The Woodlands High School’s Gabby Maddalena won the District 14-5A titles in both the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. (Staff photo by JERRY BAKER)
Region IV-5A Meet
The Woodlands High School girls varsity team and Conroe High School's Sean LeNeave will help lead Montgomery County athletes into this weekend's Region IV-5A Swimming and Diving Meet at the Josh Davis Natatorium in San An-tonio.
Today, Saturday at Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio (The Woodlands, Conroe, Oak Ridge, College Park)
Region VI-5A Meet
Today, Saturday at Katy H.S. Aquatic Center (Magnolia)
Region IV-4A Meet
Today, Saturday at Don Cook Natatorium in Sugar Land (Montgomery, Willlis, Caney Creek, New Caney)
The Lady Highlanders cruised to the District 14-5A team championship with 224.5 points, easily outdistancing second-place Klein (99.5). College Park, in its first varsity season, took fourth, with Oak Ridge in fifth and Conroe sixth.
Conroe's LeNeave, who won the boys 200 and 500 freestyle events, was named the male athlete of the meet at district. LeNeave and the Tigers took fourth at district with 50 points, finishing behind champion Klein (156), Klein Collins (130.5) and The Woodlands (124.5). Oak Ridge finished in fifth and College Park seventh.
"This meet is unbelievable," said Conroe head coach Steve Montgom-ery about the Region IV-5A Meet that begins today with prelims at 9 a.m. "The swimmers from Austin are out of sight. Sean's head and shoulders above most kids. I think he will make it to state in his two events."
The Region IV-5A Meet will conclude with finals on Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon.
At the Region IV-4A regional meet at the Don Cook Natatorium in Sugar Land, Montgomery diver J.J. Kinzbach, the defending state champion, will look to add another regional title in the 1-meter event. Kinz-bach blew away the competition at the District 19-4A meet, scoring 533.65 points, finishing over 135 points ahead of his brother, Jake, who took second and is also competing at regionals.
There were plenty of top performances at the 14-5A Meet at Klein High School, with The Woodlands girls winning all three relays and Gabby Maddalena taking the titles in the 200 and 500 freestyle events. Kelsey Amundsen (200 IM), Kara Cook (1-meter diving), Taylor Weber (100 butterfly), Kelly Flynn (100 breaststroke) and Shaunna Purtell (100 freestyle) all earned district crowns in their events on the way to helping the Lady Highlanders take the district team title.
Conroe's Nuffy Swanson was also a standout at district, earning silver in both the 200 IM and 100 butterfly. Jessica Shamburger won the 100 backstroke for Oak Ridge, while College Park's Mary Foster earned silver in the 500 freestyle, the first district medal for a Cavalier swimmer.
"Nuffy is a tough kid," said Montgomery. "I think she will make it to state in the 100 butterfly. She's tremendous in the 200 butterfly (not a high school event). She's a senior national qualifier in that event. She's a great competitor."
Others who will be leading the way for Montgomery at the 4A regional in Sugar Land are Kristen Gropp (won 500 freestyle at district) and Eric Phelps (100 backstroke champ at district).
New Caney High School's Brad Safarik, a state champion last year, is the favorite in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke at the 4A regional.
To automatically advance to the state meet, swimmers must win their event at regionals. If not, a swimmer must be in the top four at regionals, then be amongst the next best eight times in the state.