With stars gone, Lee taking young team to regionals


swim photo
Robert E. Lee swimmers pose with their two district championship plaques following the District 12-5A meet held two weeks ago in Rockwall. Lee will begin competition Friday in the preliminaries of the Class 5A Region II meet at Rockwall ISD Aquatic Complex. (Courtesy Photo)

Robert E. Lee enters today’s opening of regional swimming competition with a clear set of goals, which are admittedly much lower than in previous years.

A Lee female swimmer has won the regional swimmer of the year the past four years with a Lee boy swimmer winning the last three years. The Red Raiders regularly qualified for multiple events at the state meet.

But the three swimmers responsible for those accolades — Meredith Oliver (Texas A&M), Sam Lewis (Texas) and Michael Quam (Incarnate Word) — graduated last year.

Lee coach Matt Franks is taking a young team to Rockwall for the Region III meet and wants his kids to focus on setting personal bests.

“We know that it’s one of the better regions in the state and we are not anticipating to set the world on fire,” Franks said. “We have set four major goals: 95 percent to have lifetime best swims, at least a dozen second swims from our events and to have everyone overall move up at least two places from what they are seeded going into the meet.”

The preliminaries for each event are today with the top eight moving on to Saturday’s finals and the 9-16 competing in the consolation, also on Saturday. Each event is comprised of 24 regional qualifiers.

Only the top finisher overall in each event is guaranteed a spot at state. After that, the UIL takes the next best eight times from all the regions.

Franks said he is especially interested in seeing how Emily Stanford, Jack Oliver and David Hudson fare. All three are seeded in the top 10 for their events.

Stanford, a junior, is seeded 10th in the girls 200-yard individual medley and seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke. She is also on Lee’s 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays.

“Emily has been our go-to swimmer; been one of our better IM and breaststroke (swimmers) for the last three years,” Franks said. “Now she is ready to take it to the next level.”

Hudson’s versatility makes him a valuable component to the team, according to Franks, as the junior is seeded ninth in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard backstroke as well as racing on Lee’s 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay teams.

“He can swim just about every event in the spectrum,” Franks said. “We decided on the 200 IM and 100 back for David because we felt he could score the most points for the team in those. He’s really right in the mix to medal at regionals.”

Oliver, the younger brother of Meredith, was part of Lee’s state relay team and now the junior wants to go to Austin in an individual event. It will not be easy as Oliver is seeded eighth in the 100-yard butterfly and 10th in the 200-yard freestyle.

“Jack has been working hard for three years now and I am really looking forward to seeing what he can accomplish in the 200 free and 100 fly,” Franks said. “Those three are really the lynchpins of our team and from what they looked like this week (in practice), it should be pretty impressive what they do Friday morning.”

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Class 5A Region II Swimming Championships

Friday and Saturday at Rockwall ISD

Aquatic Center

Only Lee events and seed times and top seed

Girls

200-yard medley relay — 17, Lee (Kelsi Oldham, Delaney Mayfield, Maria Chivacuan, Naina Bains), 2:13.74. Top seed: Allen, 1:54.03.

200-yard freestyle — 16, Lauren Lewis, 2:08.38; 17, Delaney Mayfield, 2:13.04; 23, Emily Shackelford, 2:26.35. Top seed: Sammie Hashbarger, McKinney, 1:54.93.

200-yard individual medley — 10, Emily Stanford, 2:24.59; 23, Kelsi Oldham, 2:52.03. Top seed: Jennifer Brennecke, Allen, 2:12.16.

50-yard freestyle — 22, Haley Dyer, 27.63. Top seed: Madison Doty, Allen, 25.05.

100-yard butterfly — 19, Maria Chivacuan, 1:12.74; 20, Rachel Flanagan, 1:12.87; 24, Claudia McCown, 1:15.55. Top seed: Carson Kruder, Plano, 58.28.

100-yard freestyle — 15, Haley Dyer, 1:00.09; 18, Valerie Vargas, 1:03.29; 21, Sydney Smith, 1:04.30; 22, Naina Bains, 1:04.36. Top seed: Sammie Hashbarger, McKinney, 52.79.

500-yard freestyle — 9, Lauren Lewis, 5:30.16; 19, Delaney Mayfield, 5:48.21. Top seed: Emily Stambaugh, Allen, 5:08.62.

200-yard freestyle relay — 15, Lee (Haley Dyer, Valerie Vargas, Emily Stanford, Lauren Lewis), 1:54.96. Top seed: Allen, 1:41.65.

100-yard backstroke — 20, Valerie Vargas, 1:13.48; 22, Jessica Thompson, 1:17.11. Top seed: Sofie Underahl, Allen, 1:00.28.

100-yard breaststroke — 7, Emily Stanford, 1:12.60; 21, Naina Bains, 1:23.14; 22, Kaylee Armour, 1:23.75. Top seed: Aislin Rose, 1:08.51.

400-yard freestyle relay — 11, Lee (Lauren Lewis, Valerie Vargas, Emily Stanford, Haley Dyer), 4:07.49. Top seed: Allen, 3:42.67.

Boys

200-medley relay — 14, Lee (Sean Garcia, Billy Norton, Seth Oldham, Allison Ayres), 1:52.95. Top seed: Belton, 1:39.37.

200-yard freestyle — 10, Jack Oliver, 1:48.59; 18, Tanner Anderson, 1:56.32. Top seed: Matt Sluss, Killeen Harker Heights, 1:43.94.

200-yard individual medley — 9, David Hudson, 2:02.24; 19, Allison Ayres, 2:16.22; 24, Austin Lewis, 2:25.91. Top seed: Thomas Kim, Allen, 1:56.07.

100-yard butterfly — 8, Jack Oliver, 55.11; 18, Seth Oldham, 59.15; 22, Coen Thompson, 1:04.02. Top seed: Duncan Lee, Plano, 52.08.

100-yard freestyle — 19, Tanner Anderson, 53.37; 24, Sean Garcia, 55.76. Top seed: Mark Curley, Killeen Shoemaker, 47.95.

500-yard freestyle — 24, Joseph Abbott, 5:45.47. Top seed: Blake Maczka, 4:41.59.

200-yard freestyle relay — 13, Lee (Tanner Anderson, David Hudson, Seth Oldham, Jack Oliver), 1:36.53. Top seed: Plano, 1:28.39.

100-yard backstroke—9, David Hudson, 56.73; 14, Sean Garcia, 1:00.38; 17, Seth Oldham, 1:01.15. Top seed: Robby Stenman, Temple, 51.41.

100-yard breaststroke — 16, Billy Norton, 1:08.62; 17, Allison Ayres, 1:08.81; 22, Austin Lewis, 1:15.03. Top seed: Thomas Kim, Allen, 58.19.

400-yard freestyle relay — 12, Lee (Sean Garcia, Tanner Anderson, David Hudson, Jack Oliver), 3:33.59. Top seed: Plano, 3:13.26.