On Saturday, January 27th at 9:45 am, the upper deck of athletic bleachers at the University of Texas’ Lee and Joe Jamail Swim Center was occupied by two people: Ann Richards swim coach Jill Dicuffa and team captain Georgia Moore (12). The team’s warm-up formally started at 11, but the pair got a head start on the day as a precaution, as both were attending the YMCA Youth and Government State Conference that same weekend.
Competition was in the air for not only ARS delegates, but ARS swimmers as well. The UIL District meet marked the end of a long season for some, (many swimmers beginning training in September) but the “Starfish” entered hopeful that one of their relay events–the 4×200 Medley, 4×200 Freestyle, or 4×400 Freestyle–could qualify within the top-six. Those who qualified could then move on to compete in the Regional meet in College Station the following weekend on Friday, February 2nd.
By the end of the meet, things looked grim, with no top-six finishes in sight. However, in a turn of events that shocked not only the team but Coach Dicuffa as well, two disqualifications in the 400 Freestyle relay meant that Ann Richards qualified for Regionals. In the past, the relays qualified by default due to the small number of teams in the 5A district, but this marks the first time the team has made the cut on speed alone.
That last-minute success, along with time improvements for nearly every swimmer and a few first-place heat finishes, marked the high point of the season. Featured below are some images preserving the stress and smiles from that exciting day: