• January 26, 2021

HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING: Andrews sweeps team titles at host invitational - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING: Andrews sweeps team titles at host invitational

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Posted: Saturday, January 4, 2020 8:03 pm

In a strong field of swimmers and a day that had a number of close finishes, the team playing host was the one taking home the hardware when everyone was out of the pool.

Andrews swept both the boys and girls team titles Saturday to win the Andrews Invitational at the Andrews Performance Center.

The boys pulled away from the rest of the field with 878 points, comfortably ahead of Pecos (467) and Monahans (413).

The girls, on the other hand, made a late charge and edged out the field with 699 points, ahead of runner-up Monahans (692) and Clovis, New Mexico (667).

“The thing I really liked about this team is their willingness to step up and race,” Andrews swimming coach Mike Waldmann said. “We go to meets and swim fast and that’s fine. But we’re here not just to swim fast but to race.”

The Lady Mustangs got off to a good start early with freshman Rebecca Robertson winning the 200 freestyle with a meet record time of 1 minute, 58.87 seconds. The Andrews team of Sirai Olivas, Bonnie Shyrock, Cheyenne Lavender and Grace Shaffer (1:52.26) edged out Clovis (1:52.63) in a photo finish in the 200 free relay by 0.37 seconds to give them a boost.

But what helped Andrews as well was finishing near the top in the other events. Senior and University of New Mexico signee Avery Joiner was a big part of that, finishing second individually in the 50 free and 100 free as well as helping her team to second-place finishes in the 200 medley and 400 free relays. Finishing ahead of Joiner in the individual races was Clovis senior Bella Zamora.

“I thought we really competed well as a team,” Joiner said. “I thought this is the best that we’ve come together the whole season. Even though this wasn’t my best meet individually, the rest of the team really picked it up.”

Andrews junior Javan Telles was a standout on the boys side. After swimming a leg on the Mustangs’ second-place 200 medley relay team, which behind Monahans, he stepped up to lead the way with victories in both the 50 free and 100 free, and was the third leg on the winning 400 free relay.

“I just think we had a good mindset today,” Telles said. “Because of the amount of work that you’re doing, once you’re up on the blocks, there’s nothing much more you can do to prepare and you just have to go.”

One of the biggest challenges that the swimmers had to overcome was performing well after coming off the holiday break. Even then, that did not stop twin brothers Zachariah and Jeremiah Hung of Pecos from turning in standout performances.

The brothers each won two races — Zachariah in the 200 free and 100 butterfly, while Jeremiah won the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke. They also helped Pecos make a late charge in the 400 free relay to finish second behind Andrews.

The attention now turns to the respective district meets for the schools competing. Saturday’s meet served as a barometer for where things stand heading into the bigger races.

“Our team has set some pretty good goals both individually and as a team,” Waldmann said. “As we go into this new year, they’re approaching them with 20/20 vision.”

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