Swimmers from around Texas congregated to the Joe and Jamail Swimming Center in Austin Friday for the Class 5A and 6A state preliminaries.
Friday’s preliminaries set up all the seeding for Saturday’s finals, which will include individual swimmers and relay teams from Bryan, A&M Consolidated and Brenham.
Here are three things to watch for Saturday’s finals
Can Cook 3-peat?
Bryan junior Julia Cook is the two-time defending 5A champion in the girls 50-yard and 100 freestyle and broke both of her own 5A records in those races in Friday’s preliminaries, winning top seeds.
Vikings coach Glenn Williams said he was “dumbfounded” how Cook still managed to drop time Friday despite already being way out in front of all of her competition with a time of 22.49 in the 50 freestyle and 48.51 in the 100 freestyle
If Cook can somehow manage to shave time once again, she’ll have another pair of state records and gold medals to bring back to Bryan.
Simmons and Smith primed for gold
Consol’s Peter Simmons and Brenham’s Hudson Smith came to Austin both looking to defend state titles.
Smith took the title in the boys 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke in last year’s meet and had the top time in both races in Friday’s preliminaries at 1:49.13 and 56.50, respectively.
Simmons came looking to defend his title in the 100 backstroke and had the best time in the preliminaries (50.09). Simmons also finished second in last year’s 100 butterfly and finished first in this year’s preliminary (50.94).
Look for Simmons and Smith to keep up their winning ways Saturday.
Can Bryan’s relay teams shock everyone?
Bryan’s girls 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams may have been the biggest surprises from the preliminaries, finishing second in both races.
The 200 medley relay qualified with the fifth-best time, while the 200 freestyle relay qualified with the fourth-best time, and both relays shaved at least 30 seconds off their qualifying times.
Both of Bryan’s relay teams already outperformed their expectations coming in to the state meet, so who’s to say they don’t continue that trend and shock people on their way to a gold?