Cinco Ranch, Seven Lakes look to defend district titles
Cinco Ranch and Seven Lakes look to defend District 19-6A championships Jan. 24-26, with Tompkins High School hosting the diving competition and Katy High School hosting the swimming preliminaries and finals. The district meet annually ranks among the state’s fastest.
The Cougars scored 135 points in the girls race last year to finish ahead of Katy Taylor (112) and Seven Lakes (93). They return most of their district champion 200-yard medley relay in senior Ellen Pack, sophomore Madeline Welborn and junior Sophie Williams. Welborn is also the defending 100- and 200-yard freestyle champion, while Pack won the 50 free last year.
Taylor should at least be on Cinco Ranch’s heels for the girls lead with considerable returning talent. Junior Emma Sticklen (100-yard butterfly) and sophomore Abbie Alvarez (100-yard breaststroke) won individual district gold a year ago and teamed with current sophomores Roxana Nolte and Kat Pashen for the 200 free relay title.
Seven Lakes returns sophomores Jessica Coakley and Sarah Lu, and senior Beth McNeese from its 400 free relay district victory. McNeese is also the defending champion in the 500 free.
The Spartans could set the pace again in the boys race with three defending district champions returning. Senior William Coakley won the 200 free and 500 free last year, while senior Ethan Autry (50 free) and junior Seungjoon Ahn (100 fly) look to add more gold. The trio also helped clinch the team title last year with a 400 free relay championship.
Seven Lakes amassed 145 points in the boys standings to finish ahead of Cinco Ranch (111) and Taylor (89). Tompkins was a close fourth in both standings and could have a greater impact on the championship race this year.
Cinco Ranch has enough returning depth to stay in the title hunt. Seniors Carter Duncan, Chris Chen and Cole Betts helped capture the medley relay last year, with Betts and seniors Sam LaPrade and Eddie Eckstrom contributing to a 200 free relay triumph.
Defending individual champions include Taylor junior Tyler Kopp (100 back) and Katy senior John Sadler (1-meter diving). The Tigers look to continue their hold on the district diving championships.
Paetow looks to add more regional qualifiers after getting through District 24-5A in four events last winter, the Panthers’ first season of varsity competition.
The boys medley relay team of juniors Chase Stanley, Aaron Posadas and Josh Flores, and sophomore Jalen Wilson won the district bronze medal last year. Sophomore Dillon Luong anchored the Panthers’ 200 free relay that advanced to the regional level.
Junior Jackie Serna became Paetow’s first individual regional qualifier in the 100 fly. She also teamed with juniors Samantha Figueroa-Brolmann and Liz Reyes, sophomore Sabrina Castillo on the 200 free relay that made the regional meet.