Saturday, January 27, 2018 – Courtesy of Terrence Thomas, San Antonio Express News
Perfection, near-perfection rule at 26-6A meet
In District 26-6A swimming, where a roll call flows with Olympians, it seems impossible to accomplish anything that had not been seen before.
The Reagan girls and Churchill boys teams Saturday proved otherwise.
In dominating fashion, Reagan won all 11 races while Churchill just missed on its own perfection as each captured teams titles at Davis Natatorium. Reagan won the league crown for the second time in three seasons.
“Being a senior, this is the last time around for everything and it just makes it a little more special,” said Reagan’s Rachel Rodriguez, who won the 200- and 500-yard freestyles.
Hannah Feng, the swimmer of the meet, won the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly, and Shea Burcham captured the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke as Reagan won its eighth league title in nine years. Burcham had the third-fastest time in prelims, a second behind two other competitors, but won going away.
Churchill nabbed its second straight district title by winning nine of 11 races. Only Madison’s Jackson Kennedy’s win in the 100 backstroke and Reagan’s triumph in the 200 freestyle relay prevented the Chargers from perfection.
Samuel Willstrop led the way, winning the 100 breaststroke in a district-record 57.01. He bettered the previous mark of 57.37 set in 1990 by Lee’s Ryan McKinney, who won gold and set a record that year at the UIL state meet.
“It’s just one of those things that just happens when you work everyday as hard as you can,” said Willstrop, who also won the 500 freestyle and teamed with Samuel Player, Jake Peterson and Wyatt Cronk to win the 200 medley relay in 1:35.32, besting the previous mark of 1:35.87 set in 2008 by Churchill’s John Ariens, Nick Masterson, Alex Seward and future Olympian Jimmy Feigen.
Cronk won the 200 and 500 freestyles, while Peterson was victorious in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly.