Clear Lake sending six swimmers to state
By L. Scott Hainline
Clear Lake's Tom Landgraf and Clear Brook's Mandi Newton were about as happy as coaches can be at the Class 5A Region VI Meet in Sugar Land last week.
It was 10 times better than last year," Landgraf said. I told the kids they did an excellent job and performed exceedingly well in a difficult situation."
Clear Lake qualified six swimmers in six events, including two girls relays, for this week's UIL State Championships in Austin, while Clear Brook will send three in four individual races.
All of the kids who made state had personal-best times, and, I think, surprised me and themselves," Newton said. They did a great job and have continued to work very hard to get ready."
Clear Lake senior Ellen Lobb is a familiar face at state, and she's going in three events this time after winning the region 100-yard butterfly, finishing second in the 50 freestyle, and as part of the first-place 200 freestyle relay with senior Kathy Lin, and juniors Casey Schneider and Taylor Barnett.
Junior Ashley Dow took top honors in the 100 backstroke, and is also state-bound with Schneider, Lin and Barnett with a second place in the 200 medley relay.
Lin just missed with third places in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly, as did the Clear Lake 400 freestyle foursome of freshmen Emma Lochmaier and Riley Kmiecik, sophomore Andrea Riojas and Barnett.
Senior Peter MacArthur will represent the Clear Lake boys in Austin thanks to a first place in the region 200 freestyle, and he looked to be there in two events, but was disqualified after a second in the 100 freestyle.
They said he never got set at the start," Landgraf said. I didn't agree with the call, and spoke to officials, but it stood up."
Clear Lake junior Cameron Dyer recorded second places in the 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly, and as a member of the 200 freestyle relay, but didn't get a state callup following the impressive silver-coated trifecta.
He gets the hard-luck award," Landgraf said.
Sophomores Shane Sullivan and Nick Guisciardo, and MacArthur teamed with Dyer on the 200 free relay.
We had lifetime bests in 40 of 46 swims, so it was really a phenomenal couple of days," Landgraf said.
Senior twins Adrianna and Julia Sepulveda, and sophomore Patrick LaBrode spearheaded Clear Brook's attack while claiming state berths.
Adrianna Sepulveda advanced to her fourth-straight state meet with a win in the girls 200 freestyle and a second in the 500 freestyle, and Julia secured her first trip finishing second in the 200 individual medley.
LaBrode will be a state rookie after taking the gold in the boys 500 freestyle.
Our kids came to regionals ready to race and stepped up in a big way," Newton said. They all work very hard and deserve everything they achieved, including seven school records.
I was pleasantly surprised we beat Clear Lake in the boys 200 medley and 400 free relays, and their girls 400 free relay because they're consistently very tough competition for us."
Clear Brook had second places with the girls 400 freestyle relay of senior Molly Freeman, sophomore Monica Pruett and the Sepulveda sister, and the boys 200 medley relay of juniors Drew Wiley and Chris Lunney, senior Brian Bloomfield and freshman Vashaad Fincher, but didn't receive state callups.
Clear Creek sophomore Samantha Lera took the gold in girls one-meter diving to earn a state invitation, with her junior sister Brooke just missing in third place, and Clear Springs had a couple of close calls on second places by junior Oliver Mirkovic in the boys 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke.
Senior Mark Steblein earned Dickinson's only state berth in boys one-meter diving.
UIL SWIMMING AND DIVING STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
When: Thursday, Feb. 25, through Saturday, Feb. 27.
Where: Jamail Swim Center, University of Texas in Austin
Athletes to watch: Clear Lake's Ellen Lobb, Clear Lake's Ashley Dow, Clear Lake's Peter MacArthur, Clear Brook's Adrianna Sepulveda, Clear Brook's Julia Sepulveda, Clear Brook's Patrick LaBrode, Clear Creek's Samantha Lera
More information: www.uil.utexas.edu and www.tisca.org
Local Advertising by PaperG