Rising from the depths

Tigersharks command at District 15-5A meet


Photo by Savannah Pritchard

Junior Luke Calhoun gasps and fights water as he competes in relay at District meet.

The swim and dive teams broke six meet records and dominated at the District 15-5A meet Saturday at Texarkana College’s Pinkerton Center.

The girls cracked four meet records, including all three relays, and scored a total of 260 points. That makes 12 championships in a row for the girls. The boys took their 17th consecutive title with a score of 227 points.

The top six in each event advanced to the Region 4-5A meet that was held Feb. 6-7 at Lewisville ISD Aquatics Center.

Tigershark senior Lexi Watkins won two individual races and was a part of two gold-medal winning girls’ relay teams. Watkins was also the girls’ Swimmer of the Year for District 15-5A.

Siblings Calvin and Courtney Lourens each won the 1-meter diving and were also selected the Divers of the Year for boys’ and girls’. Calvin Lourens’ score of 344.20 was also a meet record.

“It’s taken a lot of determination and hard work, showing up to practice everyday thinking you have to go get in that cold water,” senior Calvin Lourens said. “There was pressure, but at the same time it was a feeling of relief because it meant we were almost done.”

The boys also set a new mark in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:33.53. Reid Porter, Zack Wolf, Tyler Snell, and Zack Norton made up the winning 200 free team. Norton also won the 100 butterfly. The Tigersharks’ 200 medley relay team that took gold involved Seth Ream, Conor Diggs, Porter, and Norton.

The other meet record was set by freshman Kristen Clayton with a 1:10.99 in the 100 breaststroke. Clayton also won the 200 individual medley.

“On relays I feel like if I messed up it depended on me, whereas individual events you depend only on yourself, but my team relies on me in the relays,” Clayton said. “I want to get the actual high school record, but for now am focusing on improving times and work really hard to do my best.”

The record-setting girls relay teams were Alex Jones, Clayton, Kristin McCasland and Linley Murdock in the 200 medley; Brenna Moore, Clayton, Oralia Basurto-Ruiz and Watkins in the 200 free; and Watkins, Moore, Basurto-Ruiz and McCasland in the 400 free race.

McCasland also won the 100 butterfly and took gold in the 100 backstroke. Maggie Lopez won the 200 freestyle as well.

On the boys’ side, junior Luke Calhoon and sophomore Hunter Burt competed under less-than-optimal conditions. Calhoon was fourth in the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke, despite having a broken right hand. Burt was third in the boys 1-meter diving while competing with a sprained ankle.

“That feeling you get when the meet is over is like no other,” Burt said. “You just feel like, man, let’s do that again.”

The Tigersharks also had an impressive showing at Regionals. Both of the boys’ and girls’ teams took first place. This was the 17th consecutive win for the boys and the 6th for the girls.

“It’s that feeling whenever you realize that all your hard work has finally paid off,” Snell said. “The team has worked really hard this year to improve from where we were last year because we lost a lot of seniors. We surpassed expectations and all of our relays qualified for state.”

See the full story about the regional meet in the print issue on Feb. 13.