Marble Falls HS swimmers among top 10 in state



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Nathan Hendrix/The Highlander
Marble Falls High School sophomore Landry Stewart dives in during the 500 freestyle event at the UIL state finals Feb. 16 in Austin.




By Nathan Hendrix
Sports Editor

In their first year of official competition, two Marble Falls swimmers placed in the top-10 in the state finals in Austin on Saturday, Feb. 16.

Sophomore Landry Stewart and freshman Taylor Ashbaugh competed with the best Texas offers in three events – Stewart in the 200-yard individual medley and the 500-yard freestyle, and Ashbaugh in the 100-yard breaststroke. In all three events, the Mustangs swimmers finished in the top-10.

“We're extremely proud of these girls,” head coach John Berkman said. “It takes a lot of individual commitment and dedication to the sport.”

Stewart finished in ninth-place in the 200 IM on Saturday with a time of two minutes, 11.47 seconds. The Saturday time was an improvement over her 13th place qualifying time on Friday of 2:13.18. She said she wanted to improve her turns on Saturday.

Stewart finished 10th in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:10.57 – also an improvement over her 5:15.94 time in the preliminary round. After the qualifyer, Stewart said she could post a faster time, but the last 200 yards of the event were “pretty rough.”

Ashbaugh placed fifth in the state in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:07.01 – a personal best, according to Berkman. Ashbaugh finished 10th in the preliminary round with a time of 1:08.50

On Friday, Ashbaugh said she expected both swimmers to improve their times on Saturday after the nervous feeling passed.

“I think I could go at it a little harder,” she said. “The nerves took a toll, but they'll be gone [on Saturday].”

Both swimmers have several more years of competition, and the future of Mustangs swimming is bright.

“[Landry and Taylor] are setting the tone for the future of the swimming program,” Berkman said. “We hope that other students get involved. We already have a tradition of winning.”

Find more images in the Tuesday, Feb. 18 issue of The Highlander.

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