LeNeave brothers excel at district swim meet, earn Courier's Athletes of the Week honor
By: Mike Jones , Sports Editor

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Conroe High junior Sean LeNeave, who won the 200 IM and 500 freestyle, takes a much-deserved break during the District 14-5A Meet at Klein High School on Saturday. (Staff photo by JERRY BAKER)
Years of getting up for very early morning swim practices and staying late to get in extra work have paid off for a pair of Conroe High School brothers.
Patrick LeNeave, a senior, and his brother, Sean, a junior, have made their mark for CHS over the last few years and each is coming off strong performances at the District 14-5A Meet last week at Klein High School.

Sean won both the 200 IM and 500 freestyle and tied with one other male swimmer at the competition for the most points garnered at the event for their team.

Click Here! "It felt really good," said Sean. "I thought it was going to be tougher than that. I've been working hard and it just came through for me."

Patrick, meanwhile, earned bronze in the 100 butterfly and fourth place in the 50 freestyle at district. It was the third straight year he qualified for an individual event at regionals, competing in the 100 butterfly and 200 IM last year and the 500 freestyle and 200 IM as a sophomore. He also competed in the 200 freestyle relay at regionals as a freshman.

"I thought I did very well for the conditions," said Patrick about the district competition, which took place at Klein High School. "I felt good with the swims. I hope to do better next weekend."

Next weekend is the regional meet at the Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio. To advance past regionals and on to state, a swimmer must either win his or her event or finish in the top four to have a chance to qualify. The winners of each of the eight regions across the state in their events advance, as well as the next best eight times from all the regions.

"I think I'll have a good chance at making state," said Sean. "It's going to be hard, but I know I can make it."

Sean's career-bests in his two regional events are 1:58.39 in the 200 IM and 4:45 in the 500 freestyle. He believes it will take a career-best in both events to make it to state.

"With the way I've been training, my coach for The Woodlands Swim Team (non-school squad), Tim Bauer, thinks I can drop," said Sean.

Despite being sick during the district meet the last two years, Sean still made it to regionals in 2004 in the 200 IM and competed in relays as a freshman.

"I feel good; I've been taking my vitamins," Sean joked about his current physical status.

Patrick is ready for the tough competition at regionals.

"It will be hard," he said. "I'm in the top ten or twelve right now. It should be a challenge."

The brothers will team up at regionals in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays.

"Our chances at finaling in both of those are pretty good," Patrick said.

Patrick, the team captain for Conroe the past two seasons, has earned the school's Outstanding Male Swimmer honor the past two years. He was also chosen, along with one female athlete at the district meet, as an Athlete Representative on the board at the competition.

"I served on a committee that if there had been any race protests, then the athletes make the decision on what the final order should be," said Patrick. "My coach (Steve Montgomery) put my name in as a representative and I guess I was selected because I was a senior that had been around the sport awhile."

Both brothers have qualified to attend the Olympic Training Center this year, after Patrick went last year. Sean achieved his first national qualifying time in December and set two new school pool records at Spring High School. At Texas A&M in December, Sean swam his career-bests in the 200 IM and 500 freestyle.

Patrick, who will be swimming collegiately, has narrowed his choices down to Eastern Illinois, Truman State University and Delta State University.

"It feels good," said Patrick about earning the chance to swim in college. "I want to thank my parents (Sally and John) for being supportive of me and also my U.S. coaches and Coach Montgomery for being a great high school coach."

The brothers are also strong students, with each taking all AP and Dual Credit classes. Sean is in the top seven percent in the junior class at Conroe, while Patrick is in the top 15 percent of his senior class.

"Swimming teaches you a lot of discipline and time management," said Sean. "It really helps out in school. You can get things done on time by being well-prepared, as you would do in a meet."

"Swimming keeps you on a routine," said Patrick. "You get up at 4:45 in the morning and go to practices and stay out late in the evening practicing. You learn to manage your time right and get your homework and studying done."

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