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Victoria East boys, El Campo girls win district titles

By BY MIKE FORMAN - MFORMAN@VICAD.COM
Feb. 2, 2013 at 10:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 1, 2013 at 8:02 p.m.

Victoria East's Ryan Mayes swims against El Campo's Matthew Wilkins during during Saturday's District 27-4A swim meet at the Victoria Aquatics Center.

District 27-4A Swimming & Diving Meet

Boys team totals: 1. Victoria East, 127; 2. El Campo, 95; 3. Bay City, 94.

Girls team totals: 1. El Campo, 135.5; 2. Wharton, 108; 3. Bay City, 96.5.

Top female swimmer: Kari Wilkins, El Campo

Top male swimmer: Jay Mowdy, Victoria East

Top female diver: Mallory Draper, Victoria West

Top male diver: Rob Haring, Bay City

Top female swimming coach: Richard Nava, El Campo

Top male swimming coach: Teri Ottinger, Bay City

Top female diving coach: Ashley Wernke, Victoria West

Top male diving coach: Robin Haring, Bay City

Jay Mowdy continued a Victoria swimming tradition on Friday night when he attended a party with his teammates and had his legs shaved.

The Victoria East senior did some shaving of another kind at the District 27-4A swimming and diving meet.

Mowdy won the 50-yard freestyle in a personal-best time and was named the meet's top male swimmer while helping the Titans win their first-ever swimming team title Saturday at the Victoria Aquatics Center.

"The shaving is more of a mental thing," Mowdy said. "It doesn't help that much. It's something fun to do right before district."

Mowdy made his final district meet an enjoyable one by winning the 50 and 100 freestyle and swimming a leg on the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relays that each finished second.

He qualified for the Region VII-4A meet in each event.

"My goal was definitely to break down under 21 seconds in the 50," Mowdy said. "I did break down in the (200 freestyle) relay (a 21.69 split). I think my flip turn in the 50 could have been a little faster. It went much better than I expected in the relays."

Mowdy had a time of 22.19 in the 50 freestyle, which beat his previous best by .08 seconds.

"A lot of it is technique," said Darryl Sedlacek, who coaches the boys at East and Victoria West. "I think in swimming probably 70 or 80 percent is technique and the rest of it is your strength. He works hard at both. He's always working on his technique and pushing himself to get better."

Kari Wilkins not only swam her way to gold medals in the 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay.

The El Campo junior was also named the meet's top female swimmer and led the Ladybirds to their first-ever swimming team championship.

"I didn't really have a time goal that I wanted to meet," Wilkins said. "I wanted to make sure I had safe starts and safe finishes just to ensure that I made it to regional."

Wilkins did not have her best times in the 100 freestyle or 100 breaststroke, but she is putting most of her focus on the regional meet.

"We backed off of workouts a little bit, but not that much," she said. "I'm not disappointed. It will give me a good seed time going into regional and I'm just glad I made it."

Bay City's Meagan Attaway was concerned that pool problems which disrupted the team's practices would derail her senior season.

But Attaway won the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly, while finishing second in the 400 freestyle relay and third in the 200 medley relay.

"It's awesome. I feel like I've accomplished so much my senior year," said Attaway, who had a personal-best time of 1:10.96 in the 100 butterfly. "I'm glad I swam here last week because it gave me a feel of how to push off the walls and get faster. My flip turns I got off the wall faster than the last time, which helped me to cut some time down."

The top six swimmers in each event advanced to the regional meet, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Palo Alto College in San Antonio.

Mowdy will have another chance to break 22 seconds, which could lead to a berth in the state meet.

"He's right there," Sedlacek said. "Probably just the adrenaline at regional might put him over the hump. He'll be swimming with better swimmers and that will help push him. I think if he can get to a 21, he's got a really good shot at state."

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