Belton and Lake Belton dominated Saturday’s District 22-5A meet, but numerous Killeen ISD swimmers still secured spots at the upcoming Region VI meet.
With 197 points, the Broncos claimed the boys championship, scoring 62 more points than the second-place Tigers, while the Lady Tigers recorded 180 points to beat out the Lady Broncos (102).
Along the way to the first- and second-place showings, Belton and Lake Belton qualified for regionals in a combined 21 events apiece, sometimes occupying multiple berths in the same events. In contrast, Killeen, Ellison, Shoemaker and Chaparral advanced in a total of 31 events.
The top six finishers in each event earn spots at the two-day regional meet, which begins Feb. 3 at College Station.
The Grey Wolves (47) and Lady Grey Wolves (66) had Killeen ISD’s top performance, placing third in each division.
Trinity Cutbirth was at least partially responsible for four of the Lady Grey Wolves berths, finishing second in the 100-yard backstroke (1:04.63) and third in the 100 freestyle (57.45) while also teaming with Joslyn Estell, Gabrielle Batts and Madelyn Dixon to place second in the 200 freestyle relay (1:59.90). The quartet was also third in the 200 medley relay with a time of 2:14.16.
Furthermore, Batts and Estell advanced individually by placing third (3:11.48) and sixth (2:28.73) in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle, respectively, while the Lady Grey Wolves’ 400 freestyle relay team of Amirrah Breakfield, Alessandra Urquidi Franco, Samaurey Stone and and Dixon was third (5:52.03).
Andres Valladares was integral to the Grey Wolves’ success, helping two relay teams advance and qualifying in the 100 backstroke (6th, 1:16.53), while teammate Kellen McInnelly matched the feat after placing fifth in the 100 butterfly (1:04.50).
Along with Valladares and McInelly, Ja’Shaun River-Edwards and Xavier Gonzales helped Shoemaker finish second in the 200 medley relay (2:01.80), and Gonzales, Stephen Nelson, McInelly and Rivera-Edwards were fourth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:55.34). The foursome of Valladares, Ayden Cahoon, Nelson and Gonzales were fourth in the 400 freestyle relay (5:00.81).
Ellison (33), Killeen (24) and Chaparral (23) rounded out the boys standings.
The Bobcats will send their 200 medley relay (3rd, 2:15.35) and 200 freestyle relay (5th, 1:59.59) to regionals, while the Eagles qualified their 200 freestyle relay (3rd, 1:48.07) quartet. The Kangaroos will compete in two relays after placing third in the 400 freestyle relay (4:53.29) and sixth in the 200 freestyle relay (2:16.85).
Individually, Ellison’s Clayton Sursa (100 breaststroke, 2nd, 1:08.48; 200 freestyle, 5th, 2:02.01) and Joseph Oh (50 freestyle, 4th, 23.55; 100 freestyle, 4th, 52.76) finished among the top six in two events apiece, while Killeen’s Tristan Nogle was sixth in the 200 medley (2:29.32).
In the girls division, Lady Eagles standout Alyssa Ifill captured a pair of gold medals, winning the 50 freestyle (24.99) and tying with Chaparral’s Christine Kim for first place in the 100 freestyle (55.07). Kim also placed second in the 50 freestyle (25.11) and was part of the Lady Bobcats’ third-place 200 freestyle relay team (2:08.67) and their fourth-place 200 medley relay team (2:26.36).
Furthermore, Chaparral’s Kamila Merchan-Liu was sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:28.55).
Ellison’s 200 freestyle relay (4th, 2:09.93) and 200 medley relay (5th, 2:30.66) teams round out Killeen ISD regional qualifiers.
Among Belton’s and Lake Belton’s swimmers extending their seasons were 20 district champions, and the schools will be represented by multiple entrants in 24 events. Belton will have at least three swimmers in seven events, and Lake Belton will do so in six events.
First-place finishers for Belton included the boys and girls 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay teams, the girls 200 medley relay team and individual champions Thomas Nelson (50 freestyle, 22.65), Caleb Bovell (100 freestyle, 50.25), Sydney Alamein (200 freestyle, 1:59.97), Cecilia Roggeri (200 medley, 2:31.88; 100 breaststroke, 1:16.42), Lili Nelson (500 freestyle, 5:25.02) and Olivia Brillhart (100 backstroke, 1:04.19).
For Lake Belton, the Broncos’ 200 medley relay team, Rylan Reasoner (200 freestyle, 1:50.40), Ehren Wetzel (200 medley, 2:09.00), Brett Wallar (100 butterfly, 57.57) and Ashley Holley (100 butterfly, 1:14.19) finished first.
The top two finishers in each event at each of the eight regional meets along with the next eight best times from across all regions qualify for the state meet, which will begin Feb. 17 at Austin.