As the Lake Ridge swimming program gears up for the district meet in the coming weeks, coach Blake Kahla said he is optimistic about what his team might accomplish.
The district meet will take place on Jan. 24 at the Mansfield ISD Natarorium, and Kahla said he believes his boys and girls teams are definitely ready.
“Our team at Lake Ridge is getting very excited about our upcoming district meet,” Kahla said. “Each morning, our captains remind our team how many more practices we have before the district meet. For many, the district meet is just a stepping stone between the region meet held two weeks later. The Lake Ridge girls team is especially excited because they have already set seven new school records this season.
“This excitement has spread amongst the whole team. Many have high aspirations at the region meet with the hope that the girls relays are fast enough to contend for the top spot and qualify for state. As a team, each individual has been practicing hard since the beginning of September. In about two weeks, all that hard work will have paid off.”
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Lake Ridge appears to be the favorite on the girls side this season, while Legacy is the favorite on the boys side at district, but Kahla said he believes his male swimmers will hold their own and should rival for second.
“On the guys side, we lost eight senior swimmers from last years team,” Kahla said. “We are rebuilding a little bit. We have a lot of young, freshman talent. We have had multiple personal bests and seen lots o improvement. For the girls, it seems like every meet we're setting a school record on the girls side. We're really strong on the girls side this year.”
Kahla is so confident in his girls that discussion of the regional meet has already come up.
“It will be interesting to see what the Lake Ridge girls as well as the Legacy boys will do at the region meet,” Kahla said. “It is exciting to watch the drive of the Legacy boys team. Hopes are high for what both teams can accomplish at the region meet this year.”
Lake Ridge competed in the O.D. Wyatt Invitational Swim Meet as a final tune up before the district meet last Saturday as well as to determine final positioning for the team.
Kahla said that Kylie Shephard is swimming especially well in the 200 free, where she set a PR this season, as well as the 500 free, along with Karolina Khudanyan, who competes in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke.
The Lake Ridge coach said that the objectives for the district meet are different for his boys and girls.
“For district, we want to win on the girls side,” Kahla said. “That would be the objective, and for our girls to have all personal best times. Then for the boys, the goal is to come in second behind Legacy, and also all have personal best times.”