State Swimming

State swimming preview: 5 things to watch in Austin

Clayton Bobo has one final meet left to cement his outstanding high school career. vype.com

Originally appeared on Vype.com

The 2018 UIL State Swimming and Diving State Championships will take center stage this weekend in Austin.

This event officially kicks off the spring sports championships season with wrestling, basketball, tennis, golf, track and field, baseball and softball to follow.

But for now lets take a dive into what you should be watching for this weekend in the pool at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center at the University of Texas.

 Bobo Swimming for Gold Again

Future Texas A&M swimmer Clayton Bobo has one final meet left to cement what has already been an outstanding high school career.

The Stratford senior will try and take gold again in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle. Last season, Bobo’s gold-medal time in the 50 was 19.95 and in the 100 he posted a 43.56.

Heading back to Austin, Bobo qualified with a time of 20.47 in the 50-yard freestyle – the fastest in the state – and a 44.64 in the 100-yard freestyle. Bobo will have some competition in the 100-yard freestyle as Katy’s Kaloyan Bratanov posted a qualifying time of 44.67, just three-hundredths of a second off Bobo’s time.

Entering this season Bobo was ranked as the 20th best swimming prospect in the 2018 recruiting class by Swim Swam.

 FULL HEAT SHEETS FOR CLASS 6A

Nordmann to defend title, record at State

The Woodlands’ Lucie Nordmann wasn’t just fast in 2017, she was record-breaking, gold-medal winning fast.

Nordmann, a commit to Stanford, returns to Austin to defend her state championship in the 100-yard backstroke and also her state record time. Nordmann set the new state record last year posting a time of 52.48.

In December, Nordmann posted a time of 52.16 in the 100-yard backstroke at the Speedo Winter Junior National Championships-West.

To defend her UIL State Championship, Nordmann will once again be pushed by Cinco Ranch’s Aria Bernal. Last season Bernal finished 1.09 seconds off of Nordmann’s state-record pace. Heading into this state meet though, Bernal did post a faster qualifying time at 52.76. Nordmann qualified with a time of 53.99.

Nordmann is also competing in the 200-yard freestyle. She will have to post a better time at state to get to the top of the podium after qualifying with a time of 1:48.71, which is the third-best qualifying time in Texas. Austin Anderson’s Ella Collins owns the fasted qualifying time at 1:46.83, followed by Austin Westlake’s Dakota Luther at 1:46.84.

Montgomery’s Luke Stuart back and better than ever

Luke Stuart didn’t finish on the podium last year, rather far from it but there’s nothing better in sports than a comeback story.

Stuart entering this year in the two events he finished ninth place in a year ago, posted blazing qualifying times.

In the 500-yard freestyle, Stuart posted a time of 4:28.67, which is the second-fastest in the state. In the 200-yard freestyle, Stuart once again had the second-best time with a 1:38.60.

Compared to his state finals times from a year ago, Stuart has managed to shave roughly two whole seconds off each, making him a sure-fire contender for the podium.

FULL HEAT SHEET FOR CLASS 5A

Blazing Fast Relay Teams

Take your fastest swimmers and put them on a relay team, now these are fun to watch and Houston has a few to be on the look for, especially from The Woodlands.

In Class 6A, defending state champion The Woodlands and Ridge Point girls will duke it out in the 200-yard medley relay. The Woodlands holds the state’s fastest qualifying time at 1:44.33. Ridge Point is just 0.56 seconds slower.

The Woodlands boys will be the ones to beat in the 200-yard medley relay after qualifying with a time of 1:32.49. Last year, this group took fourth in this event. Look for them to swim for redemption in 2018.

The Woodlands girls 200-yard freestyle relay will contend again after taking third place last season. The group qualified with a time of 1:35.24, which is just eight hundredths of a second faster than Austin Westlake. Those two teams are the only ones to post a sub 1:36 time in qualifying.

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, The Woodlands and Stratford boys will duke it out. The Highlanders come in with a top qualifying time of 1:24.55, while Stratford is right behind at 1:24.64.

In the girls 400-yard freestyle relay, The Woodlands qualified with a time of 3:25.30, which is three seconds faster than the next time of 3:28.18, posted by Kingwood.

