The Texas class 5A (small schools) state meet was a dramatic finish on the boys side, with Humble Kingwood Park beating Frisco Wakeland in a meet that came down to the final event. Meanwhile Austin Vandegrift won the girls title by sweeping all three relays.
Austin Vandegrift won the girls title in a true team effort, winning no individual events but sweeping all three relays.
To open the meet, seniors Madison Ibrahim and Sydney Sanders combined with sophomore Hannah Palacios and junior Elizabeth Nelson to go 1:48.38 in the 200 medley relay. Ibrahim had the field’s best backstroke split (26.44) and Palacios the best fly split (25.81) to help seal the win.
In the 200 free relay, it was an entirely different foursome, seniors Lindsey Thompson and Hanna Brown plus freshman Kendall Shields and junior Jade Federlin who took home the title in 1:37.18. That was led by a 23.94 split from Federlin on the end.
And finally, the meet closed with Brown, Federlin, Ibrahim and Shields going 3:30.10 in the 400 free relay, led by a 51.76 from the freshman Shields on the end, plus a 52.37 leadoff from Brown.
Individually, the star of the meet was Prosper freshman Gabrielle Kopenski, who set a pair of state records in a two-win evening. Kopenski’s biggest swim was the 500 free, where her 4:42.16 was both a lifetime-best and a new overall Texas state record as well as the class 5A mark.
Kopenski also set the class 5A mark in the 200 free, going 1:46.80. She’s still about two seconds off the overall state record there, set by Sam Tucker back in 2009.
Her prosper teammate Destiny Nelson also set a class 5A record, going 54.13 in the 100 back. That was a lifetime-best, and won by about 1.6 seconds for the senior, topping Shields of Austin Vandegrift.
Nelson doubled on the day, also winning the 200 IM in 1:59.97, her first time ever under two minutes.
Also breaking a class 5A record was Magnolia’s Caitlin Clements, who won the 100 free in 50.39.
Houston Stratford took second as a team, getting a 1-meter diving win from senior Phoebe Lamay (485.20 points).
Other individual winners:
- Bryan freshman Julia Cook in the 50 free (23.50)
- Dallas Hillcrest sophomore Rebecca Brandt in the 100 fly (56.13)
- Fort Bend Ridge Point freshman Kylie Powers in the 100 breast (1:04.09)
Top 5 Teams
- Austin Vandegrift – 227.5
- Houston Stratford – 165
- Magnolia – 157
- San Antonio Alamo Heights – 154.5
- Frisco – 142
The boys meet was a nailbiter, with Humble Kingwood Park holding off Frisco Wakeland by just 2.5 points in a meet that came down to the final relay.
Humble Kingwood won the opening relay, the only event they’d win all meet. That came courtesy of Ryan Logan, David Amoruso, Sam Poulin and Eric Broussard, who went 1:34.23. That crew touched out Frisco Wakeland by four tenths, thanks to the field’s best fly split, a 22.34 from Poulin.
Frisco Wakeland was all over the top of the podium from there, winning four more races to stay in the team hunt. Junior Samuel Kline doubled, winning both long freestyle events. He was 1:38.01 for a new Class 5A record in the 200 free, then went 4:29.11 to run away with the 500 free title.
Meanwhile senior Jacob DeMercurio won a narrow touchout in the 50 free, going 20.72 to Houston Stratford freshman Timothy Bobo‘s 20.74. DeMercurio would come back to win the 100 back in 49.21.
Heading into the final event, Humble Kingwood Park led by 4.5 points, meaning Frisco Wakeland would essentially need to either win the final relay or place three spots higher than Kingwood Park to win the meet.
But Houston Stratford played the spoilers, touching out Frisco Wakefield by .11 seconds, and Humble Kingwood Park took third place to seal their meet win by 2.5 points.
That Houston Stratford team was made up of Bobo, Chance Parker, Nicholas Airola and Taylor Nicholas and went 3;07.25. Bobo led off in a field-best 45.99, and Airola was 46.44 on his leg. Kline pulled off a 44.74 anchor leg for Frisco Wakeland, nearly running down the leaders, but Stratford held on for the narrow win.
That same Stratford foursome went 1:24.70 to win the 200 free relay as well.
The other double winner on the day was Bryan’s Walter Jones. The senior went 1:49.95 to win the 200 IM, and added a 48.54 win in the 100 fly later on.
Other individual winners:
- Frisco Liberty senior Matthew Phillip in 1-meter diving (519.50)
- Boerne Champion junior Owen Upchurch in the 100 free (46.08)
- Brenham sophomore Hudson Smith in the 100 breast (57.15)
Top 5 Teams
- Humble Kingwood Park – 238.5
- Frisco Wakeland – 236
- Houston Stratford – 183
- Frisco – 144
- Austin Vandegrift – 118