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Legacy Press

The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

Freestyle Relay Team Takes First at State


“I was going in third and when I dove into the water we were in fourth or fifth place,” junior Jules Lawrence said. “When I got out of the pool we were in second. My immediate thought was, ‘Jacob please, catch up.’ I turned around again and Jacob’s already flipping back and touches the wall.”

The swimming and diving team was awarded its first state championship on Feb. 25 when Lawrence, along with junior Jacob Gonzales and seniors Chris Grindal and Gary Adams placed first in the 200 freestyle relay in this year’s University Interscholastic League state meet held in Austin.

The team swept up the win after Gonzales finished the race with a 19.64 on his leg of the race, faster than most collegiate swimmers according to head swimming and diving Coach Mike Jones. The final time was 1:24:26 minutes, a time well ingrained into Lawrence’s brain.

“I don’t want to toot my own horn, but we kind of smoked everyone,” Lawrence said. “To win by the amount of time that we did, which was about one second, in that sort of relay was incredible.”

Known as the fastest relay, the 200 freestyle consists of four contenders swimming a 50 free and tagging in a team member, essentially swimming’s version of a track relay according to Lawrence.

“The sprints are so short that one mistake can end it,” Jones said. “For the sprints, I tell my swimmers to have a good start, a good breakout, a good turn, good finish, and don’t breathe.”

According to Jones preparations encompass everything from diet to practice and even swimwear. Further preparations, according to Gonzales, take place in the mind.

“When I swim I get really nervous, especially at big meets,” he said. “Before a race I bundle up and get under a towel. I think about the race. I visualize [it] and I pray, I do that [last part] a lot.”
Jones attributes the team’s success to countless factors.

“I don’t think any other team had three guys that were taller than 6’6”,” he said. “I don’t know if any other team was coached by someone who was a sprinter in college. I don’t know if any other team was doing the types of practices we did this year. I think it was a combination of all those things, great athletes, good training, excitement and luck.”

Team work, according to Lawrence was key in their achievement as well.

“It takes four to make a relay,” he said. “I did my part, and they did theirs and I couldn’t be prouder of them. As a team we tried to keep each other positive. [Before the race] we talked to each other and got pumped up [by] saying ‘we can do this. We got this. It’s all us’. I can’t be more thankful for my teammates. It means a lot to me and I love them.”

Although the relay team will lose two of its swimmers when they graduate this spring, Jones looks forward to next year’s season.

“Christian and Gary will be difficult to replace in the sprint events but we still have Jacob, Jules and several other quick boys,” he said. “Losing some guys will give us the opportunity to focus on the other relays next year.”

Lawrence said he is ready for a repeat in 2013.

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