By Emily Martinez
Westlake has always had a stellar swim team full of hard-working competitors. This year is no different as the Chaparrals will be well-represented by state-qualifiers Mattias Glenesk and Mackenzie Franklin, along with the girls 400 freestyle relay team, at the state meet Feb. 24-25.
For the first time in his four-year high school career, Glenesk made it to the regional finals, held in The Woodlands last weekend. After all of his hard work, Glenesk was ready to put in his long swim. As a distance swimmer, his race is the 500 freestyle.
“It was a great feeling to finally get to swim at regional finals,” Glenesk said. “It’s something I’ve been working toward for a while.”
Glenesk, a senior, finished second at the regional meet in the 500 freestyle and advanced to state with the full participant list released Tuesday. Though he is the only one in the water, he attributes a lot of his success to his teammates and coach.
“It’s just as much of an individual sport as a team sport,” Glenesk said. “Throughout the year, and especially during races, you can see and hear everyone cheering for you on the side of the pool waving you on.”
Thus far, Glenesk’s season has been full of time drop.
Since October, he has been working extremely hard in the water, and because of that he has dropped more than 15 seconds off of his 500 freestyle time.
“[Glenesk] has had an amazing year,” said Westlake coach Isaac Grombacher,
All of this comes with a counterpart. Franklin, a junior, is headed to state in the 100 freestyle and the 50 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay.
“I was really pleased with how both districts and regionals went.” Franklin said. “As a team, we were district champions, and I was also the district champion in both of my single events.”
Mackenzie moved to Austin for the start of high school prepared to work.
“She is a very tough competitor,r and she is incredibly focused,” Grombacher said. “She gets nervous at times but has been doing an excellent job of handling that this year.”
After much time, dedication and training, she’s ready to make her second appearance at the state meet. Her first qualification was her freshman year, on the 400 freestyle relay team that pushed all the way to state and won.
This may be her first year going in individual events, but she is ready for it and hopeful for a repeat of that winning feeling.
“I’m not really nervous about state because I’m just going there to swim fast and have fun,” Franklin said. “I know that I have trained hard and earned my spot there, so that takes off a lot of the pressure.”
The girls 400 freestyle relay team, consisting of Franklin, Olivia Muelhburger, Alyssa Woltemath and Emma Gilluly, are also headed to the state meet after finishing third at the regional meet.
The state meet will be Feb. 24-25 at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center.