Wednesday, May 22, 2019
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20180212 Sharyland Boys Swim Team LG-03Four members of the Sharyland Rattlers’ boys swimming team are among the eight Big 7 schools’ swimmers or divers to qualify for the UIL State Swimming and Diving Meet being held this weekend at the University of Texas at Austin. The four are Luciano Farias Ramirez, Javier Suarez, Alvaro Garza and Brandon McCormick.


Suarez, Garza and McCormick earned this by being part of the Rattlers’ 200 yard medley and 200 yard freestyle relay teams, both of which placed second at the UIL Region VIII-5A Swimming and Diving meet held two weeks ago at the Corpus Christi ISD Natatorium. As for Ramirez, he is a member of the two relay teams as well, however he also qualified in two individual events; making him a rarely seen four event state qualifier.


With only the top two finishers in each event at the Regional meet qualifying for state, it took a complete team effort for the Rattlers to qualify in two of the three relay events.


“We broke the school record in the medley relay,” Ramirez said. “I was the fastest split in the region by about a second. Alvaro, our sophomore, also had a very impressive time to really help the team out. Javi also helped out a lot and McCormack was able to anchor us out fairly strong. It got close towards the end because the other schools had very good swimmers but we were able to close it off and earn our spot at state.”


“As for the 200 freestyle relay, it’s the fastest relay that there is and it was very close until the end,” the Sharyland senior added. “I anchored it off and I hit a personal best of 21.54. I couldn’t gain ground on Flour Bluff, but they were way ahead by that point. I did fight for second place and I was able to get it. That got us the last spot at state.”


In addition to the two relay teams, Ramirez will be competing in the 100 yard butterfly and the 100 yard backstroke this weekend. He is currently seeded fourth in the butterfly and eighth in the backstroke. Should he medal in either event, he will be the first Sharyland High swimmer to do so at the state meet level.


Fellow Sharyland senior, Javier Suarez, competed in the 50 freestyle, the 100 breaststroke and was a member of the two state qualifying teams at the Regional meet.


“In the 50 freestyle I placed sixth and in the 100 breast I PR’d (personal record) so I thought it was a pretty good job,” Suarez said. “My goal was to PR and that’s what I did.”


Suarez, who will be swimming the breaststroke for the Rattlers in the 200 medley relay this weekend, was a member of the two Sharyland relay teams that qualified for state last year as well. When asked what it would mean to him if either of the two relay teams medaled at state, Suarez said. “It would mean the world to me. Finishing my senior year going to state and having our relay win a medal and standing on the podium, that would be probably the best feeling of my swimming career.”


As the only non-senior on the Rattlers’ two state-qualifying relay teams, sophomore Alvaro Garza is hoping to help his teammates finish off their high school swimming careers on a high note and possibly even return with one of the highly coveted state medals.


“I’m hoping that I give these three guys a good senior year and I don’t blow it for them,” Garza said. “I want to succeed individually but I consider it to be an honor for me to compete with these guys. But if we were to win a medal, that would mean a lot. Considering that we’d have to get first, second or third place at state to do that, it would be pretty amazing.”


The fourth member of the Rattlers’ two relay teams, Brandon McCormick, is no stranger to competing at the state level. However, his previous experiences at state were as a member of a club swimming team. McCormick, who will be swimming the anchor leg of the Rattlers’ medley relay team, shared what goes through his head as he watches his teammates swim ahead of him.


“When we have a lead, I just say to myself that I’ve got to keep it,” McCormick said. “I’ve got to go all out and try to keep the lead.”


When asked what he’s looking forward to the most about the state meet, McCormick said, “I’m looking forward to hanging out with my teammates and watching all the races.”


Sharyland Pioneer swimmer Andrew Adkins is the only member of the Diamondbacks’ 31-5A district championship team to qualify for the state meet.  He did so by finishing second in the 100 yard breaststroke at the regional meet with a time of 1:01.62.


In addition to the five Big 7 schools’ swimmers that qualified for the state meet, three other divers qualified as well. Mission Veterans’ Victoria Bonilla and La Joya High’s Eddie Barrera and Jose Rios will all be competing against the best-of-the-best across the state of Texas at Austin this weekend.


As a team, the Diamondbacks’ boys placed third at the Region VIII meet in Corpus Christi. Despite having more state qualifiers, the Rattlers’ boys placed fifth, two spots behind Pioneer. The Mission Veterans boys placed ninth.


Among the Big 7 girls teams, Mission Veterans placed third, Pioneer placed seventh and Sharyland placed ninth at the Regional meet.