Shane Williams ‘19 collected valuable second and third-place individual finishes and then anchored a dramatic relay victory in the final event as Eagle Swimming seized the TAPPS Division I state swimming championship – the program’s first-ever state title in the second season with head coach Donna Skorupinski.
St. Thomas set the stage for history early as Williams (21.98) tag-teamed with Gabriel Lenz ‘19 (22.39) for a 2-4 result in the 50 yard freestyle and later paired with Sebastian Ortiz ‘20 (51.02) for 3-6 in 100 free.
Williams then responded with the most clutch swim of his acclaimed Eagle career. He followed Sebastian Ortiz ‘20, Dylan Michaels ‘21 and Gabriel Lenz ‘19 claiming the 400 freestyle relay by less than two seconds in 3:17.07 to squeeze past perennial powerhouse El Paso Cathedral for the win.
And the title.
The second of two scorching tight-tick relay wins over Cathedral vaulted Eagle Swimming to 291 points and denied the reigning state kingpin (283) the state crown for the first time since 1990. St. Thomas also outpaced Plano St. John XXIII (203), Awty International (181), The Village School (174), San Antonio Antonian College Preparatory (145) and Dallas Bishop Lynch (138).
Hunter Nguyen ‘12 contributed the anchor leg in the 200 free relay with Ortiz, Michaels and Lenz (1:29.31) to out-touch Cathedral at the wall by less than a second. Nguyen also teamed with Josh McLean ‘22, Patrick Pham ‘21 and Carrick Brogan ‘22 to take fourth in the 200 medley relay.
The versatile Eagles leveraged superior depth throughout the competition at the Mansfield ISD Natatorium. Michaels swam fourth in the 500 yard free (5:06.24) and sixth (1:50.80) behind Ortiz’s third (1:50.08) in the 200 free. Lenz packed more points with a fifth in the 100 butterfly (54.96).
Other notable results include …
- McLean 11th (2:12.78) in the 200 individual medley
- Nguyen 10th (23.91) and Brogan 13th (24.29) in the 50 freestyle
- Nguyen 8th (1:05.57), Griffin Gregory 9th (1:05.86) and McLean 14th (1:08.15) in the 100 breaststroke
- Patrick 13 Greaney ‘21 13th (59.58) and Pham 14th (1:00.70) in the 100 butterfly
- Pham 14th (1:03.20) in the 100 backstroke
- Ethan Armenta ‘20 11th (5:31.56), Isaac Wolf ‘20 14th (5:42.54) and Aiden Brelinsky ‘20 15th (5:53.28) in the 500 freestyle
The 102nd state championship in the rich history of Eagle Athletics comes as Eagle Swimming continues its recent surge of success. In 2018 St. Thomas posted a convincing second-place finish at TAPPS State matching the program’s previous best-ever showing.
Eagle Fight Never Dies!