Tyler Sandrock ‘24 cashed individual gold and contributed mightily in rapid relay finishes to thrust St. Thomas to a strong third-place team triumph at the TAPPS state swimming championships at the Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio.

The Aqua Eagles raced to 300 points to trail only El Paso Cathedral (383) and The Village School (305) while outpacing Fort Worth Nolan, Plano John Paul II, and Plano Prestonwood Christian Academy in a 12-team competition.

The commanding St. Thomas performance continues a wave of elite success in the fifth year with acclaimed head coach Van Jones. The third-place showing comes in the wake of a fourth-place state finish in 2023 and runners-up in 2018, 2021, and 2022. The Eagles registered a resounding breakthrough in 2019 with the program’s first-ever state crown followed by a successful title defense in 2020.

The rush of results at state was a similar recipe from the Eagles’ ninth consecutive East Region title.

The sizzling Sandrock closed a prolific career in broad brassy fashion. He owned the 100 butterfly in 50.64 after raking silver in 2023.

He then teamed in the 200 medley relay with Ryan Bordas ‘25, Ryan Gentile ‘24, and Owen Sweeney ‘25 (1:43.27) for the first of three valuable bronze-winning relay awards.

Sandrock ignited the 200 freestyle relay followed by Sweeney, Luke Orr ‘26, and Ben Thoede ‘24 for third in 1:30.60.

Sandrock, Orr, and Thoede closed out the championships with Zach Haine ‘25 in the 400 free relay (3:23.25) to lock a top-three finish.

Haine also contributed a pair of crucial fourth-place results, in the 200 free (1:54.66) and the 500 free (5:06.48). Thoede was seventh in the 50 free (22.99) and fifth in the 100 free (51.55).

Additional notable results include:

Orr seventh in the 200 individual medley (2:10.97) and seventh in the 100 free (52.71)

Gentile sixth in the 100 fly (56.69) and fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.46)

Jones has fueled the program’s sustained prominence within the top tier of the Texas ranks.
Throughout a season of repeated days of dominance, an armada of St. Thomas talent, depth, and commitment led by Sandrock produced significant achievement.

St. Thomas buried the field in an avalanche of 508 points at the 13th annual Battle for the Crown Invitational in San Antonio. The showcase event featured 15 top parochial programs from TAPPS and the Southwest Preparatory Conference.

In October, the Eagles captured fifth in the Angleton Surfside Splash Invitational, the only private school in a field of 15 6A and 5A UIL programs. The relentless Sandrock anchored a gold result in the 200 free relay plus a fifth in the 400 free relay with Sweeney, Thoede, and Orr.

Sandrock also propelled Eagle Swimming to an impressive team bronze as the only private school competing in the Arlington ISD Invitational. He collected gold in the 50 free, seventh in the 100 backstroke, and collaborated with Thoede, Orr, and Gentile for silver in the 400 free relay. St. Thomas added to two more top-five relay finishes for 235 points among 6A and 5A UIL programs and pushed Hurst Bell (276) and Arlington Martin (260) to the final.

Eagle Fight Never Dies!