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's losing streak extended to five games

With key Astros missing, Detroit completes the series sweep

An overall bad day for the Astros on Wednesday. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the Astros received a big blow to their chances in the series finale against Detroit and potentially longer. Five players: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado, and Robel Garcia would all be moved to the IL due to health and safety protocols, leaving them scrambling to get a whole team together for the game against the Tigers.

The Astros would not be able to overcome both the loss of players and the onslaught of another strong start by Detroit in Wednesday's game which put them too far out front for Houston to come back from to avoid a series sweep.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 6-6, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1)

Tigers knock out another starter early

Detroit continued their success of making Houston's starter work hard in early innings, getting after Lance McCullers Jr., and giving him an early exit. After a lengthy fist, they broke through in the second getting two hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an RBI groundout to put up three runs on 34 pitches.

He would have a quicker 1-2-3 third, but after giving up a single, a walk, and hitting another batter to load the bases and reach 87 pitches, he would be removed in favor of Joe Smith. Smith would allow all three of the inherited runners to score, adding those runs to McCullers Jr.'s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 87 P.

Astros try to claw back into it

After Smith would go on to load the bases again in the inning, still with two outs, Houston made another pitching change to bring in Brandon Bielak to get the third out and stop the bleeding at 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the fifth, getting a runner on base to set up a two-run homer by Jason Castro to cut the lead to 6-2.



Bielak remained in the game to try and eat up as many innings as possible. While he continued to hold the Tigers to their six runs through the six innings, the Astros clawed back into the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put their first two batters on base with a walk and single before an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to make it 6-3. They would threaten for more but be held there for the time being.

Astros can't cash in, Tigers complete sweep

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, getting a 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game, as did Brooks Raley in the eighth. In the home part of the inning, the Astros put their first two runners on base on an error and a walk, then loaded them with a one-out single by Carlos Correa. They'd waste their chance to make something happen, though, with an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Pressly, who had no save opportunities in recent games, entered to get some work in the top of the ninth. He worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless inning, sending the 6-3 game to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had yet another chance to make something happen, loading the bases with no outs to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After two outs, Yuli Gurriel would bring one run in with a walk, but that's as close as they'd come, extending their losing streak to five games and getting swept by the Tigers.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off tomorrow to try and leave this poor homestand behind them. They'll pick things up in Seattle on Friday, with first pitch of the opener of three games at 9:10 PM Central. The expected pitching matchup is Jose Urquidy (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for the Astros and Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) for the Mariners.

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