With the first day of the UIL State Swimming and Diving Championships completed, several local athletes are in prime position to medal during Saturday’s finals at the Texas Swim Center in Austin.
The Southlake Carroll boys 200-yard medley relay of Jonathon Roberts, Austin Arkes, Gus Karau and Kris Kolde finished first in the preliminaries in 1 minute, 35.03 seconds, nearly one second faster than second-place Fort Bend Clements (1:35.91).
The Dragons had a number of strong efforts in the first day of competition. Emily Gibson was the top swimmer in the 200 individual medley (2:03.36), and finished third in the 100 butterfly (54.76).
“She swam very well in both events,” Carroll coach Kevin Murphy said. “She was ready to compete.”
Nate Hernandez is the third seed in the 1-meter dive with 342.85 points, heading into the second day of the competition.
Carroll’s girls 400 free relay of Casey Rose, Rebecca Upton, Alexa Baran and Gibson had the fastest time in the prelims in 3:30.20.
Roberts is the top seed in the 500 free (4.26.04) with a nearly two-second lead in the event and cruised to a victory in the 100 baskstroke prelims in 48.58, more than 2 1/2 seconds faster than the second-place swimmer.
Keller schools excel
The Keller girls team also had a strong effort on the first day in Austin, led by the girls 200 free relay of Laura Norman, Sophia Frohberg, Audra McMurry and Megan Hanson, who had the top time in the prelims, and Norman finished first in the 100 backstroke (54.95).
Keller coach Linda Shults said that the prelims were unprecedented for the Keller team.
“I am very satisfied,” Shults said. “This is the best showing that Keller High School has ever had in the state prelims.”
The Keller Central girls team of Georgia Brown, Madison Straight, Lauren Williams and Kayla Epting was second in the 200 medley relay in 1:46.83, less than four-tenths of a second behind Austin Westlake.
Central’s Jason Head had the second-best time in the 100 free in 45.45.
Keller Fossil Ridge freshman Lauren Pitzer qualified second in the girls 50 free in 23.43 and was second in the 500 free in 4:53.49, less than two seconds out of first place.
• Mansfield’s Mike Thibert was third in prelims in the boys 200 free, one-tenth of a second out of second, and Fort Worth Paschal’s Summer Campbell qualified second in the girls 100 butterfly in 54.65.
• Trophy Club Nelson’s 200 free relay of Daniel Sampognaro, Adam Koster, Justin Frederick and Trey Stenger had the second-best qualifying time in prelims in Class 4A in 1:27.48, less than two-tenths of a second off the top time. Koster was fourth-best in the 50 free in 21.16, and fifth in the 100 free in 46.94.
• Also in 4A, Kennedale’s Blake Bunnell qualified fourth in the boys 500 free in 4:38.15.
• Mansfield Legacy’s Haley Yelle had the third-best time in the girls 200 free in 1:52.35 and is the fourth seed in the 500 free in 4:58.72, less than half a second out of third.