After just enough nice weather to get through their district meets, Texas high school swimming has been thrown into disarray again. The mental fortitude of Texas high school’s best swimmers will be tested once again, as 9 out of the 16 regional championship meets in the public school league, the UIL, have been modified, had a late start, or had their schedule revised.
Four out of Texas’ five biggest cities hit freezing temperatures or near-freezing temperatures overnight, creating a safety concern in a state not accustomed, or built for, the extended cold weather it’s seen this winter. The lone exception was Houston, which despite frigid wind chills was above freezing all day, but even teams in the Houston region had their meets altered because they are grouped with teams from colder regions.
This year’s weather has already disrupted the state’s district meets, disrupted practice for several schools who swim outdoors (in anticipation of warmer weather), and will now impact the regional championships.
According to the UIL, these regions have been affected:
- Region I 4A and 5A (El Paso; Lubbock; Midland; Amarillo)
- Region II 4A and 5A (Ft. Worth/Dallas; Keller, defending champions Southlake Carroll in 5A; Mansfield; Wichita Falls)
- Region III 4A and 5A (Ft. Worth/Dallas; Wichita Falls; Paris; Frisco; Killeen; Richardson; Plano)
- Region IV 4A and 5A (Dallas and East Texas in 4A; Katy/West Houston, North Houston suburbs; Austin; Round Rock in 5A)
- Region VII 4A (Smaller Houston and Southwestern Houston smaller schools; El Campo; Victoria; a few smaller San Antonio schools)
The winner of each regional meet will advance to the State Championship meet in Austin in two weeks, plus the next eight-fastest “at-large” swimmers from any region overall in 4A; and the next eight-fastest “at-large” swimmers from any region overall in 5A. The top two divers in each region advance to the State Championship meet.