While the first trip to a state competition can be daunting for some athletes, especially a freshman, but Mansfield Legacy’s Haley Yelle embraced the opportunity.
Yelle captured the first state swimming championship for Legacy by winning the Class 4A 200-yard freestyle in 1:48.79, almost four seconds faster than her third-place time of 1:52.35 in Friday’s prelims.
“It’s surprising to me, because there have been some pretty fast swimmers before me,” said the 14-year-old Yelle. “So I feel pretty special that I was the first one from my school to be a champion.”
Yelle added a silver medal in the 500 free in 4:53.38, more than five seconds faster than her preliminaries time of 4:58.72.
“She’s worked all year for this moment,” Legacy coach Tony Tullbane said. “She did a lifetime best in the 500 against the defending state champion. It was incredible. The best part is she’s a swimmer that still has a long way to go before she reaches her full potential.”
Trophy Club Nelson also got on the medal stand with Adam Koster finishing third in the 100 free in 46.44, half a second faster than in his prelims, and Nelson added a silver medal in the 200 free relay with Daniel Sampognaro, Koster, Justin Frederick and Trey Stenger turning in a time of 1:26.35.
In Class 5A, Southlake Carroll wasn’t able to complete the sweep of boys and girls team titles for the fourth straight year, but the boys team won its fifth consecutive state title. The girls finished second.
Carroll’s Jonathan Roberts set a state record in the 500 free in 4:16.90 and added a second gold medal in the 100 backstroke in 48.65. Teammate Connor Dobbs finished third in the 500 free in 4:29.15, and Nate Hernandez earned bronze in 1-meter diving with 496.35 points.
The Carroll boys 200 medley relay of Roberts, Austin Arkes, Gus Carau and Kris Kolde also came away with a gold medal.
For the Carroll girls, Emily Gibson collected two silver medals, finishing second in the 200 individual medley in 2:03.52 and the 100 butterfly in 54.44, and the girls 400 free relay of Casey Rose, Rebecca Upton, Alexa Baran and Emily Gibson won gold in 3:28.61.
After a strong showing in Friday’s prelims, Keller finished fourth in the team standings, just ahead of Keller Central in fifth.
Keller’s Laura Norman won the 200 IM in 2:01.73 and the 100 backstroke in 54:44. Luke Mankus earned a silver medal in the 50 free.
“KHS kids swam lights out,” said coach Linda Shults, who was named coach of the year. “They were on fire tonight.”
Keller Central’s girls 200 medley relay of Georgia Brown, Madison Straight, Lauren Williams, and Kayla Epting earned a bronze in 1:46.09, and Straight took third the 200 IM in 2:04.30.
“The team did great,” Central coach Ann Tracewell-Wang said. “All the races were really close, and I couldn’t be prouder of these guys and girls and how they stepped up and not only swam well, but supported each other. We really are a team.”
Keller Fossil Ridge freshman Laura Pitzher earned bronze in both the 50 free and the 500 free.