By Zakary Rodriguez | Advertising Manager |
Over Friday, Jan. 31, and Saturday, Feb. 1 the Roosevelt swim team made their first regionals debut in three years at Bill Walker Natatorium. Swimming for a chance to go to the state meet, was the boys relay team along with Matthew Swanson.
As opposed to districts, at the regional meet, there would be A-Finals and B Finals, meaning the top 16 swimmers from preliminaries would move to the finals. Once in the finals, only the fastest two swimmers from every event would be selected to automatically move to the state meet. After that, the top 8 swimmers across the entire state of Texas, from their respective event, will be selected to move on.
Senior Matthew Swanson and coach Willing talk after Swanson swam in preliminaries.
First to swim in preliminaries was Swanson, swimming his 100 backstroke. He swam at a time of 55.48 seconds, putting him easily into the top 16 fastest swimmers in the event and into the B-Finals. The boys relay team was up next, and they swam in the last heat of the last event of the day on Friday. Unfortunately, they barely missed the finals, placing 17 with a time of 3:42.66, meaning Swanson would be the only one swimming in finals the following day.
“Going into the finals, I wanted to get a time drop,” Swanson said. “I wanted to finish first in B-finals.”
Swanson got his diving block and in the water. It was time for him to show out and swim faster than he had swam before. As Swanson started his third lap, he had a narrow lead of less than one second, and he maintained that lead into the start of his fourth lap. Finally, Swanson swam into the wall and stopped his time. “54.58” was prominently displayed next to “Swanson” and the number one. Swanson had finished in first place in the B-finals.
“I looked up and saw that one next to my name. I just started bawling,” Swanson said. “I felt like I owned the water and had to show it, show everyone that that race was mine.”
After getting out of the water, Seth Gutierrez rushed to Swanson and embraced him. Not only was Swanson the first Roosevelt swimmer to swim individually at regionals in three years, but he swam in the finals and dominated his heat to finish first. Following the B-finals, the A-finals heat took place and unfortunately, Swanson was moved to ninth place. Despite being moved to ninth place, and being stopped short of going to state, Swanson wasn’t short of accolades. He finished with the third fastest time for the 100 backstroke in the district and the sixth fastest time in the region. As for what’s next for Swanson, he has his eyes set on swimming at the collegiate level.
“Swimming has been such a big part of my life,” Swanson said. “I find a passion in it and can’t imagine not having it being a part of my life.”