By Chris Price
Copyright 2008 TexSport Publications
TEXAS CITY, TEXAS (July 23, 2008) The South Belt Area “All Stars” Swimming Team (SBAS) finished in seventh place in the team standings at the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF) Region 1 Swimming Championships held at Texas City Natatorium.
Despite being the second smallest team of the seventeen teams competing, the “All Stars” scored well and qualified ten age group and masters swimmers for the TAAF Games of Texas in San Antonio July 25-27 in addition to establishing 17 new TAAF Region 1 swimming records.
Leading the way for SBAS was former Sam Rayburn High School teammates Rick Price and Derrick Mauk (both class of 1995) , along with former Texan swimmer Max Newlin (class of 2004), who each won two gold medals along with establishing six of the new records.
Mauk and Price were competing in the 25-39 year old age group with Mauk taking top honors in the 50-yard backstroke and the 50-yard butterfly while Price won gold in the 50-yard breaststroke and the 50-yard freestyle.
Newlin, who recently got back into the pool after a four year layoff won gold medals in the 18-24 year old age group in the 50-yard backstroke and the 50-yard freestyle.
Landon Howard, who was also competing in the 18-24 year old age group, took the gold medal in the 50-yard butterfly and a silver medal in the 50-yard backstroke. His gold medal performance in the butterfly event was also a Region 1 record.
Not to let their achievements rest with individual medals, the four men combined to take the gold medal in both the 18 and over 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay. Both performances were also good enough to establish new Region 1 records.
The women also got into the fray of winning medals with former Deer Park High School swimmer Kasey Mauk (class of 2005) wining the gold medal in the 100-yard freestyle , (which was a new Region 1 record) and the silver medal in the 50-yard freestyle. Mauk was joined in the 18-24 year old age group by Jessica Taylor (Sam Rayburn class of 2004), who took silver medals in the 50-yard breaststroke and the 100-yard individual medley.
Lisa Hernandez, competing in the 25-29 year old age group, won the gold medal in the
50-yard butterfly gold and a silver medal in the 100-yard individual medley. Hernandez’ performance in the 50-yard butterfly established another Region 1 record for SBAS.
Not to be outdone by her swimmers, SBAS masters coach and Pasadena High school head swimming coach Darla S. Kelly also got into the act in the women’s 40 and over division. Kelly won the gold medal in the 50-yard backstroke, also establishing a new Region 1 record.
In the relay events, Mauk, Taylor, Hernandez, and Kelly teamed up to take gold medals in both the 18 and over 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay, also establishing new Region 1 records in the process.
The success in the pool was not limited to just one Kelly. SBAS senior coach and Sam Rayburn High School head swimming coach Robert H. Kelly contributed to the gold medal count, by winning the men’s 40 and over 50-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard freestyle. He also established two new Region1 records with his performances. He also placed fourth in the 100-yard freestyle.
Pasadena and Sam Rayburn High School swimmers saw action in the pool, in preparation for the upcoming high school season.
Pasadena High School’s Jonathan Abner won the bronze medal in the 50-yard backstroke and took 5th place in the 50-yard freestyle.
Adrian Hernandez finished in 7th place in the 50-yard butterfly and 10th place in the 50-yard backstroke. Eduardo Sanchez placed 6th in the 200-yard freestyle and 12th in the 50-yard breaststroke, while Colin O’Donnell placed 12th in the 100-yard individual medley.
All for young men (Abner, Hernandez, Sanchez, and O’Donnell) combined to finish in fourth place in the 15-17 year old 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay. All four will return to PHS for their senior year of swimming this fall.
Sam Rayburn High Schools swimmer Lauren Rossett also competed in the meet finishing in 7th place in the 200-yard freestyle, 12th place in the 100-yard individual medley, and 21st place in the 50-yard butterfly. Rossett competed in the 15-17 year old age group
Also placing in the meet in the boys 11-12 year old age group was Harrison Matherne who competed in the 50-yard butterfly-4th place, 50-yard freestyle-5th place and the 50-yard backstroke-7th place.
Competing in the girls 11-12 year old age group were Jamie Taylor, 12th place in the 50-yard butterfly, 27th place in the 50-yard breaststroke, and 30th place in the 50-yard backstroke.
Tarah Friddell finished in 11th place in the 50-yard butterfly, 14th place in the 50-yard freestyle, and 21st place in the 50-yard breaststroke, while Haley Chapman placed 27th place in the 50 yard backstroke, 26th place in the 50-yard breaststroke, and 37th place in the50-yard freestyle. Both Friddell and Chapman competed in the 11-12 year old age group.
All competitors who placed in the top three in their events qualified for the Games of Texas State Championships. The state swimming meets will be held at Palo Alto College in San Antonio on July 25-27, 2008.