High School Swimming

Taylor girls 3-peat at region swim meet

By Dennis Silva II, Sports Editor
Posted 2/8/21

Taylor’s girls swim team was not nervous or anxious heading into the Region V-6A swim meet in Cypress on Friday, Feb. 5.

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High School Swimming

Taylor girls 3-peat at region swim meet

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Taylor’s girls swim team was not nervous or anxious heading into the Region V-6A swim meet in Cypress on Friday, Feb. 5.

If anything, the Mustangs were confident and assured.

“We are expecting to win,” senior Kat Pashen said four days prior to the meet. “We need every girl to do their best and prove we deserve first.”

The Mustangs did just that, winning four events and capturing the program’s third consecutive regional title. The Mustangs scored 345 points, outlasting Bridgeland (227), Seven Lakes (215), and Tomball Memorial (200). Individual swimmers and relay teams that placed first at the regional meet were automatic qualifiers to the state meet to be held in San Antonio. The 6A and 5A girls compete Feb. 19 and Feb. 20, respectively, and the 6A and 5A boys compete Feb. 26 and Feb. 27, respectively.

Senior Abbie Alvarez won gold in the 200-yard individual medley (2-minutes, 5.28-seconds) and the 100-yard butterfly (55.06). Senior Roxana Nolte won gold in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:00.01. The Mustangs’ 400-yard freestyle relay team also won gold, posting a time of 3:32.28.

The Mustangs had more call-ups to state. Excluding regional champs, the top eight times in each event from around the state also advanced to state. Taylor’s 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard freestyle relay, sophomore Mariana Diaz Ponce (100-yard breaststroke) and senior Amy Evans (100-yard breaststroke) were call-ups.

Seniors Taylor Schababerle and Emma Clark, and juniors Natalia Casas and Emma Xiao also performed admirably at the regional meet and helped the Mustangs maintain their standing as the best in the region.

“It’s a collective group of girls who are great, and they’re all successful because they’re trying to keep up with each other,” coach Matt Apple said.

For the 16th consecutive year, a Seven Lakes swimmer or diver qualified for state, an impressive run of excellence.

Seven Lakes sophomore diver Kailey Koval won the Region V-6A title by scoring a 396. Also headed to state for the Spartans as call-ups were senior Maddie Welborn (100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle), junior Gracelyn Cox (100-yard breaststroke), and the 200-medley relay of Welborn, sophomore Taylor Craft, senior Kaitlyn Killinger and junior Alva Bjelland.

Jordan freshman Kaeli White won the Region IV-5A championship in the 500-yard freestyle. White posted a time of 5:04.39.

“For region, I had a different approach and a different mindset,” White said. “Last week (at district), I was just wanting to go in and drop some time; I never expected that I would win. This week, I was just wanting to prove to myself that the time I had at district wasn’t a mistake and that I really had dropped as much time as I had.”

White swam a 5:04.05 to win the district title in the 500 two weeks ago.

“Going into state, my only goal is to drop time and hold the pace that I’ve been working on hitting in practice,” she said.

On the boys side at the Region V-6A diving meet, Tompkins junior Matthew Aigner won his second consecutive regional title with a score of 435.50.

Katy ISD boys call-ups to state from the Region V-6A swim meet were Tompkins’ 200-yard medley relay, Tompkins senior Drew Ladner (50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle), Taylor sophomore Logan Pack (50-yard freestyle), Cinco Ranch junior Brandon Guo (100-yard freestyle), Cinco Ranch’s 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relays, and Seven Lakes senior Justin Liao (100-yard breaststroke).

Paetow sophomore Kaleb Velazquez finished second at the Region V-5A diving championships to automatically qualify for state.

Katy ISD north side dive coach Kevin Kehoe was recognized as Coach of the Meet at the 5A regional diving meet.

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