High School Swimming & Diving State Roundup

Seven Lakes’ Welborn medals at state swimming championships

By Dennis Silva, Sports Editor
Posted 3/3/21

Maddie Welborn made sure her final state appearance left a mark.

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High School Swimming & Diving State Roundup

Seven Lakes’ Welborn medals at state swimming championships

Posted

Maddie Welborn made sure her final state appearance left a mark.

The Seven Lakes senior posted a school record time of 1:49.16 to place third and win a bronze medal in the 200-yard freestyle at the UIL state swimming and diving championships at the Bill Walker Pool and Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio on Monday, March 1.

Welborn bested her eighth-place state finish of 1:50.45 last year and topped her regional time of 1:49.20 from a couple of weeks ago.

The University of Kentucky signee was the only Katy ISD swimmer to medal at state. She also finished fourth in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 51.17 seconds.

“After my warmups, I felt like it was going to be a good meet for me, based on how I felt in the water,” Welborn said. “I never lost my feel for the water, so I had a positive mindset the whole time. I definitely could have done better, but I’m really happy ending my senior year with a medal at state. I felt a lot faster at this pool than I normally do at Austin’s pool, so it was cool to swim at a new pool.”

The championships were held in San Antonio instead of Austin on the campus of University of Texas because of COVID-19 protocols. The boys and girls teams competed on different days and the crowd was half of its typical size because of COVID restrictions. The Class 6A boys competed on Feb. 26; the Class 5A boys on Feb. 27. The Class 6A girls competed on March 1; the Class 5A girls on March 2.

Jordan freshman Kaeli White, the school’s first state qualifier in swimming and district and regional champion, had a strong showing in the Class 5A meet, finishing fifth in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:01.72.

As a team, the Taylor girls were the highest Katy ISD finisher, boys or girls, at state. The Mustangs placed 12th with 77 points.

“Our medley relay and 400 free relay both went their best times, so that was good,” Taylor coach Matt Apple said. “It was nice to see that we dropped. Our mantra was to have fun, and they did. This was the seniors’ last high school meet so enjoy it, and they did.”

Seven Lakes did not finish far behind in 16th place with 50 points.

“I’ll take it for as crazy of a year this has been,” said Seven Lakes coach Jordan Beck, whose program qualified a swimmer to state for the 15th consecutive year. “We came with six girls. Kailey Koval made ninth in diving, made an All-American consideration in diving. Maddie, I believe, is an All-American consideration. The medley relay moved up to 14th after being 15th coming in. Gracelyn Cox swam well and did a good job competing. For us to finish top 20, I’ll take that in a heartbeat after this crazy year.”

Taylor was buoyed by strong top-10 performances by senior Abbie Alvarez in the 200-yard individual medley (sixth) and 100-yard butterfly (10th), and ninth-place finishes by the 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relays.

“She did a great job,” Apple said of Alvarez. “She came in with a plan in her IM, stuck to it, and that helped her get sixth place. In the fly, she dropped (in time) in the finals after not doing as well as she wanted to in prelims.”

Apple graduates a dominant senior class of Alvarez, Roxana Nolte, Emma Clark, Taylor Schababerle, Amy Evans and Kat Pashen. They led the Mustangs to three consecutive district and regional titles.

“This group of girls is the program,” Apple said. “For the last four years, all the success we’ve had is this group. We’ve always won based on depth and a lot of girls who can do really well. We’ll be going back to ground zero next year because these girls have really been the backbone of this team.”

The Woodlands won the 6A girls team championship with 207 points, followed by San Antonio Johnson (176) and Southlake Carroll (165).

The Highlanders also took home the 6A boys team title with 229 points, followed by Kingwood (227) and Cypress Woods (173).

Tompkins was the highest Katy ISD boys team finisher at state with a 17th place finish with 31 points. Taylor and Cinco Ranch tied for 34th with 15 points apiece.

The following are Katy ISD’s state performers and how they fared in their respective events, with their place finish, class and time.

BOYS

Class 6A

>> 50-yard freestyle

  1. Drew Ladner, Tompkins, sr., 21.45.
  2. Logan Pack, Taylor, so., 21.47.

>> 100-yard freestyle

  1. Drew Ladner, Tompkins, sr., 46.80.
  2. Brandon Guo, Cinco Ranch, jr., 47.03.

>> 100-yard breaststroke

  1. Justin Lao, Seven Lakes, sr., 58.30.

>> 200-yard medley relay

  1. Tompkins (senior John Kuhlmann, senior Ben Sippel, senior Kevin Han, senior Drew Ladner), 1:35.06.
  2. Taylor (sophomore Logan Pack, sophomore Patrick Spillman, junior Nick Schmid, junior Andrew Lee), 1:35.58.

>> 400-yard freestyle relay

  1. Cinco Ranch (senior Linus Chin, senior Sebastian Silva, senior Will Betts, junior Brandon Guo), 3:10.30.

>> Diving

  1. Matthew Aigner, Tompkins, jr., 194.45.

Class 5A

>> Diving

  1. Kaleb Velazquez, Paetow, so., 310.50.

GIRLS

Class 6A

>> 100-yard butterfly

  1. Abbie Alvarez, Taylor, sr., 56.53.

>> 100-yard freestyle

  1. Maddie Welborn, Seven Lakes, sr., 51.17.

>> 100-yard breaststroke

  1. Mariana Diaz Ponce, Taylor, so., 1:06.00
  2. Gracelyn Cox, Seven Lakes, jr., 1:07.47.
  3. Amy Evans, Taylor, sr., 1:08.45

>> 200-yard freestyle

  1. Maddie Welborn, Seven Lakes, sr., 1:49.16.

>> 20o-yard individual medley

  1. Abbie Alvarez, Taylor, sr., 2:05.23.

>> 200-yard medley relay

  1. Seven Lakes (senior Maddie Welborn, sophomore Taylor Craft, senior Kaitlyn Killinger, junior Alva Bjelland), 1:47.82.

>> 200-yard medley relay

  1. Taylor (senior Emma Clark, senior Amy Evans, senior Abbie Alvarez, senior Kat Pashen), 1:46.76.

>> 200-yard freestyle relay

  1. Taylor (junior Natalia Casas, junior Nicole Huang, senior Taylor Schababerle, senior Kat Pashen), 1:38.05.

>> 400-yard freestyle relay

  1. Taylor (senior Abbie Alvarez, senior Roxana Nolte, senior Kat Pashen, senior Taylor Schababerle), 3:30.65.

>> 500-yard freestyle

  1. Roxana Nolte, Taylor, sr., 5:04.98.

>> Diving

  1. Kailey Koval, Seven Lakes, so., 377.65.

Class 5A

>> 500-yard freestyle

  1. Kaeli White, Jordan, fr., 5:01.72.

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