With predistrict behind them, the L.D. Bell and Euless Trinity swim teams now turn their focus to the District 8-6A Championships Friday at the Mansfield Aquatic Center.
The top six finishers in each event will advance to the Region II Meet at Lewisville Aquatic Center-West on Feb. 5-6.
“We are very excited about another district swim meet coming up,” said Bell coach Jesse Barton. “We have been training hard all season with this meet in mind to be the fastest we’ve been all year.
“Our goal for each district meet is to have 100 percent of our swims be best times, and we have achieved that for the past four years.
“In my opinion, no other meet on our schedule compares to the district meet,” Barton said. “The swimmers swim harder and cheer louder, and it creates an truly exciting atmosphere. Every race is fun to watch because there is so much energy and buzz around the pool that you don’t see in meets during the season.”
And while qualifying for competition beyond district is the goal for each swimmer, there is more than that at stake. Barton just wants to see the Bell swimmers at their best come district.
“There is nothing more gratifying as a coach than to see an athlete swim a best time and see how excited they get when they realize that all of their hard work has paid off,” Barton said.
Trinity coach Dawn Chagnon, likewise, is pleased with the way her team is swimming as district approaches.
“The Trinity swimmers are swimming very well and going a lot of best times so far this season,” she said. “We have a great district meet. Mansfield has a phenomenal swimming program and always sits very well in our district and region.”
Last season the Trinity boys placed third behind Mansfield and Paschal. Bell placed third among the girls.
“Mansfield and Fort Worth Paschal are the teams to beat in the district because they have so much depth in every event,” Chagnon said. “We are led by a strong group of seniors that include Ben Yerigan, Nick Rodriguez, and Ally Davis, who are all captains on the team. Juniors Elizabeth Klamt, Abbie Otteson, Keelin Alspaugh, and captain Tawni Rousch leads an exciting group of swimmers coming back next season.
“I know what my juniors and seniors can do, but I am especially looking forward to my sophomore class and seeing what they can accomplish as they continue to grow into their roles on the team. Several of them are already contributing in big ways and scoring points for us at meets,” she said.
Yerigan has been all-district three straight years, all-region the past two years, and has advanced to regionals each season.
Trinity’s Riley Burhow, a junior, and freshman Ryan Powell have been competing together at the club level for a long time, a great benefit, Chagnon said.