By Habeab Kurdi
Buoyed by top finishes on both sides, the Westlake swim teams won both the boys and girls District 15-5A Championships Saturday at the University of Texas Jamail Swim Center.
Paul Corbae took home the top district swimmer honors on the boys side after taking first in the 100 breaststroke and second in the 200 individual medley.
The boys side easily won, posting 198 points to Anderson’s 118, with Bowie taking third with 116 points.
The Westlake girls also had a wide margin of victory, topping Bowie 191 to 128, with Anderson in third with 100 points.
“We learned a lot from it, won both sides pretty handily, which is nice, and in terms of performance, it’s the first step,” Coach Isaac Grombacher said. “But it’s tough to get too excited about because it is just the beginning. This is such a first step of a meet we want to focus on what we did here and think about the end. Whatever we did here want to improve on in two weeks.”
The team will have a bit of a breather before the regional meet, which is scheduled for Feb. 10-11 at the Conroe school district’s natatorium.
The time in between the district and regional meet is vital to the Chaps chances to advance on to state, Grombacher said.
“We’ll continue resting because a lot of swimmers are tired from intense training,” he said. “Hopefully at regionals we’ll be really fresh. You see spring come early when they have time to rest. They look livelier, and there’s an actual different in how high or low their bodies are in the water depending on how tired they are.
“It’s really fun for me and a lot more fun for them than the last few months have been.”
Top finishers for the boys side include first-place finishers Audie Embestro in the 100 backstroke, Ben Ussery in the 100 butterfly, David Cox in the 200 freestyle and Mattias Glenesk in the 500 free. The 200 medley relay team of Cox, Corbae, Ussery and Embestro won gold as did the 400 freestyle relay team of Cox, Ussery, Embestro and Zack Thomas.
Both Thomas and Embestro swam the fastest than Grombacher has seen them go in a high school meet.
On the girls side, the Chap’s got first place finishes from Mackenzie Franklin in both the 50 freestyle and 100 free. Irena Martinez took first in the 100 butterfly. The 400 freestyle relay team of Alyssa Woltemath, Olivia Muehlberger, Emma Guilluly and Mina Glenesk also grabbed a gold, while Franklin and Woltemath teamed with Margaret Beck and Laurie Prinz to win the 200 medley relay.
As some Westlake swimmers broke through to earn a regional spot, that usually meant they were displacing another teammate, giving some finishes a bittersweet feeling.
“We had so many people in the finals, usually if someone snuck their way in it bumped someone else out,” Grombacher said. “As far as the team goes, it’s a wash both ways.”
Franklin has increased her performances as the races have grown in intensity,
“She’s getting stronger and stronger each week, and my feeling is she’s going to make it to state,” Grombacher said.
Adding to the boys total with a second place finish was the 200 free relay was the team of Corbae, Jon Savage, Hayden Southworth and Andre Newlands.
In the 200 freestyle, Wes Thomas finished second, followed by Glenesk third and David Doyle fifth. Corbae, Thomas and Embestro took second, third and fourth in the 200 IM. Ussery finished a close second in the 50 freestyle, while Southworth was fifth and Elliot Foreman seventh.
The Chaps completed a sweep in the 100 butterfly with Mariano Adame finishing second and Southworth third. Foreman was sixth in the 100 Freestyle with Savage seventh. In the 500 freestyle, Doyle took fourth, Ryan Gunn was fifth and Rob Blais eighth.
Thomas was second and David Cox third in the 100 backstroke to complete a 1-2-3 finish, with Clayton Clark in seventh place. Wes Thomas added a third finish in the 100 breaststroke while Adame was fifth and Brock Jones was seventh.
Others scoring for the Westlake girls included Mina Glenesk, who also captured third place in the 200 freestyle, in which Muehlberger was fourth. In the 200 IM, Martinez finished second and Guilluly third, with Anne Shedlosky taking sixth and Bryanna Hundt seventh.
Beck grabbed fifth in the 50 freestyle, followed by Catherine Anne Prideaux in sixth and Bayley Wiltshire seventh. In the girl’s 100 butterfly, Muehlberger was second and Beck third with Magda Contreras finishing sixth. Woltemath added a fourth-place finish in the 100 freestyle, while Wiltshire was seventh and Alec Marshman finished eighth. Contraras took fourth, Glenesk fifth and Maddy Hunt eighth in the 500 freestyle. Woltemath, Guilluly and Prideaux finished second, third and fourth, respectively, in the 100 backstroke.
In the 100 breaststroke, Shedlosky took second place, followed by Prinz third, Jessica Conrad fourth and Olivia Kirkpatrick sixth. The 200 freestyle relay team of Franklin, Wiltshire, Muehlberger and Beck also took home a second place silver medal.
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