By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
The Belton Tigers and Lady Tigers Swim Teams went to the Region 3 Finals last weekend in Rockwall for vie for the opportunity to participate at the State Meet. Both didn’t qualify for the meet, but both placed very well, as the girls placed second and the boys placed seventh in the region.
The girls scored 275.5 points, 177.5 points behind powerhouse Southlake Carroll, but 45.5 points ahead of Allen, 91.5 points ahead of Rockwall and 109.5 points ahead of Plano West. Those are three more of the state’s best swimming schools.
The District 12-6A schools that participated with Belton were Harker Heights (12th place, 69 points), Waco Midway (13th place, 65.5 points), Killeen Ellison (16th place, 24 points) and Copperas Cove (18th place, 18 points).
The boys scored 135 points to finish as District 12-6A’s highest finisher, ahead of Waco Midway (10th place, 87 points), Harker Heights (12th place, 42 points), Copperas Cove (16th place, 25 points), Killeen (17th place, 19 points) and Killeen Shoemaker (20th place, seven points). Southlake Carroll won the meet with 489 points, with Highland Park placing second (265 points) and Dallas Jesuit placing third (240.5 points).
One individual swimmer that did qualify for state meet was freshman Noah Henry, as he finished fourth in the region in non-winners in the 100 backstroke. The state event selects the winners and the top eight fastest non-winners.
New school records were set in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle events, as well as all three relays.
After Friday’s preliminaries, Saturday’s final session saw great swimming from the teams. Here is the list of the Belton finishers in the finals, by event:
Girls 200 Medley Relay: Belton (Maddie Finley, Maggie Murphy, Natalie Hazlewood and Savannah Henry), sixth place, 1:52.70.
Boys 200 Medley Relay: Belton (Noah Henry, Andrew Alas, Drew Fitzwater and Michael McDonald), ninth place, 1:40.57.
Girls 200 Freestyle: Finley (seventh place, 2:00.56) and Alayne Johnson (11th place, 2:05.51).
Boys 200 Freestyle: Troy Morrow (Heat B winner, ninth place overall, 1:45.90) and Fitzwater (11th place, 1:48.75).
Girls 200 IM: Courtney Lamm (Heat B winner, ninth place overall, 2:21.42), Sam Pentico (12th place, 2:25.31) and Cara Cox (16th place, 2:33.06).
Girls 50 freestyle: Carissa Basaldua (seventh place, 25.02) and Mercedes Marcus (13th place, 26.53).
Boys 50 freestyle: McDonald (16th place, 23.73).
Girls 100 fly: Hazlewood (fifth place, 59.83), Lamm (1:04.46) and Marcus (16th place, 1:07.08).
Boys 100 fly: Noah Henry (Heat B winner, ninth place overall, 51.70), Eric Belcher (13th place, 58.16) and Matt Phillips (15th place, 1:01.05).
Girls 100 freestyle: Basaldua (fifth place, 54.09), Kelsey Johnson (sixth place, 54.27), Alayne Johnson (13th place, 58.41) and Savannah Bush (14th place, 58.89).
Boys 100 freestyle: McDonald (14th place, 51.71).
Girls 500 freestyle: Emily Soliz (Heat B winner, ninth overall, 5:36.54) and Kennedy Mayo (12th place, 6:01.03).
Boys 500 freestyle: Troy Morrow (11th place, 4:51.48) and Fitzwater (12th place, 4:52.80).
Girls 200 freestyle Relay: Belton (Basaldua, Murphy, Savannah Henry and Kelsey Johnson), third place, 1:39.97.
Boys 200 freestyle Relay: Belton (Alas, Belcher, John Farek and Troy Morrow), Heat B winner, ninth place overall, 1:39.97.
Girls 100 backstroke: Savannah Henry (fourth place, 59.94), Finley (Heat B winner, ninth place overall, 1:01.99) and Pentico (12th place, 1:06.04).
Boys 100 backstroke: Noah Henry (third place, 50.78) and Belcher (14th place, 58.05).
Girls 100 breaststroke: Murphy (seventh place, 1:07.13), Hazlewood (eighth place, 1:09.21), Kashlyn Waggy (Heat B winner, ninth place overall, 1:10.17) and Kelsey Johnson (10th place, 1:11.66).
Boys 100 breaststroke: Alas (Heat B winner, ninth place overall, 1:03.65).
Girls 400 free Relay: Belton (Basaldua, Murphy, Savannah Henry and Kelsey Johnson), fourth place, 3:40.15.
Boys 400 free Relay: Belton (Fitzwater, McDonald, Troy Morrow and Noah Henry), sixth place, 3:17.83).
“I was very proud of the way our teams swam at regionals,” Belton head coach Patrick Henry said. “They swam well against top-notch, high-level competition.”