Diving into Districts


Kinley Weber

Senior Lauren Carag takes her mark before racing the 100 Yard Backstroke against district rival Klein Oak.

Camryn Degutis, Staff Writer

The varsity swim and dive team competed their way to a fifth place finish Jan. 19 – 20.

“I think the team did extremely well considering we are not the largest team in the district,” coach James Sharp said. “We had a lot of time dropped [from the athletes] at this meet.”

The divers competed all day Friday, Jan. 19 with 11 dives each. Junior Olivia Dollar dove her way to a third place finish with a score of 319.00. Senior Drake McPeek earned a fourth place finish with a score of 377.00. Both Dollar and McPeek qualified for the Regional Meet to be held Feb. 1 and 2.  

“I’m proud of my team and how hard they worked,” McPeek said. “[Districts] gave the team a chance to experience what it is like to compete in a big meet.”

Starting the meet off strong, the team of seniors Lauren Carag and senior Elysian Majeske,and freshmen Lunden Carter and Jordyn Cole finished fifth in the 200 yard medley relay. Each girl competed two laps of a different swim stroke in the order of: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.

“It was very exciting to be able to swim at varsity districts as a freshman,” Cole said. “It was cool to have a taste of the competition for the years to come.”

Junior Mark Linnell kept the energy going with a six second drop from his time in the 200 yard freestyle event. Linell was not seated to qualify for the Regional Meet, but with a quick start of 51.92 seconds in his first 100 yards allowed him to sustain a lead to hold off the other athletes.

“Mark dropped an incredible amount of time in his 200 Yard Freestyle,” Sharp said. “He was a talented contribution to the boys 200 Yard Freestyle Relay.”

Senior Chett Bell, coming off a fast 27.46 50 yard breaststroke, split in the 200 yard medley relay and surged the last lap in the 100 Yard Butterfly to tie for district champion with Klein Oak senior Wally Baskett. Bell later came back to swim the 100 Yard Breaststroke in a time of 1:00.54 for a fourth place finish in another event at the regional meet.  

For most races after I warm up, I try to distract myself from all my anxiety and stress,” Bell said. “I usually accomplish this by talking, laughing and joking with my teammates.”

For the fourth time in four years, Carag was crowned district champion in the 100 yard backstroke race with a time of 56.60, this time shattering her own district and Klein pool record.  Carag also qualified for regional meet in the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 24.83.

“To be a state level [athlete] requires everything Lauren has: dedication, discipline and goal setting,” Sharp said. “It’s incredible to see her perform again and again.”

The team of freshman Sam Wittmer, junior John Tyler Nissen, Linnell and Bell posted a speedy time of 1:29.13 seconds to grab a second place finish in the 200 yard freestyle relay. With this time, this team can make the a-final at the regional meet, which will allow for them to qualify for a State Championship spot.

“I think the team overall did very well,” Bell said. “I believe that we have a shot at taking one of the boys relays to state, and overall, we had a lot of big time drops.”