Swimmers Qualify for State at Region Meet

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Rory Gatson ’18 dives in after a relay member finishes. Photo courtesy of Westwood Swim.

Emily Lu, Editor-in-Chief

Spirits ran high as the swim and dive team traveled to the Rockwall ISD Aquatic Center for the Region III-6A Championship on Friday, Feb. 2 and Saturday, Feb 3. After graduating several star swimmers last year, the success at the meet was especially exciting as the boys team finished second overall while girls placed seventh. Many individual swimmers triumphed as well and ensured their spot at the state competition by placing among the top eight.

Liam Tan ‘17, who recently signed to Columbia University, set a new school record in the 200-yard Individual Medley with a time of 1 minute 49.63 seconds. The previous record of 1:49.79, which Tan beat by 13 seconds, was set in 2005.

“[The race] felt really good but the touchpad didn’t work, so when I actually finished I didn’t know my time so I was and so I was curious what I went,” Tan said. “When I finally saw it, it was good and exciting.”

Other qualifiers included the boys’ 200-yard medley relay, featuring Tan, juniors Kyle Varozza, Staley Varozza, and Matthew Lane, who placed first in their event. Tan also automatically qualified with the 100-yard freestyle event by having a time among the top two in the region, while Lane found his way to the preceding competition with the 100-yard breaststroke. Diver Baron Close ‘18 placed second to advance. Kyle Varozza secured his place in state as well by finishing seventh in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.55 seconds.

Angela Wang ’17 prepares to start her race. Photo courtesy of Westwood Swim.

“It was probably one of the most exciting things that’s ever happened to me, knowing that I had an older brother that went to state last year and living up to those expectations,” Kyle Varozza said.

The girls’ 200-yard freestyle relay faced a heartbreaking defeat as they tied with Reagan High School Raiders for the last spot that would allow them to advance. Raiders swam a faster time in the preliminary rounds, which by tie-breaker rules, is what determines the advancer.

Not only were swimmers awarded for their hard work, coaches also received accolades. Head coach Matt McBrearty was named the Region Coach of the Year, which is voted upon by other coaches and management.

The 6A State Championship will take place on Friday, Feb. 17 and Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.