew Zhang, Tobias Doerr-Garcia, Peter Simmons, and James Buda, who touched in 1:36.88. Thomas Olson, Stetson Talley, Matt O’Sullivan, and Bill Robertson combined to swim a second-place 1:37.85 for Amarillo. Humble Kingwood Park sits in third place with a time of 1:37.93.
Haley Yelle of Mansfield Legacy swam to a dominating first-place finish, touching in 1:48.31 to second-place Ellery Parish of San Antonio Alamo Heights’s 1:49.94. Joy Field of Magnolia is currently third, with a time of 1:50.51. For the boys, Grant Reed of Austin set a 5A division record with a quick 1:37.77. Dallas Highland Park junior Felix Van Cauwelaert touched second in 1:38.53, and Alexander Ellison from Tomball Memorial was third with 1:40.53.
Lindsay Looney of Denison shaved four seconds from her seed time to overtake Abby Koczo of Frisco Reedy (2:04.60) and Emma Garfield of Lewisville the Colony (2:04.54) to secure the top spot in the 200 IM heading into finals tomorrow, with a time of 2:02.91. Hudson Smith of Brenham took first place securely for the boys, with a time of 1:49.13, very close to the 2013 record of 1:48.98. David Hallaron of Grapevine (1:53.24) and Adriel Sanes (1:53.41) followed.
Cook destroyed the competition, throwing down a 22.49 in the girls 50 freestyle for first place and a state record. Alexandra Bumpas of Frisco Wakeland was second in 23.61, and Clements was third in 23.94. For the boys 50 free, Waxahachie’s Levi David touched ahead of Jack Armstrong of Manvel, going 20.61 to Armstrong’s 21.11. Cameron Young of San Antonio Alamo Heights was just 0.01 behind Armstrong, swimming a 21.12 for third place going into finals.
Looney secured another first-place seed for finals in the girls 100 butterfly, touching in 55.51. Senior Rebecca Brandt of Dallas Hillcrest finished second in 56.41, while Alexis Baker of Humble Kingwood Park took third with a 57.63. College Station A&M Consol junior Peter Simmons finished first by 0.16 for the boys, in a time of 50.94. Parker Schultz of Grapevine went a 51.10 for second place, and Nikita Naumov from Frisco Liberty sits third with a 51.19.
Cook blew away the rest of the field again in the girls 100 freestyle with a 48.51, breaking her own 2016 5A division record and going even further as to break Samantha Taylor of Austin Westlake (6A)’s 2009 state record by 0.02. Bumpas (51.34) and Clements (51.55) touched second and third, respectively. Familiar faces appeared for the boys as Reed, the 200 champion, maintained his dominance and touched first in a 45.27. Ellison was second in 45.60, and Young touched third in 46.33.
Magnolia senior Field was the top performer in the girls 500 freestyle, touching in 4:50.11. Next was Yelle, in 4:51.31. The only other finisher under 5:00.00 was third-place Parish, in 4:54.14. It should be a close race between the top three girls at finals tomorrow. Cauewlaert established a larger lead for himself, with a 4:31.53 for first place ahead of Mansfield Legacy’s Jon Jameson (4:33.11). Austin’s Will Barton dropped a whopping 10 seconds from his seed time to touch in third place with a time of 4:34.34.
Magnolia’s 200 freestyle relay team of Field, Niccum, Gonder, and Kiley Moriarty took the top seed in the event for the girls with a time of 1:39.20. The real star of the event, however, was Cook. Leading off of her relay, she split a blistering 22.75, helping her team of Darnell, Rudd, and Surley place second with a time of 1:39.57. Bumpas of Friso Wakeland and her team of Ana Reyes, Lydia Medigovich, and Priscilla Jacobson jumped into third place close behind with a 1:39.62.
For the boys, Frisco was victorious in claiming the top seed, as Thomas Lauerman, Charles Smith, Joey Belair, and Jack Jannasch combined to swim a 1:26.96. Ellison and Tomball Memorial teammates CJ Fortune, Nicolaus Brassell, and Hayden Michalik touched only 0.02 behind in 1:26.98. Dallas Highland Park finished third with a time of 1:27.09.
Koczo of Frisco Reedy put together a fast swim for first place in the girls 100 backstroke with a time of 55.96. Shea Gregson of Tomball Memorial was second with a 57.52, and Karley Thompson of Nederland managed to sneak into third place with a 58.20. For the boys, Simmons showed his versatility by touching first in 50.09. Davis Looney of Denison was about a second behind in 51.03, and Jack Easton of Frisco Liberty was third in 51.25.
Garfield swam a quick 1:03.16 for first place in the girls 100 breaststroke, a second ahead of runner-up Jannasch (1:04.07). Third place went to Rehgan Hartsell of Georgetown with her time of 1:04.42. Hudson Smith dominated in the boys event, touching in 56.50. Next fastest was San Antonio Alamo Heights’s Seth Ryherd, about a second and a half behind Smith with a 57.98. Third was Manvel senior Adriel Sanes in 58.09.
Clements, Field, Niccum, and Moriarty again garnered a first-place finish for Magnolia, this time in the girls 400 freestyle relay. They compiled a time of 3:31.93. San Antonio Alamo Heights was second with a time of 3:34.94, and Frisco Wakeland is sitting in third place for finals competition tomorrow with a time of 3:37.26. On the boys side, Grapevine’s relay team of Daniel Rutledge, Nicholas Tsigas, Christian Hambrock, and Hallaron touched first in a time of 3:10.48. Cauwelaert, Peter Paulus, Omar Hmimy, and Robby King combined to finish second in 3:11.41, and Cedar Park holds the third spot with a 3:12.47.
Teams are looking forward to competing in finals at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swim Center in Austin tomorrow – 6A will start competition at 10am, and 5A will begin at 5:30pm. Faster swimming and more broken records are sure to come.