When any season in any sport begins, the goal is to, of course, win a state championship. However, to have a chance at that, teams and athletes must be competing on the final day/weekend of the season.
And two Aledo High swimmers will be doing just that when they compete in the University Interscholastic League Swimming and Diving Meet this weekend at Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
Sophomore Hannah Farmer is making her second consecutive trip to the elite event. She will be joined by freshman Nicholas Daniels. Each will be competing in a pair of events.
Farmer is making a return trip in the girls 50-yard freestyle after finishing first at the Class 5A Region II Meet with a time of 24.49 seconds. She added the 100 breaststroke this season, winning regionals with a time of 1:06.91.
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Daniels qualified by finishing second in the boys 100 freestyle with a clocking of 48.23. His fourth-place time of 1:45.14 in the 200 freestyle was also good enough for a wild-card entry to state.
Farmer is seeded seventh in the 100 breaststroke, with the state's top time being 1:02.01. She is 12th in the 50 free, with the best time being 23.41.
"I have never seen Hannah lose a race (in the 50 free). She is very competitive and I feel like she has as good a chance as any of the girls of taking first," first-year Aledo Coach Chris Davidson said.
And while he admitted it will be quite the challenge for her drop more than four seconds at state, Davidson believes Farmer can bring home a medal.
"I predict she will swim this event in a high 1:04. If she can do so, she will place third or fourth overall."
Daniels enters state ranked 15th in the 100 free, with the time to beat being 44.52. He is 14th in the 200 free with first place being 1:40.95.
"I believe that he will drop at least one second, and possibly more than two," Davidson said of the 100 free, adding of the 200 free, "He will drop two or three seconds in the next two weeks."
Davidson believes Daniels can crack the top eight in the state in both events.
Along with the success of those two, Davidson gushed over the performance of all of his swimmers at this year's regional meet. The nine swimmers combined to post 10 top-five finishes.
"We had a really great experience at regionals this year," he said. "Almost every person dropped times in their personal events, and every relay improved their times by more than one second."
Farmer joined with sophomore Hanah Terrell, senior C.J. Pfeil, and freshman Charlotte Lane on two relays at regionals. The quartet garnered 115 points in all of their events to place the Ladycats fifth overall in the team standings.
They were fourth in both the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.
Meanwhile, Daniels joined with sophomore Elijah Sohn, freshman Andrew Pennington, junior Justin Lemons, and junior Conner Allen participated in the finals at Regionals. They earned 129 points and the Bearcats tied for fifth overall.
Sohn narrowly missed out on a berth at state, finishing third in the 100 freestyle.
Aledo Class 5A Region II swim results
200 Medley Relay: 4. Charlotte Lane, Hannah Farmer, C.J. Pfeil, Hanah Terrell 1:58.04.
200 Individual Medley: 13. Hanah Terrell, 2:31.52.
50 Freestyle: 1. Hannah Farmer, 24.49, automatic qualifier for state.
100 Butterfly: 10. C.J. Pfeil, 1:07.92.
200 Freestyle Relay: 4. Hanah Terrell, Charlotte Lane, C.J. Pfeil, Hannah Farmer, 1:47.57.
100 Breaststroke: 1. Hannah Farmer, 1:07.00, automatic qualifier for state.
200 Medley Relay: 6. Nicholas Daniels, Andrew Pennington, Elijah Sohn, Justin Lemons, 1:44.44.
200 Freestyle: 4. Nicholas Daniels, 1:45.14, earned wild-card entry to state,
50 Freestyle: 5. Elijah Sohn, 23.07.
100 Freestyle: 2. Nicholas Daniels, 48.23, automatic qualifer for state; 3. Elijah Sohn, 48.80.
100 Breaststroke: 5. Andrew Pennington, 1:04.08.
400 Freestyle Relay: 5. Nicholas Daniels, Elijah Sohn, Andrew Pennington, Conner Allen, 3:31.57.