Saturday, June 24, 2017

South Belt Area "All Stars" Swimming Team prepares for summer competitive season

Photo courtsey of South Belt Area "All Stars" Swimming Team
By Lou Roesch
Special Correspondant for TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 26, 2017) The South Belt Area "All Stars" Swimming Team (SBAS) is preparing for the current summer competitive campaign, and are looking to return to the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation's (TAAF) Games of Texas in late July. Sporting a fine group of high school swimmers, who are coming off a very successful season with their respective high schools, along with their very successful masters (18-years-old and over) swimmers, South Belt will be kicking off the summer season on July 15 with the TAAF Region 14 Championships in Katy, Last summer, SBAS finished third in the team standings at the regional championships, along with a top-20 finish at the Games of Texas.

In the high school division, South Belt will be aided in the quest to qualify for the summer state championships with a combination of swimmers from three Pasadena-area high schools. Alexa Perez, Alfredo Vasquez, and Thomas Gonzalez, all of whom were UIL regional qualifiers for Pasadena High School this past February, will be hitting the water for the summer competitions, along with swimmers from Sam Rayburn and Pasadena Memorial High Schools. Rayburn's Michael Vargas, along with Memorial's Marco Castillo, Abigail Salazar, Catherine Acosta, and Reanna Bowers, will compete to earn the coveted ticket to the state championships. In the master's division, long-time SBAS swimmer Landon Howard, along with former University of Houston swimmer Kristine Kelly will lead the way in the 18-and-over division. Also returning to the pool will be former Rayburn standout swimmer and diver Derrick Mauk. Kelly, who has been on hiatus from competitive swimming for the past three years while attending law school, will be looking to return the her former form. The former Pasadena High School swimmer holds numerous local, state, and national records in swimming. In addition, Kelly's daughter Kirstin will be looking to return to the state meet in 2017. He first appearance competing in the state championships was in 2015 where she led her eight-and under 100-yard freestyle relay to a 15th place finish at Texas A&M University Natatorium. Newcomers Kimberly Dutton, who is the current UIL District 22-6A junior varsity champion in the 50-yard breaststroke, Abigail Lezcano, Veronica Vatau, and John Long will be looking to make their mark in the annals of swimmers beginning in July 2017.

The Games of Texas summer state swimming championship will be held July 27-30 at Edinburg Water Park in Edinburg, Texas. Other sports in the Games of Texas will take place in McAllen, Texas.

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