SPORTS HEADLINES

Rowden finishes 15th, 16th at state meet

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Freshman Katey Rowden finished her historic first season in the pool with finishes of 15th and 16th at the University Interscholastic League swimming championships Saturday.

Rowden, the first Decatur High School swimmer to make it to the state meet, was 16th in the 50-yard freestyle in 25.38. She took 15th in the 100 freestyle, swimming 55.21.

The freshman dropped her times in both events from the Class 4A Region II meet two weeks before. At regionals, she won the 50 in 25.48. She won the regional title in the 100 in 55.63.

“My goal was to improve my times, and I did that,” Rowden said. “I was very proud of the way I swam.”

She added that she felt better about her 100 in which she cut off off a full 0.4 second.

“I felt it was better and was happy about improving more than the 50,” Rowden. “The people next to me, I knew if I stayed up with them I would be able to improve my time.”

Rockwall’s Raena Eldridge won the 50 in 23.69. McKinney’s Sammie Hashbarger took the 100 in 51.55.

Rowden enjoyed the opportunity to swim against the elite talent.

“It was all national-level competition,” Rowden said. “It was nice to go there and see that level of competition.

“I definitely want to go back and take more people.”

Along with making school history, Rowden won three gold medals at the District 6-4A meet and two at regionals in her freshman campaign.

“It went amazing,” she said. “I knew God had something wonderful planned.”

Rowden will not have long to rest. She met her standards in the 50 and 100 and will swim in the Short Course Texas Age Group Swimming Championships in Shenandoah March 8-11.

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