Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Sports

January 27, 2014

Cleburne swim qualifies for regionals in 15 events

CLEBURNE — The Cleburne Yellow Jacket swim team qualified for regionals in 15 different events at the district swim meet on Saturday in Mansfield.

The Jackets brought home a total of five podium places and an overall girls team placing of fourth overall and boys team placing of sixth overall.

“We had a great district meet, and triumphed when the trials have been many,” Coach Kailah Ramsey said. “All CHS swimmers swam their best times and truly impacted the team placing.”

Cleburne junior Sarah Saunders had an outstanding district meet as she qualified for regionals in every event she competed in.

“Sarah Saunders was the star of the meet for us,” Coach Joni Hundley said. “She medaled in all four of her events. She broke a minute in her 100 free. When she pulled that 59 at the end, the crowd went crazy. You have no idea what an accomplishment that was for her. She’s been working on shaving off to under one minute all year. To medal in all four events in the fast district that we’re in is truly a stellar accomplishment in itself. She’s a motivator and the other swimmers are powered by her positive personality.”

Saunders finished in second place in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 27.09 seconds. In the 100-yard freestyle, Saunders placed second with a time of 59.30 seconds. She also helped the girls 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay teams to qualify.

In the girls 200-yard freestyle relay, Saunders, Morgan Marshall, Jayci Hirt and Victoria Childress placed third with a time of 1:57.52. In the girls 400-yard freestyle relay, Saunders, Childress, Tory Johnston and Meili Hall placed third with a time of 4:13.48.

A third Lady Jacket relay team qualified for regionals also, as Carrolline Kickhoefer, Morgan Marshall, Johnston and Hall came in fourth place in the girls 200-yard medley relay with a time of 2:11.48.

Johnston, a senior, came in third place in the girls 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:27.12.

“We are more than proud of all of the swimmers, even those that didn’t qualify, because in most cases they beat their personal best times,” Hundley said. “We had one swimmer, freshman Mason Woodall, who shaved nine seconds off his backstroke, and sophomore Brandon Heintz, who took off 23 seconds in his individual medley. These new swimmers proved that they can swim with the best of the best, and still beat their times. Their heart and mind was focused on the end result and goal.

“Those that qualified were amazing. As we stated before, we had been out of the pool for over six weeks due to maintenance with the heater. These kids worked their tails off out of the pool with conditioning, then when we were able to get back in the pool, we had district as the main goal for all our workouts. Splash Station was kind enough to open on Saturday for those swimmers that could make the extra practices. Many chose to come to catch up for the time we lost out of the pool. Just think what we could have done if we hadn’t had those weeks out of the water.”

The top six finishers in each event qualified for regionals.

Fourth-place finishers for the Jackets included Spencer Saunders (boys 200-yard freestyle), Johnston (girls 100 yard butterfly), and the boys 400-yard freestyle relay team of Zach Dain, Daniel Hernandez, Austin Martin and Spencer Saunders.

Fifth-place finishers for Cleburne included the boys 200-yard freestyle relay team of Zach Tassin, Spencer Saunders, Dain and Hernandez, Kickhoefer (girls 100-yard backstroke), Lauren Moore (girls 100-yard breaststroke), and Spencer Saunders (boys 100-yard breaststroke).

Qualifying for regionals with sixth-place finishes were Childress (girls 200-yard freestyle) and Hall (girls 100-yard freestyle).

On the girls’ side, Mansfield Legacy came in first with 154 points while Mansfield Lake Ridge placed second (94) and Mansfield Summit placed third (87). On the boys’ side, Legacy came in first with 195.5 points while Lake Ridge placed second (106.5) and Summit was third (70).

Regionals will be held Feb. 7-8 in Mansfield.

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