Belton swim team heads to championship meet
Sunday, 22 July 2012 by Chuck Kelly
Swim Belton, a USA swimming organization based in Belton, will send nine of its athletes to the South Texas Swimming Long Course "A" Championship Swim Meet this weekend in Corpus Christi. The Coastal Bend All Stars swim team will host the event Friday thru Sunday at the Corpus Christi ISD Natatorium.
The "A" Championship Meet is the highest level championship meet offered in the South Texas Local Swimming Committee and the swimmers that compete have to meet qualifying time standards in their events at earlier meets throughout the season. Only a small percentage of swimmers in the South Texas area achieve these qualifying standards each year. The Swim Belton athletes attending have put in nearly a year of hard training that included swimming nearly four hours a day and as many as 11 practice sessions per week.
Representing Swim Belton in the girls' events are:
14-year-old Carissa Basaldua (competing in the 50 and 100 meter freestyle events); Margaret Murphy, age13 (50, 100 and 200 freestyle, 100 and 200 breaststroke and the 200 and 400 IM); McKenna Thompson, age 13 (50 and 100 freestyle and 100 and 200 backstroke); and Kaitlin Tromblee, age 12 (50 and 100 freestyle, 50 and 200 backstroke and and the 50 and 100 butterfly ).
Competing in the boys' events are:
Andrew Alas, age 14 (50 free and 100 breaststroke); Tristan Boss , age 15 (50, 100 and 200 freestyle); Austin Couillard, age 17 (50 and 100 freestyle, 100 and 200 backstroke and 100 butterfly); Andrew Fitzwater, age 12 (50, 100 and 400 freestyle, 50 and 100 butterfly and the 200 IM); and Joseph Martin, age 16 (50, 100 and 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 100 butterfly and the 200 IM).
At this meet, some of the Swim Belton athletes hope to qualify for the July 25- 29 Texas Age-Group Swimming 14 and Under Long Course State Championship Meet st the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas swim Center at UT-Austin or possibly the 2012 Long Course Sectional Championship July 31-August 12 at The Woodlands. (Austin Couillard has already qualified for the sectional meet but hopes to further qualify in additional events).
Nine participants is the largest number of Swim Belton athletes ever to represent the team at this level of summer championship meet.
"This is a testament to the level of dedication by these athletes to the sport of swimming and their desire to work hard to reach their individual goals," said Swim Belton head coach Robert Coleman. "We hope that, in seeing these young athletes' accomplishments, it will motivate many of the younger participants in our program who are already showing good signs of progress themselves."
With the London Olympic Games kicking off in a little under three weeks, the sport of swimming will again be in the spotlight. The US team will again feature some of the best swimmers in the world in veterans like Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Brendan Hansen, Dana Vollmer, Rebecca Soni and Natalie Coughlin. It will also feature some very promising first-time Olympians in Missy Franklin, Breeja Larson and Katie Ledecky.
While the 2012 USDA Swimming Olympic team roster is now set, places on the team for the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are nearly four years away from being selected. Will there be a Belton, Texas athlete on the team?
Only time will tell --- only time, dedication, hard work and some long training hours in the pool that is.