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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Eagles seeking faster times at state swim finals

Staff Writer

Having won three straight titles on the girls side since Region I-4A competition began four years ago, and having swept all four regional titles during that time, the Pecos Eagles will have their sights set a little higher this weekend, when they compete at the Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Texas' Jamail Center in Austin.

State team titles aren't likely for the Eagles, based on the regional results submitted for Friday's 4 p.m. preliminaries. But Pecos does have a couple of shots at individual or relay titles on the boys' side, while the girls will look to move up a few spots in a number of their events in order to reach Saturday's finals.

"The boys are in the Top 8 in the 400 (freestyle) and 200. They're seeded fifth in both those races and they're second in the (200) medley," said Eagles' coach Terri Morse. "The girls' medley is seeded 10, and they'll probably have to go under two minutes to get into the Top 8, and the girls 400 is seeded 13th, so they'll probably have to cut three or four seconds to get into the finals."

The Top 8 finishers on Friday will advance to Saturday's finals, which also are scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.

The Eagles have gone into the state meet seeded No. 1 in events twice, in the 200 medley in 2000 and 2001, and both times Pecos ended up finishing third. This year, only one region I-4A boys' swimmer, Monahans' Ethan Lewallen, is seeded first in his event going into the prelims of the 50 yard freestyle, while only one District 3-4A swimmer has won a state title since the Class 4A competition began, Abilene Wylie's John Ouimette in the 100 yard butterfly a year ago.

That's also the race where the Eagles have their highest individual seeding this week. Junior Will Oglesby is seeded second to senior Tiger Christian of Nacogdoches, who goes in with a 52.25 time to Oglesby's 52.79.

"He'll have to go 51 at least to stay up there," Morse said, adding that other Eagles seeded in the Top 8 also will have to cut their times in order to stay there for Saturday's finals.

"Max (Key) is eighth in the 100 (freestyle). He'll probably have to go 49 or 48 to get into the Top 8," she said. "Will's only ninth in the 500, but we know he can go 5 (minutes) flat, because that's what he did in the (regional) preliminaries, but they go by your finals time here, so he'll probably move up.

"Max is seventh in the breaststroke, and to stay in the Top 8 he'll probably have to go 1:01 or 1:02, and the same thing goes for K.W. (Winkles)," Morse said. Key swam a 49.59 to edge Lewallen for the Region I-4A title in the 100 freestyle, while he swam a 1:02.74 and Winkles a 1:03.13 to place first and second in the 100 yard breaststroke in the regional meet at Lubbock two weeks ago.

Winkles is also seeded seventh in the 200 individual medley, while the swimming qualifier, Gary Garcia, is 15th in the 100-yard backstroke. In diving, junior Michael Juarez goes into the 1-meter competition seeded fifth, based on point totals at the regional meets.

On the girls' side, the highest seed for Pecos is sophomore Teddie Salcido, who is 13th in the 500 yard freestyle. She's also seeded 14th in the 200 free, while another sophomore, Susan Moore, is seeded 16th in both the 50 and 100 yard freestyle races, and sophomore Catherine Minjarez is seeded in the 100 yard butterfly and 16th in the 200 medley.

The other regional qualifier for the Eagles is freshman Lindsey Shaw, who goes into the preliminaries of the 100-yard breaststroke seeded 15th.

Morse said while all of her girls would have to cut their times in order to make the finals on Saturday, she said, "Those other schools we don't swim against, so I don't know how much time they'll have to cut, I just told them they'll have to swim fast," she said.

Texarkana, Highland Park and Oak Ridge High Schools will be the favorites on the boys' side, while Highland Park, Oak Ridge and Frisco have the most top seeds on the girls' side going into the preliminaries.

The only Region I-4A swimmer seeded first in any event on the girls' side is El Paso Chapin's Laura Jackson, who finished third as a freshman last year in the Class 5A 50 yard freestyle while competing for El Paso Coronado.

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Pecos Enterprise
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