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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Thursday, January 30, 20023

Swimmers seek to repeat as region champs

District champions together for the third year in a row, the Pecos Eagles swim team will now try and repeat that effort at the Region I-4A Swimming and Diving Championships, which began at noon today at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center in Lubbock.

Diving finals were set for this afternoon, while the Class 4A swimming preliminaries will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday and the finals at 4 p.m. on Saturday. However, all of the Pecos swimmers and divers left for Lubbock at 6 a.m. this morning.

This is the fourth year for Class 4A regional and state competition, and the girls have won the last two regional titles, while the boys have swept all three regional meets. Both will be favored again to take the regional titles, after the girls won the District 3-4A championship by 85 points over Andrews and the boys defeated the second-place Mustangs by 57 points.

However, coach Terri Morse said she expected her swimmers to have to improve on their results of this past Saturday in order to assure themselves of spots at next month's Class 4A State Championships in Austin.

"In the past this regional meet has gotten faster than previous regional meets, and this year I don't think that's going to be any different," she said.

All swimmers who advanced to the district finals last weekend earns spots at this weekend's regional meet. But in Lubbock, only the winners of each event will move on to state automatically, while the others would have to qualify for one of the eight available at-large berths, based on times.

"I think some of our better swimmers are seeded pretty well," compared with the other state regional times, Morse said. "One or two have faster times right now, but I'm sure more will have faster times after regionals. But I expect us to cut our times, so looking at what other people did at district and what we did, we're not that far off."

The Eagles were hoping that junior Michael Juarez would be feeling better for today's 1-meter diving competition. Juarez missed practice on Wednesday with what Morse said was a cold, but added, "It's not a big thing."

Juarez won the regional diving event last year and took the district title last week. Freshmen Andrew Grant and Miguel Estrada also qualified for today's competition.

In the swimming events, the seedings on the boys' side will be pretty much the same as the finishes at district this past Saturday. The Eagles are seeded first in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, and individually Will Oglesby will be seeded first in the 100 yard butterfly and 500 freestyle; Max Key will be seeded first in the 100 freestyle and 100 yard breaststroke; K.W. Winkles will be seeded first in the 200 individual medley and Daniel Quintana is ranked No. 1 going into the 200 yard freestyle.

Winkles and Quintana pulled off upset victories over Big Spring's Michael Carrasco and Josh Pike, while Key narrowly beat out Monahans' Ethan Lewallen for the 100 yard freestyle title at district.

On the girls' side, the Eagles will face some other challenges coming out of District 1-4A and 2-4A from the El Paso area. The main one will be from sophomore Laura Jackson, who finished third in Class 5A last year as a freshman in the 50-yard freestyle. She transferred from El Paso Coronado to the new El Paso Chapin High School this year and will be seeded first in that event, ahead of Pecos' Susan Moore, who won district with a 26.12 time. Jackson comes in with a 25.45 time and will also be seeded first in the 100 freestyle, where Moore placed second at district to Big Spring's Nancy Wallace.

The other main challenges for Pecos will come in the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 100 yard breaststroke. The Eagles are seeded first in the 200 relay, while El Paso High will go into regionals seeded second, while in the breaststroke, freshman Lindsey Shaw remains the No. 1 seed, but El Paso Ysleta's Jessica Rivas will be seeded second entering Friday's preliminaries.

Shaw will also be seeded first in the 200 individual medley, as will the girls 200 medley and 400 yard freestyle relays. Pecos' other No. 1 seeds going into regionals are Teddie Salcido in the 200 and 500 yard freestyle races, and Catherine Minjarez in the 100-yard butterfly.

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