Rowden earns state trip

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tags: ,

Share this page...

LEADING THE WAY - Decatur's Katey Rowden (top) and Haley Dennard (middle) splash their way down the pool in the 50 freestyle. Rowden took first and Dennard third in the event. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

For the first time, Decatur will be represented at the state swim meet later this month.

Freshman Katey Rowden won the 50 and 100 freestyle races Saturday at the Class 4A Region II meet in Keller to earn a trip to Austin Feb. 24-25.

“It was exciting,” Rowden said. “I am so thankful for God. Without him, I wouldn’t be doing this.”

The freshman garnered four regional medals. She brought home bronze medals as part of Decatur’s 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

“She did a great job,” said Decatur coach Doris Dennard. “She won two events and swam her best in both relays.”

While happy about the regional titles, Rowden was hoping to net a state bid for the 400 relay with Haley Dennard, Kate Grant and Audry McCreary.

“I really wanted the relay to go,” Rowden said. “It’s bittersweet.”

With Rowden swimming the fastest 100 in the relay as the anchor leg, Decatur cut four seconds off its prelims time with a 3:55.72. But with fresher swimmers, Byron Nelson and Keller Timber Creek slipped past the Lady Eagles in the first three legs. Rowden cut into the lead, but couldn’t quite catch them.

“Swimming three events before is definitely tough,” Rowden said. “I’m proud we dropped our times. Everyone did awesome.”

In her first event of the day, Rowden notched the state bid, swimming a 25.48 in the 50.

She trailed Byron Nelson’s Hannah Reckmeyer at the turn, but blew past her in the final 25 yards.

“I don’t look around,” Rowden said. “I knew I had to be fast around the turn because it’s the 50. I gave it everything I had.”

She followed her win in the 50 with a dominating effort in the 100 with a 55.63. She was more than two seconds better than second place.

In the 200 relay, Rowden gave Decatur an early lead with her 25.87 in the opening leg. Reagan Ralston, McCreary and Dennard kept the Lady Eagles on the medal stand with a 1:48.51.


In their fourth year, the Decatur Lady Eagles brought home the program’s top team finish Saturday. The Lady Eagles tallied 175 points to finish fifth.

Decatur was in third place before the final three events.

Byron Nelson won the meet. Keller Timber Creek took second.

Decatur coach Doris Dennard was proud of the team’s showing.

“It was a good day,” she said. “We don’t have the numbers of the other teams. I’m proud of all they’ve done. They’ve worked hard all year long. They are a good bunch of kids.”


Decatur sophomore Haley Dennard earned three bronze medals Satuday.

Dennard was on both third-place relay teams and also finished third in the 50, swimming 26.23.

“I came out and gave it all that I had,” she said. “I dropped my times from district.”

In the 200 freestyle, Dennard took seventh in 2:10.54.


Decatur freshman Audry McCreary narrowly missed out on a third medal Saturday.

She was part of the two bronze-medal relays. McCreary swam 58.82, taking fourth in the 100. She was two tenths behind third place in the event.


The Decatur boys relay team of Daniel Smyers, Robert Davila, Arin Blaylock and Logan Huff finished seventh in 1:45.21.

Blaylock said the group competed hard and moved up a spot from the seedings out of district.

“We were placed eighth,” he said. “It was nice to move up.

“I swam my fastest 50 and did the best I could do.”

Smyers said he was slowed a bit after losing his goggles and missing the wall.


Boyd’s lone swimmer Jake Bryans took sixth in the 100 backstroke, swimming a personal best 1:01.58.

He was nearly a full second ahead of his prelims time.

“My time was really good,” he said. “It’s the fastest I can do.”

FLYING TO FINISH - Decatur's Madison Phariss completes the butterfly portion of the 200 medley relay. Messenger photo by Joe Duty


200 medley relay – 8. Decatur, 2:23.55 (Guirnalda Lopez, Baley Phariss, Madison Phariss, Reagan Ralston)

200 freestyle – 7. Haley Dennard, 2:10.54

50 freestyle – 1. Katey Rowden, 25.48; 3. Haley Dennard, 26.23

100 freestyle – 1. Katey Rowden, 55.63; 4. Audry McCreary, 58.82

500 freestyle – 13. Kate Grant, 6:17.32

200 freestyle relay – 3. Decatur, 1:48.51 (Katey Rowden, Reagan Ralston, Audry McCreary, Haley Dennard)

100 breaststroke – 15. Baley Phariss, 1:26.93

400 freestyle relay – 3. Decatur, 3:55.72 (Haley Dennard, Kate Grant, Audry McCreary, Katey Rowden)


100 freestyle – 11. Jake Bryans, 55.74

200 freestyle relay – 7. Decatur, 1:45.21 (Daniel Smyers, Robert Davila, Arin Blaylock, Logan Huff)

100 backstroke – 6. Jake Bryans, 1:01.58

One Response to “Rowden earns state trip”

  1. jeff rowden says:

    Way to Go Decatur!! You guys swam great, next year is going to be awesome! All the hard work, getting up at 5:30 A.M. is paying off! We are proud of you! Go Eagles


Leave a Reply. Note: As of March 24, 2011, all posted comments will include the users full name. News and Blog Comment Guidelines

You must be logged in to post a comment.