Cowand’s gold highlights day of KISD medals
Katy ISD swimmers and divers made the most of their opportunities to excel Feb. 17-18 at the UIL Class 6A state championships at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center. Cinco Ranch, Katy, Seven Lakes and Taylor athletes combined for six state medals, including one historic achievement.
Cinco Ranch senior Glen Cowand joined a short list of three-time state champions with another gold medal in the 100-yard backstroke. He won the same event in 2015 and 2016.
Cowand completed the race in 47.49 seconds, building a relatively comfortable lead as the runner-up time was 48.20. The Cougars standout also reached the championship final in the 100-yard butterfly, finishing fifth with a time of 48.56.
Cinco Ranch added bronze medals in two relays and a silver medal from junior Aria Bernal. Taylor junior Jacob Schababerle sped to his own silver medal in his first state trip, while Katy junior Kaloyan Bratanov earned his first state bronze medal with a 44.90 in the 100-yard freestyle.
Schababerle set a school record with his time of 56.04 in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing behind only Austin Lake Travis’ Ryan Geheb (55.54). Schababerle took almost a full second off his regional time in the event.
Cinco Ranch’s Bernal sisters made their state debut as a tandem, with impressive results. Aria Bernal won silver in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 53.57, finishing only behind a state record 52.48 from The Woodlands’ Lucie Nordmann.
Aria added a sixth-place time of 2:02.38 in the 200-yard individual medley, while freshman Sophia Bernal made the championship final in the 50-yard freestyle, placing seventh in 23.87, and swam a 56.79 for 15th place in the 100-yard butterfly.
Both swam on the Lady Cougars’ bronze-medal 200-yard medley relay, joining sophomore Ellen Pack and senior Shanna Adkins for a time of 1:44.91.
The Cinco Ranch boys made the championship or consolation finals in every relay, highlighted by a medley relay bronze in 1:32.22 from Cowand and fellow seniors Christopher Hung, Billy Fales and Christian Rossi.
Junior David Rodgers joined the group for a fourth-place swim of 3:04.97 in the 400-yard freestyle relay, finishing merely .19 seconds from another bronze medal. Sophomores Eddie Eckstrom and Sam LaPrade contributed to a 10th-place finish in 1:25.56 from the Cougars’ 200 free relay. Fales added a 10th-place butterfly time of 49.86 individually.
KISD was represented in more than 20 events during the final day, including on the diving board where Katy junior Chloe Ceyanes amassed 366.75 points to place 10th of 24 competitors.
Taylor freshman Emma Sticklen made two consolation finals, placing 11th in the butterfly (55.58) and 13th in the 50 free (24.09). Sophomore teammate Irina Arkhipova took 13th in the 100 free (52.40). They teamed with sophomore Ariel Ortega and senior Emma Yanoviak for 15th place in the 200 free relay (1:39.88).
Seven Lakes had four swims in consolation finals, led by junior Brayden Rudd’s 11th-place time of 57.38 in the breaststroke. Sophomore William Coakley finished 15th in the 500 free (4:37.81), while sophomore Ethan Autry swam 16th in the 50 free (21.65). The Spartans trio joined freshman Seungjoon Ahn for a 14th-place time of 3:11.38 in the 400 free relay.