Swim Team Prepared for SPC


Lisa Parker

The US swim team competed at SPC this weekend, coming away with several personal bests, school records, and SPC honorable mentions.

As the SPC championship swim meet approached, the FWCD swim team kicked into high gear. The 11 members of the team, led by Coach Kathy Steinbrenner, set their sights on qualifying for the SPC meet. This included 4,000-yard practices, weight room on Wednesdays, and meets at Greenhill and St. Mark’s.

“It’s January,” Steinbrenner said at the team’s meet at the Hood County YMCA in Granbury. She presented the team with bright blue t-shirts that had a white figure of a swimmer on the back. Underneath this figure were the words, “It’s January.” The words are a running joke for the team, a declaration of the hard work that each member must put in during the month of January. The statement was repeated often at practices as an excuse for why the team must do a long set of pulling (swimming with only the arms), a long set of sprint kicking, or several race-pace Individual Medleys (IMs).

“Training for SPC is hard, but the team is very supportive and it’s fun to do it together,” Grace Wagner ‘19 said. Wagner is a senior on the team, and as someone who has been through SPC preparation before, she understands the teamwork that gets every individual to the starting block at SPC. Qualifying times for SPC events are a fairly new addition, which put added pressure on the swimmers. In years past, the championship meet was like any other — any seed time was acceptable, and any level of high school swimmer could compete. Now, swimmers must achieve a qualifying time in a meet prior to the championship, which makes sure that the swimmers competing take their races seriously and the meet can move along quickly.

“Qualifying — it’s hard work. Since it is up to you, and not a team, to qualify, there’s a lot of individual pressure to work hard and swim fast at the meets,” Landon Barker ‘22, one of the two freshmen on the team, said. The pressure was on for the team’s last two meets — one which took place at Greenhill and the Senior Night swim meet at St. Mark’s Feb. 6.

The SPC Championship took place on Saturday, February 16, at the Keller ISD Natatorium, with nine of the eleven team members qualifying. All of the practice and focus paid off, with the following results:

  • Jackie Cook ’22: 4th place diving
  • Elle Hurst ’19, Grace Wagner ’19, Adriana Barker ’19, Ainsley Hilliard ’20: 200 medley relay, personal best
  • Josh Hurst ’21, Reese Nelson ’21, Alex Volpe ’21, Chris Edwards ’20: 200 medley relay, NEW SCHOOL RECORD (1:50.27)
  • Alex Volpe ’21: 200 free, 5th place; Josh Hurst ’21: 200 free, personal best
  • Reese Nelson ’21: 200 IM, personal best
  • Elle Hurst ’19, Christ Edwards ’20, Adriana Barker ’19, Landon Barker ’22: 50 free, personal best
  • Ainsley Hilliard ’20: 100 fly, personal best; Alex Volpe ’21: 100 fly, 6th place, personal best, NEW SCHOOL RECORD (54.07)
  • Josh Hurst ’21: 500 free, 4th place, personal best, NEW SCHOOL RECORD (5:01.73); Reese Nelson ’21: 500 free, personal best
  • Ainsley Hilliard ’20: 100 back, 8th place, personal best
  • Ainsley Hilliard ’20, Adriana Barker ’19, Grace Wagner ’19, Elle Hurst ’19: 400 free relay, 7th place, personal best
  • Reese Nelson ’21, Josh Hurst ’21,Chris Edwards ’20, Alex Volpe ’21 : 400 free relay, NEW SCHOOL RECORD (disqualified)