Cleburne junior Kaili Hall trimmed nearly 3 seconds off her personal record in the 100-yard breaststroke in order to qualify for this weekend’s UIL State Swimming and Diving Championships.
That might been the easiest hurdle she and the rest of the Yellow Jackets had to overcome this season.
Vandals around Dec. 5 damaged the inflatable dome over the Splash Station pool, which also serves as the team’s practice facility.
The pool is heated, but the Yellow Jackets still had to endure sometimes frigid weather when stepping out of the water.
“You’d get in when it’s freezing, and all your equipment freezes beside the pool,” Hall said.
Cleburne swim team coach Joey Ennis recalled the anger and frustration he felt about the situation.
“I thought ‘This is going to be tough. Where can we go, what other facility can we find to use?’ ” Ennis said. “It’s been very challenging, I think mentally more than physically. Getting to the pool and hopping in and out is very tough.
“It brought closer together. We as a team have had to overcome together.”
The Yellow Jackets sent eight swimmers to UIL regionals two weeks ago, and Hall has advanced to the Class 5A state meet at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin.
Hall’s previous PR in the 100 breaststroke was 1 minute, 13.53 seconds, but finished in 1:09.67 at regionals.
“We were both in shock when she got out,” Ennis said.
Each event has 24 competitors, with 16 advancing to championship or consolation finals.
“My dream would be to cut a few more 10ths off to get into the finals,” Hall said. “Two teammates are going, my parents, and club coach are going, so it will be fun.”
UIL STATE SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
200-yard medley relay: Keller, Carroll, Mansfield 200 freestyle: Ashley Zettle, Carroll; Maddie Mechling, Mansfield; Maddie Williams, Keller 200 IM: Payton Arber, Mansfield; Corbyn Cormack, Carroll; Natalie Whalen, Carroll; Raegan Gutchess, Keller Central 50 free: Callie Limpert, Mansfield 1-meter diving: Maysi Richards, Keller; Emily Grund, Keller; Bridget O’Neil, Carroll; Hailey Hernandez, Carroll; Allison Ward, Carroll; Kinzie Etzelmiller, Keller 100 butterfly: Kit Kat Zenick, Carroll; Anya Ittiruck, Carroll 100 free: Callie Limpert, Mansfield; Kalie Landrum, Keller 500 free: Ashley Zettle, Carroll; Maci Finder, Keller Timber Creek; Natalie Whalen, Carroll 200 free relay: Nelson, Carroll, Keller 100 backstroke: Kit Kat Zenick, Carroll; Maddie Mechling, Mansfield 100 breaststroke: Corbyn Cormack, Carroll; Raegan Gutchess, Keller Central 400 free relay: Keller, Carroll, Mansfield
200 medley relay: Birdville, Lake Ridge, Granbury 200 free: Elisabeth Lalpuis, Northwest; Abigail Jameson, Legacy 200 IM: Khadijah Brown, Lake Ridge 50 free: Rhiannan Boseman, Lake Ridge, Hannah Farmer, Aledo 1-meter diving: Abby Devereaux, Colleyville Heritage; Harli Woolsey, Burleson Centennial; Sofia Minotti, Lake Ridge 100 butterfly: Alexis Wheeler, Kennedale; Kylie Sheppard, Lake Ridge 100 free: Samantha Tatum, Grapevine; Khadijah Brown, Lake Ridge 500 free: Abigail Jameson, Legacy; Sophia Turco, Timberview; Elisabeth Lalpuis, Northwest 200 free relay: Granbury, Lake Ridge 100 backstroke: Kinsey Brawner, Granbury; Sofia Rizo, Birdville 100 breaststroke: Ariana Rizo, Birdville; Kaili Hall, Cleburne 400 free relay: Lake Ridge
200 Medley relay: Keller, Mansfield, Carroll 200 freestyle: Landon Jensen, Carroll; Sokol Bajraktari, Nelson; Tyler Johns, Keller; Jack LeVant, Carroll; Landon Armstrong, Carroll 200 IM: Jaykob Williams, Carroll; Kevin Repice, Carroll; Donald Scott, Keller Central 50 free: Conor Graydon, Keller; Felipe D’Orsi, Keller; Andrew Limpert, Mansfield 1-meter diving: Phillip Kleiman, Carroll; John Spence, Keller; Jackson Miller, Carroll; Andrew Davies, Mansfield 100 butterfly: Kevin Repice, Carroll; Tyler Johns, Keller; Jase Pinckney, Mansfield; Andrew Limpert, Mansfield; Logan Davis, Carroll; Dylan Tran, Keller 100 free: Landon Armstrong, Carroll; Landon Jensen, Carroll 500 free: Jaykob Williams, Carroll; Sokol Bajraktari, Nelson; Jack LeVant, Carroll; Chris Lindley, Carroll 200 free relay: Keller, Carroll 100 backstroke: Sam Lucas, Keller 100 breaststroke: Logan Davis, Carroll; Donald Scott, Keller Central 400 free relay: Mansfield, Keller, Carroll
200 medley relay: Lake Ridge, Seguin 200 free: Nicholas Daniels, Aledo; Zack Eagle, Centennial 200 IM: Hunter Boniface, Boswell; David Hallaron, Grapevine 50 free: Jeffrey Gordon, Lake Ridge 1-meter diving: Hunter Jaynes, Lake Ridge; Jakob Conrad, Lake Ridge; Sasha Culbertson, Colleyville Heritage 100 butterfly: Hunter Boniface, Boswell 100 free: Nicholas Daniels, Aledo; Eric Stelmar, Legacy 500 free: DJ Henson, Seguin; Mark Gonzalez, Summit 200 free relay: Grapevine, Lake Ridge 100 backstroke: David Hallaron, Grapevine; Eric Stelmar, Legacy; James Miller, Burleson 400 free relay: Lake Ridge