Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX


January 24, 2013

Cleburne swim team ready for district meet in Mansfield on Saturday

CLEBURNE — As the Cleburne High School swim team prepares for the district swim meet at the Mansfield ISD Sports Complex Natatorium on Saturday, the Jackets continue to use the same gameplan they have used all season and hope that helps them make it to state for the 13th year in a row.

“We’ve pushed the kids to set a goal to beat their own individual times each meet,” Cleburne Coach Joni Hundley said. “Some do and some have had some setbacks, but the time to beat should be imbedded in their brains. We’ve worked all season for this meet and we’re ready to swim our fastest.”

The Cleburne swim team has experienced continued success over the past decade, and Hundley said she hopes that trend continues on Saturday.

“We’ve gone to state for 12 years in a row, either with individual events or relays,” she said. “We’ve even had one [Zach Interrante] that made it to the 2012 Olympic Trials this past summer after he graduated. Many of our swimmers go on to swim in college competitively as well. Will we go to state again this year? It all depends on the mindset of the kids and their work ethics from this point on.”

For the Jackets to make that 13th trip in a row, they will be swimming in one of the toughest districts in the state.

“This district is a very fast district,” Hundley said. “We’re not going to deny that our competition is going to be rough. Ultimately they’ve got to have speed to win in a district like this. Pacing, turns, techniques, and starts and finishes are all important, but the speed is what we need to come out ahead.”

Cleburne will compete against Arlington Seguin, Burleson, Centennial, Crowley, Kennedale, Mansfield Lake Ridge, Mansfield Legacy and Mansfield Summit.

“We hope for the best,” Hundley said. “It’s hard to say who will turn up winners at this point, without seeing the psych sheet on seed times. Their bodies should hurt after swimming Saturday if they give it their all. The overall satisfaction of doing your very best is all we ask.

“The upper classmen have been mentoring the younger ones to get them geared up for the competition. We’re not sugar-coating it to the team and making them believe that they’re all going to advance to regionals. That’s not realistic at all. They’ll all have to earn their spot and work their hardest to achieve that goal.”

Hundley said the practices over the past few weeks have been tough in preparation for this meet.

“Practice has been grueling at times,” she said. “We’ve done a lot of 100-yard sets to build their endurance, as well as sprint sets for speed.”

The Cleburne swim team is comprised of senior and experienced leadership, combined with youthful talent throughout the season.

“Two that stick out in my mind are Tory Johnston (junior) and Sarah Saunders (sophomore), who’ve gotten stronger and faster in the past few weeks,” Hundley said. “We’ve had to share Sarah with soccer, so she’s been working out twice as hard to manage both sports. Daniel Hernandez (junior), Zach Dain (junior) and Zach Tassin (sophomore) have come through consistently for the guys.

“Of course, the seniors Conner Keele, Lindsey Humphreys, Abby Zachary, Marcus Cain and Kelly Gomez have set the pace for the team.”

The swim meet is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.

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