Finally, in the boys 400-yard freestyle relay, The Woodlands and Klein Oak are only separated by three-tenths of a second. The Panthers posted a qualifying time of 3:04.61, while the Highlanders had a time of 3:04.92. These two will battle it out for a spot on the podium and try to take down Southlake Carroll (3:04.16).

Divers to Watch

Samantha Vear, a sophomore at Oak Ridge, will be one of the top divers to watch in the girls one-meter dive. Vear enters with a qualifying total of 507.10. Her biggest competition will come from Southlake Carroll’s Hailey Hernandez (517.95) and defending state champion Bridget O’Neil (544.05).

In the boy’s 100-meter diving competition, La Porte’s CJ Zerbe enters with the state’s second-highest qualifying total at 483.55. He will have to beat Lewisville Marcus’ Tyson Stacey, who qualified with a 487.45. The Woodlands’ Skip Donald could make some noise for a medal as his qualifying total was 481.45.

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Houston loses to end the road trip

Dodgers get best of Odorizzi to split series with Astros

Jake Odorizzi allowed four home runs over three innings against the Dodgers on Wednesday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

After spoiling the night of many Dodgers fans in the opener of this two-game series in Los Angeles the night prior, the Astros returned to the stadium to a fresh set of hostile fans, looking to get the mini-sweep. This one went much more in favor of the home team, though, as the Dodgers would ride three big innings to start the game to the win for the series split.

Final Score: Dodgers 7, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 65-43, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Max Scherzer (9-4)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-6)

Odorizzi gets shelled

After a Michael Brantley solo home in the top of the first run against Max Scherzer, making his Dodger debut, it looked like the Astros may continue their momentum from the night before to grab hold of this game as well. However, that all changed in the bottom of the inning, as the Dodgers would tee off against Jake Odorizzi.

In that inning, he allowed four runs, a leadoff solo shot by Mookie Betts, then later a three-run blast by Will Smith. Betts made it 2-for-2 with solo homers in the bottom of the second, extending the lead to 5-1. Things went from bad to worse in the third, with Los Angeles getting their fourth home run, this one for two runs to make it a 7-1 game. Odorizzi would finish the third but go no further.

Scherzer K's 10 over seven innings in his Dodger debut

Houston tried to start clawing back into it in the top of the fourth, getting a second run against Scherzer with a two-out RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, trimming the lead to five runs at 5-2. First out of Houston's bullpen was Yimi Garcia in the bottom of the fourth, and he tossed the first 1-2-3 inning for Houston. Rafael Montero was next in the bottom of the fifth, working around a leadoff double followed by a walk for a scoreless inning.

Montero remained in the game in the bottom of the sixth, still 7-2, and would get another scoreless inning, this time sitting down the Dodgers in order. Scherzer finished his quality debut for his new team in the top of the seventh, erasing a leadoff walk to complete seven innings while allowing two runs.

Astros lose to split the series with Dodgers

Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he, too, would get through a scoreless inning by erasing a two-out single. In the game-within-the-game, the Dodgers brought in Joe Kelly for the top of the eighth, who notched two strikeouts to bring none other than Carlos Correa to the plate, setting up a rematch of the well-known incident that led to the "pouty face" clip from 2020. Carlos Correa won this round, launching a 405-foot homer off of Kelly to make it a four-run game at 7-3.

Phil Maton kept the score there, stranding two runners in the bottom of the eighth to send the 7-3 game to the top of the ninth, where the Dodgers would bring in Kenley Jansen. After a leadoff single, Kyle Tucker would get the Astros within two runs on a two-run homer, making it 7-5. That's as close as they would get, as Jansen would regroup to get the next three batters out to wrap up the loss for Houston.

Up Next: With this road trip completed, the Astros will have a quick turnaround as they catch a late flight back to Houston then turn around with a game Thursday at 7:10 PM Central to open a four-game series with the Twins. Framber Valdez (7-2, 3.01 ERA) will take the mound for Houston in the opener, while Minnesota will counter with Griffin Jax (1-1, 6.41 ERA).

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