Burleson’s Miller, Young headed to state
It was a banner day for Burleson’s swimming program at the Class 5A Region II Swimming and Diving Championships Friday and Saturday in Mansfield.
Sophomore Aaliyah Young became the first female athlete from Burleson to qualify for the state meet and junior James Miller became the second Elk to qualify for the state meet. Chandler Glenn qualified for the state meet in 2015.
The UIL Class 5A State Swimming and Diving Championships will take place Feb. 16-17 at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center on the campus University of Texas in Austin.
The Lady Elks finished sixth in the overall standings with 102 points while the Elks placed eighth with 114 points.
“I am completely in awe of how well my swimmers did on Saturday,” Burleson coach Heidi Martin said. “All of them pushed hard and basically left everything in the pool. I knew going in that both James and Aaliyah were ready and could both qualify for state. Aaliyah completely knocked her swim out of the park, and James had second place solidly in his hands even by the end of the first 50.”
Young qualified for state in the 100-yard freestyle after finishing second in a school-record time of 54.48 seconds.
Young admitted qualifying for state in the 100 freestyle came as a shock to her. Coach Martin suggested she start swimming the 100 freestyle and things came together for her.
At the end of the race, Young didn’t know she had qualified for state. The top two competitors at regionals qualify for state.
“I thought I had gotten third and I was kind of disappointed,” Young said. “Then I looked at the board and saw that I had finished second and it just got crazy. It was a moment where I thought ‘wow I just did that’”
In the 500 freestyle, Young placed eighth in a time of 6:03.47.
In the 100-yard backstroke, Miller finished second in a school-record time of 55.03 to qualify for state.
Miller said he knew going into the finals that “the third place guy was real close but I figured I could probably pull through.”
“I looked up at the board and saw I finished second and I was excited,” Miller said. “My first thought was that I pulled through for my team again. It was a good feeling.”
Miller placed seventh in the 100 butterfly in a time of 56.00 and sophomore Ethan Brown finished ninth in a time of 56.74.
In girls competition, junior Amelia Flug finished sixth in the 100 butterfly in a school-record time of 1:04.48 and placed eighth in the 100 backstroke in a time of 1:06.50.
In the 200 freestyle relay, the team of Flug, freshman Kendall Kirk, sophomore Vegas Jankowski and Young placed eighth in a time of 1:52.52. The same team finished 10th in the 200 medley relay in a time of 2:07.39. In the 400 freestyle relay, the team of junior Lexi Melia, Kirk, Jankowski and freshman Jolie Donald placed 11th in a time of 4:27.71.
For the boys, senior Payton Brown finished fifth in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:05.70. Sophomore Ethan Brown placed 11th in the 200 individual medley in a school-record time of 2:12.66. In the 500 freestyle, freshman Jacob Coursey finished 10th in a school-record time of 5:29.02. Sophomore Gabriel was 14th in the 50 freestyle in a time of 23.97.
In the 200 medley relay, the team of Miller, Payton Brown, Ethan Brown and Bustillos placed fourth in a time of 1:45.07.
The team of senior Jack Hotchkiss, junior Isa Galoob, senior Sam Kough and Bustillos finished ninth in the 200 freestyle relay in a time of 1:36.61.