Thanks to Meaghan Roussett for contributing to this report.
At least two Texas High School District Championship meets have been delayed and turned from prelims-finals affairs into strictly timed-finals. The 4A District 19, 5A District 15 and 5A District 16 (Round Rock ISD and Austin ISD Schools) were set to be run Friday and Saturday at the Texas Swim Center on the University of Texas campus, but late on Thursday afternoon, with the anticipation of waking up to sub-freezing temperatures, administrators decided to delay the meet.
While several states often have to run meets in these conditions, with tires and roads not designed for the kind of weather, with light snow and ice, the Austin area is currently experiencing, many events were cancelled across sports. These swimming district meets, however, will probably have the biggest impact. In Texas, unlike many states in the country, the district meets are direct qualifiers to the regionals, which are direct qualifiers to the State Championship meet. The top 6 swimmers in each district advance to the regional level.
Several other district championship meets were delayed today across the state. With temperatures in Austin expected to get up to 70 degrees on Saturday, the meets should have no problem finishing then.
With athletes prepared for a prelims-finals meet, and now facing just a timed final for the right to advance, Longhorn Aquatics coach Doug Russell, an Olympic gold medalist, sent out a great note to his club swimmers who were affected by the change:
Again, we have run into something that throws us out of our plan and off track. We work around the weather all the time and I’ve seen you train in the very hot of summer and train when it was raining and train when it was cold. We have trained when it made sense to cancel a workout here and there. Out big meet of the season was COR and it got cancelled and we had kids going in several different directions or not swimming at all when they were ready to swim at their best. Now we have your District’s cancelled and gone from a prelim – final to a timed final. HOW LUCKY CAN WE GET! No one is better prepared for this disruption than you. It’s built into your PfNA. Keep your focus and rest and swim your races over and over in your mind. Use this disruption to your advantage.
As of posting, the temperatures in Austin are just hopping above freezing at 33 degrees according to weather.com, Austinites woke up to 26 degree temperatures this morning when teams were set to depart for these District Championship meets.
The University of Texas and TCU men’s team also cancelled travel plans, as they were scheduled to face off in a dual meet on Friday.