Written by SportsDayDFW.com
UIL state swimming & diving: Frisco Heritage senior starts strong in 50 free
Brandon wins heat in preliminaries, edging 2013 4A silver medalist
AUSTIN -- The fastest race at the UIL State Swimming & Diving Championships is always the boys 50-yard freestyle, a quick up and back in the pool at the Jamail Swimming Center’s short-course setup. Given the race’s nearly breathless pace, the smallest margins built on the tiniest of mistakes or just one more kick of the foot it is often decided by the length of a finger.
Frisco Heritage senior Chad Brandon got his hand to the wall first Friday in the preliminaries of the 4A boys 50 free, winning the first of two heats in 20.81 seconds while 2013 silver medalist Anthony Hauglum of Corpus Christi Flour Bluff was capturing the second at 21.09.
Hauglum’s time was .09 faster than the one he posted in winning the Region VIII title. Brandon’s was .15 slower than his qualifying time of 20.66, which was the fastest in the event.
“I feel great about the swim today because I think I have plenty left in my tank,” Brandon said. “Just being in this environment is a rush for me because I’ve only been swimming competitively for three years. I really like my chances for [Saturday].”
Brandon followed his impressive showing in the 50 free with the second-best qualifying time in the 100 free.
Wakeland’s defending champion advances: Frisco Wakefield’s Brayden Seal, the defending state champion in both the boys 200 and 500 freestyle events, was the fastest qualifier in each during Friday’s preliminaries.
Destiny Nelson of Prosper is in line to improve on her showing from last season in the 4A girls 200 IM and the 100 backstroke by posting the fastest qualifying time in both events on Friday. Her 55.54 clocking in the 100 backstroke was a Class 4A record. Nelson also anchored Prosper’s eighth-best time in the 200 freestyle relay.
Defending champ Kate Boyer of Highland Park sped to the wall in 23.44 in the girls 4A 50 freestyle and posted the top qualifying time.
Strong showings for McKinney, Southlake Carroll: Sammie Hashbarger of McKinney rolled to the fastest time in the 5A girls 200 freestyle in 1:49.14, a full second below her time in the regionals, and then dominated the field in the 500 freestyle, winning the top spot in the finals by 1.42 seconds.
Southlake Carroll’s boys’ team began the defense of its 5A title in 2013 with a win in the 200 medley relay (1:35.03).
Carroll’s Jonathan Roberts, who won the 500 freestyle title last year as a junior, nabbed the top spot in Saturday’s finals with a time of 4:26.04. Later he blew away the field in the 100 backstroke, finishing with the fastest time by 2.59 seconds.
The Carroll girls team was the fastest of the evening in the 400 freestyle relay. Carroll’s Emily Gibson captured the 5A girls 200 IM in a time of 2:03.36, .30 faster than she swam at the regional meet.