The Waxahachie High School swim team attended the Region IV swim meet in Conroe last Friday and Saturday and competed against 24 other schools in the Region. 

Waxahachie competed in nine individual events and five relays during the prelims on Friday. The top-six qualifiers in each event advanced from the district level to the regional level, so there were about 24 swimmers competing in each event.

“I was very proud of how our swimmers represented our school. Every one swam their very best and it was very close in many events. In swimming, the difference is 100th’s of a second, so you could end up in 15th place and only be a second or two behind the winner,” Waxahachie swim coach Tamara Pruitt said.

Waxahachie’s Kristi Clem advanced to the finals in both individual events she competed in. Clem swam in the 50 free and the 100 free. She ended the meet in sixth place in the 50 free (27.12) and eighth place in the 100 free (1:01.62).

“Kristi Clem is an outstanding athlete and student. I was fortunate to teach her in eighth-grade and now have the pleasure to have her on the swim team. She gives 100 percent in all she does and is a true competitor. She trains hard and is always working on improving her skills. Again, she is only a sophomore and will continue to be a top swimmer in our region. She is currently ranked No. 1 in her class academicly,” Pruitt said.

Two Waxahachie relay teams advanced to the finals on Saturday. 

The girls 200 free relay ended up placing sixth in the finals with a time of 1:57.45.

Swimmers in the 200 free for Waxahachie were Jory Hamilton, Tori Kvapil, Morgan McDonald and Kristi Clem.

The boys 200 medley relay ended up in eighth place in the finals with a time of 2:05.85.

Members of the medley relay team were Justin Miller – backstroke, Stephen Erickson – breaststroke, Logan McDonald – butterfly and Conrad Bates – freestyle.

Other WHS swimmers that did not make it into the finals, but swam their best times during the prelims were: Caleb Brown, 50 free, 24.61, (12th place); Hunter Storz, 200 free, 2:13.72, (14th place); Justin Miller, 100 back, 1:09.94, (15th place); Stephen Erickson, 100 breaststroke, 1:22.70; Logan McDonald, 50 free, 26.74; Jory Hamilton, 200 IM, 2:49.45; Tori Kvapil, 200 free, 2:41.29; Eddie Sneed, relay; Blake Wright, relay; and Daniel Adkins, relay.

“Senior, Caleb Brown, ended up 12th in the 50 free and broke the 25 second mark, by swimming a 24.61. He has come a long way this year after experiencing a crippling automobile accident this past summer and having major surgery to insert screws to help repair his ankle,” Pruitt said.

During the meet a new state record in the 100 butterfly set by Zach Interrante, a swimmer from Cleburne. Cleburne competed in the same district as Waxahachie before advancing to the Regional Meet.

“Two freshmen, Blake Wright and Justin Miller, advanced to regionals and were able to compete with upper classmen. Miller swam the backstroke leg on the medley relay team that advanced to the finals and stayed with the best in the region during his swim. Blake competed in the 200 free relay, and like Justin, is able to compete with much older and more experienced swimmers. I expect them to continue to excel in this sport and help move Waxahachie swimming to a new level,” Pruitt said.

A female swimmer, Emily Neubert, from another district rival, Midway, set a regional record in the 50 free.

Pruitt said these records just show how competitive our district is.

To advance to the state meet swimmer place first at regionals be in the next top-eight times across the state. None of the Waxahachie swimmers will advance to the state level.

“An important thing to know about the swimmers on our team is that they all are very involved in other activities. Out of the 13 swimmers that went to the regional meet, four of them are in the top-10 of their class academically, two of them play football, one plays baseball, two play tennis, one plays softball, one plays volleyball, there are four ag students, one theater student, one band student and a couple of student council members. These are just their school activities. Many of them have to alternate their practice schedules to stay involved in all of their different activities and are still competitive,” Pruitt concluded.