By DR DAVID DAVIS
The Friendswood boys and girls swim teams had a strong finish with both teams placing third in the tough regional swim meet that was held at the Pearland Natatorium.
The Friendswood boys placed third behind regional winner Kingwood who scored 425.5 points while second place Clear Falls scoring 299 and Friendswood finished with 278.
The Friendswood girls also placed third with 207 points behind Kingwood (443) and Pearland (256).
“I knew this was going to be a very strong and fast region in all events so I am pleased with our team finishes,” said Friendswood head coach John Little. “The results were about what I had hoped for as far as advancers, but Sadie Wilson was a really pleasant surprise in the 100 free. I knew she would be fast, but she was even faster than I had hoped.”
The Mustangs are going to be well represented at the state meet that will be held at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swim Center on the University of Texas in Austin campus on February 17-18.
The top two finishers in each event automatically advances to the state meet. The top three places in the diving competition advance to state.
Those who automatically qualified for the state meet for Friendswood were:
Mark Theall finished with first place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle (1:39.15) and 100-yard butterfly (48.76). The time in the butterfly earned Theall All-American honors.
Michael Claunch placed second in diving with 406.30 points to punch his ticket to state.
Teammate Brandon De La Fuente also earned a spot at state in diving with a third place finish while scoring 363.35 points.
The 200-yard freestyle relay quartet of Sadie Wilson, Olivia Theall, Allie Hansen, and Sydney Gurry finished second in 1:38.24.
Following regionals, there are swimmers who receive call ups based on their times from across the state and Friendswood added additional swimmers to the team for the state meet.
The swimmers who had the next eight fastest times in the state from Friendswood are:
The girls 200-yard IM relay foursome of Allison Proulx, Sydney Gurry, Olivia Theall, and Sadie Wilson with a time of 1:46.68.
The boys 200-yard IM relay quartet of Max Hardt, Nico Monroig, Mark Theall, and Josh Haffelder with a time of 1:35.57.
The boys 200-yard freestyle relay of Theall, Hardt, Monroig, and Thomas McHenry also qualified with a time of 1:25.83.
Hardt also advance in two more events qualifying in the 200-yard IM (1:53.14) and the 100-yard breaststroke (57.50).
Sadie Wilson advances to state in the 100-yard freestyle in 52.22.
“The state meet is going to be a little different than in the past with additional qualifiers in each event,” Little said. “I think it will be very fast and we are going to need to stay focused in order to do what we should.”