Southlake Journal

March 3, 2014

Covenant swimming takes title with parent coach

The girls side won the outright championship despite the program having only been in existence for five seasons.

To win a state championship within a program's first five years of existence is impressive.

To do so with a group comprised almost entirely of freshman and sophomore athletes is unbelievable.

And to win the title with a parent as the program's head coach is almost unheard of, but that is excactly what happened with the Colleyville Covenant swim team this season.

The Cougars swimming program won a state title on both the girls side and all around in the TAPPS Division III competition, and parent/coach Chris Lucas, a former high school swimmer himself, said he could not be more proud of his athletes.

“Both teams performed really well,” Lucas said. “Our girls team was composed of five veteran swimmers who have been swimming for a number of years. We had two veterans on the boys team and two new boys on the team. All of them swam very, very well.”

This is Lucas' third year to coach the Covenant wwim team, and said as a parent volunteer, it was a great experience putting the championship season together.

“It was very exciting,” Lucas said. “I have been optimistic that we would be able to do this for some time. We had three of our girls start training together six years ago. As we learned more about TAPPS swimming along with how those girls were developing, we realized that there was a good chance that they were going to perform really well. It is something we have been looking forward to for quite some time.”

The Covenant girls finished with a score of 160 points at the meet, 63 points higher than second place Logos Prep, and the boys finished fifth overall with a total of 71 points.

The girls 200 medley relay team of Lauren Atchely, Tessa Leatherwood, Hannah Burt and Caroline Parr took first place at state and the 200 freestyle team of Jessica Lucas, Leatherwood, Burt and Parr also won state.

The members of the 200 freestyle event also finished second in the 400 freestyle event.

Jessica Lucas won a state championship in the 100 freestyle and finished second in the 50 freestyle event.

Burt won the 100 breaststroke event and was second in the 200 IM, and Atchely finished third in the 100 backstroke event.

On the boys side, Ryan Jennings finished second in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly events, while teammate Timothy Lucas finished third in both the 200 and 500 Freestyle events.

The teams combined for 231 points, edging out second place St. Thomas Episcopal by five points in the unofficial combined results.

Lucas said it has been a special year for the Cougars swim team and said he hopes his athletes take away something important from the season.

“We really focus on team,” Lucas said. “Swimming is a very individual sport and it is easy to get lost individual efforts. Our team really wants to work together as a team to accomplish team goals.”

Covenant will bring back almost all the swimmers from this year’s program for next season.

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