Angleton swimmers advanced to the championship heat in six of the seven events in which they entered at the UIL 5A Swimming & Diving Meet finals Friday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center at the University of Texas.
“We’re looking pretty strong. I think the boys could move up a couple of spots in both our relays and our individual races,” Angleton head coach Daniel Huffman said. “They put themselves almost as well of a position they could have put themselves in today, so I’m pretty proud of them.”
Wildcats Abel Black, Aaron Black, Ryan Fojtik and Cameron Derleth placed seventh in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1 minute, 37.55 seconds to advance to the finals. Aaron Black placed fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:41.82) and 100 backstroke (50.93) to qualify for the finals, while twin brother Abel Black placed eighth in both the 200 individual medley (52.73) and 100 backstroke (52.14) to qualify for the finals.
Fynn Andrews, Abel and Aaron Black and Ryan Fojtik also qualified in the 400 freestyle relay to advance to the finals and have the opportunity to earn meals today.
“Today they did what they needed to do on their relays and we’re going to see stronger, quicker starts tomorrow,” Huffman said. “A lot of your first day is making sure you get your relay to the second day so there will be stronger starts tomorrow.”
With the success Angleton had in the water, Huffman was most pleased with the way his guys came out in the events they worked on the most leading up to the competition.
“We wanted to finish our 200s better and our boys did a good job setting themselves up in a good position and doing what we trained for,” he said. “The best part of today was the way they finished their 200 and 500 freestyle. That’s what we’ve been focused on.”
With the season coming to a close today, Huffman credits his swimmers’ desire and competitive nature that drove them to be successful.
“Every year the meets keep getting faster and we’ve got to do a lot of hard work,” Huffman said. “It is something special for these young men to get to this meet, but to actually show up and going even faster is more difficult.”
Being a veteran when it comes to Angleton coaching, he has had the opportunity to meet with numerous athletic directors and he has to say Angleton athletic director and head football coach Jason Brittain has been the best in his opinion.
“Our athletic director has been fantastic. I really love the guy,” Huffman said. “I’ve been here 20 years and Jason Brittain has been fantastic at helping us do what we need to do to be fast. I give all credit to him and he’s the best athletic director I’ve coached for and I think all our other sports feel the same.”
The UIL 5A Swimming & Diving Meet finals start at 9:30 a.m. today at the same location.