The swim and dive team showcased their hard work and dedication by performing strongly at the district and region meets. The UIL District meet took place at the Keller ISD Natatorium on Jan. 17 and 18 whereas the UIL Region meet took place in Lubbock at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center from Jan. 30 through Feb. 1.

“Looking back at districts and region, I think I had some pretty decent performances,” swimmer Chloe Burgar said. “As a team, I feel like we overall did our best, set some new records, and became a lot closer due to the trip which was really nice. I already can’t wait for next year.”

Swimmers had been adjusting their regular practice schedule for weeks in preparation for the final meets of the season. As a highly competitive swim district, swimmers must constantly focus on all aspects of improvement whether it be dropping time or perfecting technique. Despite the high-stress levels, the swim team did not let it deter them from their objectives and ended up placing third overall with the girls tying Byron Nelson for second place while the boys took home sixth place at the district meet.

“I prepared for district by tapering with my club team and it made me feel very prepared and ready to race,” swimmer Anna Lea Hankins said. “Although, the nervousness was definitely still there.”

To qualify for the region meet, swimmers and divers alike had to place within the top six of their events. Qualifiers for the region meet left Thursday, Jan. 30 for Lubbock. Preliminary swimming occurred at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center Friday, Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. with finals happening the next day at the same time. Swimmers had to make the top 16 to qualify for finals and the school’s team was proud to have six out of nine individual swimmers make it back.

The school’s only regional qualifying diver was freshman Christian Erikson who performed excellently by placing fifth overall. Unfortunately, only the top two performing swimmers and top three divers, move on to the next phase; the state meet. The only athlete who made state is back to back district and regional champion, Maci Finder in the 500 freestyle.

“I’m humbled to go to state again,” Finder said. “I [have] a little bit of training left to go but after that has been accomplished, I’m really going to be focusing on finaling in the event.”

The region meet, though also highly competitive with lots of fast teams and times, is a time filled with fun experiences. Swimmers bonded by playing card games in the hotel lobby and by doing face masks.

“We did face masks last year, but it was only a few of us and we wanted to do face masks again but with more of the team because face masks are not the cutest thing in the world,” swimmer Amelia Cicerelli said. “We all look scary and we get to laugh with each other and bond. This year we got the boys to do them and so we had to put them on and sit in the hotel lobby so we could all be together. We got to be with each other and embarrass ourselves as a team.”

Region Qualifiers and Overall Placements: 

Chloe Burgar: 200 medley relay seventh place, 100 fly seventh place, and 100 breaststroke tenth place

Olivia Caban: 200 free relay seventh place

Jenna Carlson: Relay alternate

Amelia Cicerelli: 200 medley relay seventh place, 50 free fourth place, 100 free sixth place, 200 free relay seventh place

Tyler Dean: Relay alternate

Molly Donaldson: 200 I.M fifteenth place and 400 free relay tenth place

Christian Erikson: 1 meter dive fifth place

Maci Finder: 200 free sixth place, 500 free first place, and 400 free relay tenth place

Anna Lea Hankins: 200 medley relay seventh place and 500 free twelfth place

Carolyn Kosek: Relay alternate

Timothy Lim: 200 medley relay fifteenth place and 400 free relay fourteenth place

Montserrat Luna: 400 free relay tenth place

Evan Mickens: Relay alternate

Jacob Murphy: 200 medley relay fifteenth place

Christine Park: 200 free relay seventh place and 400 free relay tenth place

Dalton Pastorius: 400 free relay fourteenth place

Serena Shabout: 200 medley relay seventh place

Trey Starr: 200 medley relay fifteenth place, 50 free twenty-fourth place, and 400 free relay fourteenth place

Ella Themig: 200 I.M eighteenth place and 200 free relay seventh place

Matt Tidwell: 100 fly nineteenth place

Sam Worden: 200 medley relay fifteenth place, 100 free fourteenth place, and 400 free relay fourteenth place

The swim team is proud of all those who competed whether it be at regionals, the non-qualifying meet or qualifying for state. As a team, this season was another bonding experience and the last chance for seniors to swim competitively in high school.

“It was so bittersweet,” senior Monserrat Luna said. “It was my last time racing, but I’ve made such an accomplishment these past two years. I never realized how much I would miss the meets and my teammates, but at the same time swimming in my last event at region was just a nice way to close off my senior year as a swimmer.”

By Serena Shabout

Serena is a senior and News Editor of Talon. She loves books, blacklist and bundt cakes.

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