A trip to state on the line for swimmers

5A Region III meet Friday and Saturday

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Sarah Boutouis

Seven Redhawk swimmers are vying for a trip to the state meet at the 5A Region II swim meet Friday and Saturday at the Bruce Eubanks Natatorium in Frisco. The girls' team has two relays that enter the meet seeded first and second, with the swimmers working on leaving the blocks, and exchanges in the effort to shave anywhere from milliseconds to seconds off their time.

Amelia Jáuregui, Staff Reporter

Water pressure isn’t the only thing the regional qualifiers are thinking about; the pressure to compete and qualify for the Texas UIL State Swim Meet comes down to this Friday and Saturday as seven Redhawks are competing at the Bruce Eubanks Natatorium in the Region III-5A Swim Meet.

“Region is for the top 6 [teams] in your district, and then the teams [in your region] come together,” head coach Mary Kilgore said. “So for our region this means Highland Park, Grapevine, Colleyville, McKinney North, and the Frisco schools.”

To make it to state, the swimmers must first advance out of Friday’s preliminary heats.  

“You have to score in the top 16 to make it into finals,” Kilgore said. “If you do score in the top 16 you swim again on Saturday, however, if you’re not in the top 8 on the first day, you are not going be in the running to make it to state.”

Kilgore has high expectations for her athletes and expects nothing but the best for the next few days.

“I would like all of my swimmers to advance to Saturday, so make top 16,” Kilgore said. “That’s what I expect. They are all very capable of that.”

The two relays that have moved on to region are currently seeded first and second with relay members doing what they can shave milliseconds off their time. .

“We have been working on relay exchanges a lot because that’s where you can cut off a lot of time and also our flips turns and on and off the walls,” junior Mallory Showalter said. “It’s definitely a lot of pressure being seed first and but also since we are seeded second that’s really exciting. I just really want to try my best and swim as fast I can and just do well.”

Also seeded high is freshman Maria Oushalkas. Finishing in first in the 200 yard free, and second in the 100 yard butterfly at the district meet, she is a top contender to make state.

“I definitely feel pressure to do well,” freshman Maria Oushalkas said,  “I’m only a freshman and I’m ranked first or second in my events and in the relays I don’t want to let them down. But excitement is also a big thing. I get to see my friends from other schools and we all have a fun time cheering each other on.”