Junior Zach Baker takes gold at state swim competition

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Junior Zach Baker celebrates his victory from the water.

Story by John David Goins, Co-Online Editor In Chief

Texas High Tigersharks newest record holder, Zach Baker, takes first place at the UIL 4A State Championships on Feb. 23. Winning in the 100 breaststroke with a 58.98, Baker won by half a second.

“If you would have asked me before state whether or not I would come out a state champion, I would have told you no,” Baker said. “I am really happy with my time, although I know I could have done better, which leaves hope for next year.”

Jumping off the blocks for his race, Baker pulled a stomach muscle somewhere around the right abdomen. The setback kept Baker from resetting his school record, but he won state nonetheless.

“That morning I was focused on a faster start, and I was not exactly ready for the start I performed during the race,” Baker said. “The pain was excruciating but my determination to win was greater than the pressure of quitting.”

Only being a junior leaves Zach one more year to return to state and defend his title. The guy placing second this year was a 6-foot-4-inch freshman that has a lot of room to improve.

“Looking ahead to next year I plan to defend my gold,” Baker said. “My competitors are going to be working hard, so I will just have to work harder.”