February 20, 2016 by Terrence Thomas, San Antonio Express News.
Twice in the previous three weeks, the Reagan girls swimming team went into big competitions expecting dominance. The Rattlers responded by winning 20 of a possible 22 events en route to capturing district and regional titles. But on the largest stage, against Texas’ best, the same confident team said its expectations were modest for Saturday’s UIL Class 6A state championships at the Jamail Center.
And still, the results rendered the same conclusion — Reagan is among the state’s elite.
Relying on quality and quantity, the Rattlers netted 170 points to finish third. Austin Westlake was first with 267, and The Woodlands was second with 219.
“We’ve got to say we really didn’t expect coming in to it that we would be third, but now that we are, we all deserve it,” Reagan sophomore Rachel Rodriguez said. “We all work very, very hard. We win together, and we persevere together, we get fourth together, we get second together. That’s what we’re at state for — to come here as a team and to show everyone, ‘Hey, we’re Reagan.’ You can’t forget about us. I think we did a very good job of that.”
On a day in which they didn’t win an event, the Rattlers cobbled together a third, two fourths, four fifths, a sixth and a ninth to get into contention. Hannah Middleton finished in 1 minute, 3.99 seconds to capture the bronze in the 100-yard breaststroke. She missed winning silver by .02 seconds and winning the gold by .08.
“We’re pretty humbled by all the competition here,” Rodriguez said. “It’s pretty crazy. You have (Austin) Westlake and The Woodlands, and they’re all such great teams and great competitors. But we’re a great competitor as well.”
While the Reagan girls grabbed the headlines, they weren’t the only ones from the area to make a splash.
Reagan’s Zachary Yeadon took silver in the 500 freestyle in 4:23.01, only .37 seconds out of first place. Taft’s Migs Martin won the bronze in 100 breaststroke, missing silver by .10 seconds and gold by .11 seconds, and Johnson’s Matthew De La Garza was third in 1-meter diving with 475.95 points.
Click here for original article and additional photos from San Antonio Express News. Photo by Josh Bachman. Hannah Middleton from San Antonio Regan during the girls 100 yard freestyle at the 6A UIL Swimming and Diving State Meet at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming center at the University of Texas Austin