2022 Texas High School Boys’ State Swimming & Diving Championships
- February 18-19, 2022
- Lee * Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, Austin, Texas
- Short Course Yards (25 yards), Prelims/Finals
After a chaotic season that saw last year’s meets impacted both by the COVID-19 pandemic and by winter storms, this year’s Texas State Championship meet went off without a hitch in Austin over the weekend.
That includes four new Texas High School State Records, and not a single individual state title in Class 6A, for the biggest high schools, being won by a senior.
Top 5 Teams:
- Southlake Carroll – 229
- Kingwood – 203
- The Woodlands – 188.5
- Clements – 122
- Plano West – 100.5
The Southlake Carroll girls also won the 6A title.
Indicative of the young wave of talent sweeping through the state was freshman Maximus Williamson.
He attends Southlake Carroll High School, which has been the state’s dominant program over the last decade. The Dragons won 9 consecutive Texas High School State Championships from 2011 through 2019 but have lost the last two meets to a pair of the state’s blueblood programs: Kingwood and The Woodlands.
But with Williamson leading the charge, the Dragons could be lined up to start another streak after he swam, and won, two races individually in the state finals on Friday.
First he swam 1:43.70 in the 200 IM. That time cut 1.2 seconds off the old State Record that was set by Gray Umbach in 2012. Umbach, an age group wunderkind, went on to swim collegiately at Stanford.
He was about half-a-second faster in this race at Winter Juniors in December, where he won both IM races and ranked himself as the third-fastest all-time in the 15-16 age group, in spite of being on the younger end of that range.
Later in the session, Williamson won his 2nd individual event, the 100 back, in 48.36. While that was not a new State Record, Williamson showed grit when he slipped off the start and had to make up about a body length on the field, still coming back for the win. He was still within a tenth of a second of his personal best time in the race.
Williamson also swam on a pair of title-winning relays. First, in the 200 free relay, he split 19.87 on the leadoff leg and combined with teammates Andrew Zettle (20.06), Mason Edmund (20.52), and Blake Bullard (20.96) to set a State Record. Their final time of 1:21.41 was half-a-second better than Fort Bend Clements’ time of 1:21.92 from prelims. Bullard, Carroll’s anchor, is also a freshman.
But the race there wasn’t against the record – it was against the two relays swimming next to the Dragons.
The top three finishing teams were all under the old State Record: Kingwood placed 2nd in 1:21.53, and Clements finished 3rd in 1:21.62. The next-best split behind Williamson was a 19.90 from Clements anchor Hayden Bellotti, a Virginia commit.
In all, there were 20 splits sub-21 seconds in the finals alone, with three of those being sub-20: besides Williamson and Bellotti, Westwood High School junior Sonny Wang led off his team’s 6th-place relay in 19.99, joining the sub-20 second club.
His previous best was a 20.03 from Winter Juniors West.
Williamson’s final act might have been his best: he led off Southlake Carroll’s 400 free relay in 42.98. There he combined with Mason Edmund, Max Hatcher, and Andrew Zettle for a 2:58.10. That broke the State Record of 2:59.39 that was set in 2017 also by Southlake Carroll – a relay that included future World Championship bronze medalist Jack LeVant, among others.
That time individually for Williamson also broke the Texas State Record in the 100 free that previously belonged to Jimmy Feigen of Churchill High School. Feigen would go on to win medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games and win the 2012 NCAA Title in the 50 and 100 freestyles.
Williamson still has three seasons of high school swimming left to chase David Nolan’s National High School Record of 42.34 in that 100 free.
The swim makes Williamson, who is still only 15, the 3rd-fastest 100 yard freestyler in 15-16 age group history behind only Ryan Hoffer and Jack Alexy.
While Wang cracked 20 seconds on a relay leadoff, he wasn’t able to do the same earlier in the meet in the 50 free. There, Cy Woods junior Benjamin Scholl, a Texas A&M commit and the #17-ranked swimmer in the class of 2023, swam 19.95 to take the title. He has been as fast as 19.87.
So far this season, 15 high school swimmers have been under 20 seconds in the 50 yard free. Three of those swam in this meet.
That race came down to a final touch: behind Wang in 2nd in 20.05, Connor Little from Kingwood was 3rd in 20.11 and Peter Horton from Clear Creek finished 4th in 20.17.
Wang would come back after the diving break and win the 100 free in 43.38, which is just three-tenths shy of Jimmy Feigen‘s State Record in the event. That’s Wang’s lifetime best by half-a-second
Williamson wasn’t the only budding star swimming at this meet. USA Swimming Junior National Team member Cooper Lucas won the 200 free in 1:35.29. That’s a lifetime best for him by just over a second.
That’s now a second-straight 200 free title for the Keller High School sophomore.
Lucas came back later in the session to win the 500 free in 4:19.86, which missed his best time by about a second. He finished in 2nd place in that event last year.
The class breakdown by individual event winners for the meet is as followed:
- Freshman – 2
- Sophomore – 3
- Junior – 3
This means that all 8 individual event champions are eligible to race again in this meet next season.
Other Texas 6A Boys State Champions:
- Jacob Wimberly, a sophomore at Prosper High School in Prosper, Texas, won the 100 fly in 48.37. He beat out Kingwood’s Garrett Green and a deep field that saw the top five finishers between 48.3 and 48.8. Green was 2nd in both the 100 fly and 100 back. Wimberly is a newcomer to Texas high school swimming – he was last year’s North Carolina 3A State Champion in the 100 back.
- While Carroll still had enough weapons to win the 6A title, they didn’t have the depth to put together three title-winning relays – at least not yet. A quartet of four sophomores finished in 6th place for them in the opening 200 medley relay. The race was won by Plano West and the relay of Theodore Chen (23.61), Watson Nguyen (24.90), Josemaria Romero (21.26), and Kai Joshi (20.62). They topped that race in 1:30.39, by more than 1.6 seconds ahead of the defending champions and record holders from The Woodlands. The Woodlands had another very young relay, with no seniors on it.
- Clements’ Logan Brown won the 100 breaststroke in 53.68, more than a second ahead of Plano West’s Nguyen and The Woodlands’ Roberto Bonilla, who placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Brown, another Texas A&M commit at this meet, was a relay-only swimmer at last year’s state championship meet, but his 100 breaststroke times have exploded in the year since. That includes a 53.57 at Winter Juniors West in December to finish 2nd. Bonilla’s runner-up finish was his second straight such finish in the event.