CHS Swim and Dive Team Regional Winners Compete in the Rare Air of the UT Natatorium
The 6-A Regional Championships produced two qualifiers CHS Swim and Dive qualifiers to the State Championships to be held at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center on the UT Austin Campus. Katy Jost’s ticket to State was a first-place finish at Region with a 5:00.99 in the 500 Freestyle. Sean Li paved his way to State with a hard-fought race in the Region finals. Li secured 2nd place with a time of 58.08 in the 100 Breaststroke. With these times, both Sean Li and Katy Jost secured new CHS records for the Girl’s 500 Free and Boy’s 100 Breaststroke.
On February 17th our qualifiers Jost and Li as well as their alternates Nalini Agnihotri and Jonathan Ting left CHS and headed for the UT campus. Adhering to the demanding rigor of the sport Coach Ross stopped on the way into Austin to allow our swimmers a few thousand yards in an outdoor pool before continuing on to pool and UIL offices near the campus and the hotel for the night.
Friday the 18th prelims for both 5A and 6A schools were held with the top 16 finishers moving on to the Finals on Saturday the 19th. The 5A competitors swam in the morning and we began warmups about 3:00PM with 6A schools. First to swim for CHS Friday was Katy Jost. Qualifying in Regionals with 5:00.99, Katy’s strategy was to approach this race as though it was not a Prelim but was the Final holding nothing in reserve. At the start, it was immediately clear that she intended to make her presence felt with her first 50-yard time of 27.12. This was about 2.5 seconds faster than her recent starting laps. Next, Jost continued to hold a sub 30 second lap resulting in a sub 60 second 100-yard split. She kept up the pressure leaning hard into the early part of her race and held 30 second 50 splits the rest of the way finishing with a 4:57.99, three full seconds off of her qualifying time finishing in 13th place. This positioned Katy to swim in the finals of the following day and again broke her CHS record for the Girls 500-yard Freestyle.
Next up was Sean Li. Mr. Li is another exceptionally talented CHS sophomore who after qualifying time of 58.08 (a CHS record) in the 100 Breastroke at Regionals stepped on the block at the State prelims where he blasted from the block in lane 8 with a split of 26.92 in his first 50-yards following with a 30.5 for his second 50-yards yielding a 57.42 second 100-Breastroke! Like Katy, Sean broke his previous CHS record for the 100-Breastroke dropping it by a half second. Li’s finish time in the prelim was not quite enough to place in the top 16 to qualify for the finals the next day yet, it did place him 17th in the State of Texas as a sophomore! Sean Li had an exceptional showing.
The following day on Saturday the State finals were held. The top sixteen finishers in each event moved into the finals with places 9 through 16 being Consolation Finals and 1 through 8 being Championship Finals, swum in that order. Jost swam in the first heat and again she swam with the same a strategy and power of the previous day. Again, it was clear she intended to go out fast and did. In this race she finished 6th in her heat with a time of 4:58.06. Almost a duplicate of her previous race, 7 one-hundredths of a second slower and retaining her overall 13th place in the top 16. Congratulations to both Sean and Katy for an excellent showing at the State Championships.