HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING: El Paso High sweeps team titles at Andrews Invitational

ANDREWS On a day where a number of records were broken, one team stood out above the rest on Saturday at the Andrews Performance Center.

El Paso High swept both the boys and girls team titles to win the Andrews Invitational Saturday in a field of 463 swimmers.

The boys ran away with the team title with 917 points, well ahead of second place Pecos (399) and Andrews (398).

The girls also finished with a good cushion of 817 points, which was ahead of second place Clovis (540) and Andrews (505).

Overall, El Paso High won 11 of the 24 total events from the meet

“This is always a great meet for us,” El Paso High swimming coach Dow Farley said. “(Andrews swimming) coach (Mike) Waldmann puts on a great meet and we use this as a good way to prepare for district and regionals.

“Our team swam really well and for our guys to break a couple of meet records was icing on the cake.”

Roberto Griffith set a meet record with a time of 54.17 seconds in the 100 butterfly and was the anchor leg of the 200 freestyle relay team that set a new record of 1:29.95.

Griffith was teamed up with Kevin Bohls, Vincent Pedregon and Adrian Aguirre to set the record.

“I wasn’t expecting to hit these times and records,” Griffith said after the meet. “But, swimming is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical and setting these records was a good feeling to have.”

The El Paso High girls 200 free relay team of Emily Lugo, Emma Perez, Noemi Melendez and Mackenzie Tovar finished with a time of 1:44.94.

That mark surpassed the previous record of 1:45.32, which was also set last year by El Paso High.

“It definitely feels good to do well this weekend,” Tovar said. “I feel like it gives us a lot of confidence and it makes everyone feel like they are just as important on the team.”

Another meet record that was broken came during the 50 free where Avery Joiner of Andrews won with a time of 25.36 seconds.

Joiner was neck-and-neck with Tovar, who finished just behind her with a time of 25.40.

All eight finalists finished within 1.64 seconds of each other, marking one of the closest races of the afternoon.

Other standouts from the day included Zachariah Hung of Pecos, who won the men’s 200 freestyle with a time of 1:55.22.

Anya Hammond of the Clovis girls also took home three individual titles winning the 100 free (55.87), 200 free (2:05.37) and 100 backstroke (1:03.41) and a team title for the 400 freestyle relay, which set a meet record of 3:46.65.

With the number of competitors on hand before district and regionals, teams are using this meet as a good barometer of where they need to be.

 “Any time we can swim against teams that are faster than us, it helps us get that much better,” Andrews swimming coach Mike Waldmann said. “The competition that we had this week was very good. The results were definitely encouraging for our kids and it gives us something to keep shooting for.”