Dean Lackey is a math teacher as well as a swim coach at Cedar Park and knew the Timberwolves needed to make up a big margin at the regional meet to qualify for the state meet.
Cedar Park closed the gap, qualifying six individuals and four relay teams for the state swim meet next Friday and Saturday at the Texas Swim Center.
“I try to play out the meet before it begins,” Lackey said. “I saw us 20-25 points behind in both the girls and the boys. Going in I gave them this information and asked them to step up and every one of them did.”
Rouse also had a successful meet, qualifying four individuals and one relay team. In class 6A, Vandegrift had three individuals and four relay teams make it to the state meet.
Dominic Toledo-Sanchez qualified in the boys’ 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard back for the
Timberwolves and Kristen Perron, the lone senior on the team, moved on in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard freestyle.
Brady Sullivan qualified in the boys’ 200-yard individual medley and Bella Zapata made it in the 200-yard IM girls’ race. Jay Lenner III qualified for the state meet in the boys’ 50-yard freestyle and Nicole Massaro qualified in the girls’ 1-meter diving board. The girls’ 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard medley and boys’ 200 and 400-yard freestyle relay teams all made the state competition.
“That is our best finish ever at regionals,” Lackey said. “These guys pulled it out and dropped some huge time to get where they were. It was a great result and I couldn’t be more proud of the kids we’re taking to state.”
Rouse was lead by Jaide Castle, who qualified in the girls’ 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard breaststroke and Gabriel Wood in the boys’ 50 and 100-yard freestyle. Dylan Ingram advanced to state in the boys’ 100-yard backstroke, Natalie Saul moved on in the girls’ 100-yard freestyle and the Rouse girls’ 200-freestyle relay team moved on as well.
John Winkler moved on in the boys’ 50-yard freestyle, Julianna Birlin made it in the girls’ 100-yard freestyle and Daniel Sarman moved on in the boys’ 100-yard backstroke. The girls’ and boys’ 200-yard freestyle relay teams, the boys’ 200-yard medley and the boys’ 400-yard relay team moved on.
Lackey said Toledo-Sanchez could’ve competed in more events, but chose to sit out some races, including the 50-yard freestyle, to give other teammates like Lenner III to have a chance at making it to state.
Lackey made his team a promise. If the Timberwolves made up the gap between prelims and finals and qualified for the state meet, he’d let them push him in the pool street clothes and all. Sure enough, at the end of the meet, their coach was getting wet.
“It was all in the game plan,” he said. “That’s what you do as a coach is set the bar and expect them to get there. We weren’t done after prelims. We wanted more. We still have work to do.”