STATE SWIM PHOTO GALLERY (LINK)
San Antonio, TX-The Seastangs used the wave of the momentum from the Regional Swim Meet to propel themselves in uncharted territory at the 2016 TAPPS State Swim Meet. All nine swimmers who competed at the meet earned at least a Bronze Medal!
It was quite a day for the Lady Seastangs as they took home third place overall, earning a total of 80 points over the meet. They just squeaked by Woodlands Christian Academy who came in fourth with 79 points. It was quite an accomplishment for the five girls on the team.
“Our Seastangs put a lot of hard work and sacrifice into their swimming this year. Coach Penton and I are thrilled for them to see all of their work and sacrifice pay off with such outstanding performances at the State Meet.” said Head Coach Matt Williams.
The Lady Seastangs were catapulted by strong showings in their two relays. In the 200 Medley Relay used strong performances by Claire Rankin, Lila Williams, Abbey Penton, and Allison Penton to take second place with a time of 2:06.49, eleven seconds ahead of third place. The 200 Free Relay took home third place. Lisa Ryan, Rankin, and the Penton sisters were the members of the team, who just squeaked ahead a the fourth place team by a mere .05.
Individually, Freshman Claire Rankin continued to set the standard for Seastang long distance swimming. In the 200 Free, Rankin was edged out for first place by a little over a second with her time of 1:56.82. In the 500 Free, Rankin set a lifetime record smashing her own personal best time by seven seconds, to claim yet another second place finish. Rankin finished the event with three silvers, and a bronze.
“Claire swam a great 200 freestyle and then came back about a half an hour later and demolished her 500 freestyle, swimming seven seconds faster than her previous best time. She swam the final leg of the Women’s 200 freestyle relay at such a furious pace that she passed several other teams and secured the relay’s third place finish,” remarked Coach Williams.
Fellow Freshman Lila Williams took home 6th place in the 50 Free with a time of 27.52. She would take 5th place in the 100 Free with a time of 1:02.25.
Junior Abbey Penton placed 9th in the 100 Breaststroke with a time of 1:24.49 in the second to last event of the day. The ninth place finish earned the Seastangs two points, which proved to be the difference between third and fourth in the team standings!
Sophomore Allison Penton put forth a gutty effort on the day. Penton, who had been battling the flu leading up to the meet, turned in to gritty efforts in the relays. In her individual event she had just enough energy left to place 11th in the 100 Backstroke.
During the State Meet, Rankin was honored by TAPPS as accumulating the most points during the San Antonio Regional Meet. Rankin racked up four first place finishes at the Regional Swim Meet.
Over on the Men’s side, the Seastangs ended in a tie for 7th place out of a total of 24 total teams.
The mens relay teams had a strong showing as well. Phillip Williams, Benjamin Ghawi, Luke Terry, and Justin Tilt each swam in the 200 Medley and the 200 Free Relays. They placed 3rd in the 200 Medley Relay with a time of 2:06.27, edging out Ascension Academy by .4 of a second. The boys also took home 7th in the 200 Free Relay with a time of 1:49.07.
“You have to have a good breaststroker to have a successful medley relay and Benjamin certainly fit the bill on the Men’s 200 medley relay. The team was in the lead after Phillip’s opening backstroke leg, then Benjamin took over and delivered his best breaststroke swim of season in second relay leg, helping his team earn bronze medal status,” explained Coach Williams.
Junior Phillip Williams improved on his third place finish a year ago in the 50 Free with a second place finish this year. His time of 23.01 was a lifetime best. Williams also finished 8th in the 100 Backstroke with a time of 1:04.11.
Coach Williams remarked that “Phillip swam a perfect 50 freestyle and finished in second place with his best time ever. I think he swam so well that he even surprised himself! Phillip finished the day scoring in all four of the events he swam.”
Freshman Luke Terry placed 14th in the 100 Backstroke and 16th in the 50 Freestyle.
“Luke swam four solid races for the day, one of which was his blazing butterfly swim on Men’s 200 medley relay. Luke was a big part of the relay’s third place finish,” said Coach Williams.
Overall, the 2015-16 Swim Season was a wild ride that culminated in much rejoicing at the State Meet. The team is already working hard for bigger celebrations next year!
“This has been such a spectacular year for our Seastang team. Everyone qualified to go to State then at the State Meet everyone medaled either on a relay, individually, or both! We may never have another year like this one but Coach Penton and I sure hope we do!” said Williams