Coppell secured four spots in the Region II-6A swim meet after competing at the District 5-6A meet, held Jan. 22-23 at Carroll ISD Aquatic Center.
The atmosphere didn’t faze Cowgirl freshman Katelyn Jost. She punched her ticket into regionals by placing third in the 500-meter freestyle (5:11.03) and fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:57.09). Jost defeated Carroll junior Isabella Woods by one-hundredth of a second for the final spot in the regional meet for the 200 freestyle.
“Katy is poised and tall and wonderfully graceful with surprising power,” said David Conrad, Coppell assistant coach. “She is a terrific young person with serious long-term competitive potential. Not to mention it’s a blast to see her swim.”
Coppell’s boys qualified for regionals in two events.
Junior Nathan Lim finished as district runner-up in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.75) with his time only 0.07 seconds behind champion Camden Walter of Carroll (1:00.68).
“I can’t say enough about Nathan Lim,” Conrad said. “We have watched him grow from a little boy to a young man who knocks us out when he swims breaststroke.”
The boys 200 freestyle relay of Jonathan Ting, Nathan Kim, Scott Moyer and Sean Li swam to fourth place in a time of 1:33.88.
“Super proud of our relay,” Conrad said. “That’s a fine bunch of boys including an Eagle Scout, Scott Moyer. Each gave everything he had to get to regionals. They should be proud of themselves.”
Coppell initially qualified for regionals in the girls 200 medley relay after placing third in the event but was subsequently disqualified because of a minor infraction.
“This stings but it is simply a sign of too few meets prior to a big championship like this,” Conrad said. “There were just not enough races to harden the nerves and hold on the block for the touch.”
Overall, it was a solid day in the pool for Coppell.
Coppell earned all-district honors in 11 events. The top two finishers in each event earned first team all-district, third and fourth place were named to the second team, while fifth and sixth place garnered honorable mention.
Yassin Helaly, a junior, scored 403.65 points to break the school record in 1-meter diving, obliterating the old mark by more than 50 points. He placed fifth.
“His diving was as always, a pleasure to watch and as the meet progressed, he moved into second place midway through the 11 dives,” Conrad said. “As Helaly moved on toward the end of his dive set, he increased the difficulty of each.
“With each increase in difficulty comes an increased reward of a larger number of possible points in return for a perfect dive. Unfortunately, there were four other boys who established an early lead which Yassin was unable to top.”
Other Coppell swimmers who earned all-district honorable mention were: Kim (200 freestyle, fifth, 1:48.86), Ting (100 butterfly, fifth, 53.49), Li (200 IM, sixth, 2:04.83), the girls 200 freestyle relay of junior Isabella Malick, senior Sofia Simula, sophomore Belen Campos, junior Claire Jiang (fifth, 1:49.93), the girls 400 freestyle relay of Malick, Jiang, freshman Nalini Agnihorti, Jost (fifth, 3:50.9) and the boys 400 freestyle relay of senior Chun Lau, senior Cole Tramel, Kim and Li (fifth, 3:23.74).
The Region II-6A meet is scheduled for Feb. 6 at Westside Aquatic Center in Lewisville. Preliminaries start at 9 a.m. Finals are set for 5:30 p.m.
The top finisher in each event will automatically qualify for the state meet. Also, the next eight-fastest swimmers from the eight regional meets throughout the state will advance to the state championships, which have been moved from Austin to San Antonio.