Lake Jackson Swim Team members competing in the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Region I Swim Meet today expect it won’t be the final step in their season.
Swimming will start at 8:30 a.m. for ages 6U to adult at the Conroe ISD Natatorium in Shenandoah today. The top three finishers in each event will advance to the TAAF State Games scheduled for July 25-28 in College Station, and a slew of Lake Jackson’s 84 competitors enter today’s event ranked No. 1.
Other teams involved will be from Alvin, Baytown, Beaumont, Bellaire, Conroe, Deer Park, First Colony, Friendswood, Galena Park, Galveston, La Porte, League City, Nederland, Pasadena, Pearland, Seabrook, Sienna Plantation, Sugar Land, Texas City, The Woodlands Township and West University Place.
Lake Jackson is coming off a dominating performance at the Coastal Cities Aquatic Association Swim Meet on June 29 in Rosenberg, but hasn’t let up in preparing for the region meet.
“We’ve been working on their technique so they can stay consistent with what they are doing in the water,” Lake Jackson Swim Team coach Vivie Tran said. “We want them to improve their times at region, and one way to do that is to keep doing what they’ve been doing with their techniques.”
The Lake Jackson girls team has 20 No. 1 seeds going into today’s meet. Among them are 6U competitors Camila Gonzalez in the 25 freestyle at 24.94 seconds and the 100 free relay team of Piper Kadlecik, Sarah Parker, Aleara Castor and Camila Gonzalez with a time of 1:53.66.
“They are the youngest on our team, and we are really excited about them because I don’t think we’ve had a 6U swim relay which has been ranked No. 1 going in,” Vivie Tran said. “At least there haven’t been any since I’ve been coaching. I think these girls work well together, they are a fun group of girls that enjoy cheering each other on.
“Really, as young as they are, we just want them trying as best as they can and getting from one point of the pool to the other as fast as possible.”
Gonzalez’s toughest competition in the 25 free could come from her own team, with Lake Jackson’s Piper Kadlecik coming with a time of 25.54.
“Piper is seeded second in that same race, so that should be an interesting race to watch,” Vivie Tran said.
Top-seeded Lake Jackson girls in 8U are Sierra Bracken in the 25 breaststroke (22.48) and the 100 individual medley (1:44.13); Adalyn Garza in the 25 backstroke (21.77; the 100 medley relay team of Garza, Sierra Bracken, Clara Bracken and Caylee White (1:23.53); and the 100 free relay of Garza, Finley Krsak, Clara Sterzinger and White (1:20.82).
“This past week we mainly worked on technique … especially with relays so they can get the timing right with each other,” Vivie Tran said. “We want these swims to go smoothly for them.”
Others seeded No. 1 for the girls are, in the 9-10 age group, Hope Kadlecik in 25 backstroke (17.31); Larissa Bracken in 25 butterfly (15.33), 25 free (14.69) and 100 IM (1:26.26); and the 100 free relay of Kadlecik, Emerson Montgomery, Kesleigh Corn and Bracken (1:03.43); in the 11-12 division, the 200 IM relay team of Mallory Kesler, Gigi Lower, Grace Kadlecik and Emily Mixon (2:29.45); and 200 free relay of Mixon, Kadlecik, Lower and Kesler (2:12.58); and in the 13-14 group, Minnie Tran in the 50 breaststroke (35.37) and 50 free (25.35); the 200 medley relay with Sarah Grambrel, Emily Brown, Emily Agan and Alex Sparkman (2:17.25); and the 200 free relay of Gambrel, Brown, Agan and Minnie Tran (1:54.65).
“She is also seeded second in the 100 free,” Vivie Tran said of her younger sister. “For her, it is all about strength, because she isn’t growing any more so she just needs to keep improving in all facets of her swims. As long as she keeps that positive attitude, she is going in the right direction.”
Gambrel is set up for a good showing today, bringing an individual No. 1 seed in the 50 backstroke (32.41) in addition to the relays.
“Sarah is also seeded second in 100 IM, and the thing about Sarah is that she goes to most of the practices and tries really hard,” Vivie Tran said. “She’s got a good work ethic and I think her and Minnie are going to be awesome at high school together.”
Kathryn Gambrel is atop the 50 breaststroke field (34.16) in the 15-17 age group.
The Lake Jackson boys enter today’s meet with 13 No. 1 seeds.
Among the top seeds in 8U are Jiles Parker in 25 butterfly (19.84), Charlie Poe in 25 backstroke (21.80), the 100 medley relay of Poe, Samuel Lupher, Parker and Felix Schoener (1:25.31); and the 100 free relay of Schoener, Bryce Ermel, Lupher and Parker (1:17.01).
“There are just a bunch which are just seeded on top across the board for our age group swimmers, which is exciting,” Lake Jackson Swim Team coach Kyle Brown said. “I am mostly excited for the relays because, in multiple age groups, they are seeded in the top three and will have an opportunity to qualify for state.”
Also with a No. 1 seed are, in the 9-10 division, Daniel Lupher in 25 breaststroke (20.47), the 100 medley relay of Hunter McGehee, Lupher, Cole White and Kersh Parker (1:14.95), and the free relay of Lupher, Benjamin Albarran, Aiden Tomlinson and Parker (1:05.5).
“The 9-10s are all there every day working hard on what they want to accomplish,” Brown said. “That one also will have an opportunity to medal at state as well.”
Kole Owens is a No. 1 seed in the 13-14 year old group in the 50 backstroke (28.96), 50 butterfly (25.87) and 50 free (23.90). Top-seeded in the 15-17 division are Mason Kesler in 100 free (55.10) and 200 free (2:02.23), and Riley Kuhlman in the 100 IM (1:04.00).