After establishing herself as one of the fastest freestyle sprinters in the state the past two years, Decatur junior Katey Rowden put her versatility on display Saturday.
Rowden blazed through the pool in the 100 butterfly, winning the District 6-4A title by two full seconds. Rowden finished in 1 minute and 1.17 seconds.
“At this time last year if someone told me I’d swim the 100 fly, I wouldn’t have believed them,” Rowden said. “It’s really all God that I did so well. Without him, I wouldn’t even be able to swim.”
The butterfly crown was her second league title of the day. She won the 50 freestyle in 25.33. She also led two Decatur relays to regional berths on the way to being named the 6-4A Female Swimmer of the Year.
“She swam fast and is going into regionals strong,” said Decatur coach Brooklyn Huffman.
The Class 4A Region II swim meet will be Feb. 7 and 8 at the Mansfield ISD Natatorium.
From the moment she entered the pool in the butterfly, Rowden took control of the race. She finished her first 50 with a lead of a second-and-a-half. She added to her lead despite slowing down by four seconds in the final 50.
“The last 25 [yards] were tough. I still felt strong,” Rowden said. “It was nice to have my team behind me.”
Huffman and Rowden said she is capable of cutting time off her winning time from Saturday
“She swam a 59 in an elite meet. That 1:01 is not her fastest,” Huffman said.
In the 50 freestyle, she took an early lead and made a strong turn to capture gold in the event. She has qualified for the state meet in the event twice.
“I was nervous going in,” Rowden said about the 50. “I said, ‘God I’m swimming for you.’ Once I got in the water, I was OK.”
Rowden collected a silver medal, teaming with Allie Blevins, Emily Howdeshell and Guirnalda Lopez to take second in the 400 relay. The quartet swam a 4:18.22.
That same foursome finished fourth in the 200 relay in 1:56.03.
BRYANS MEDALS IN BACKSTROKE
Boyd senior Jake Bryans made sure Saturday’s meet wasn’t his final swim meet.
Bryans finished third in the 100 backstroke in 1:00.16.
Bryans was just 0.16 of a second off his seed time of one minute flat. He entered the meet seeded fourth.
“There was definitely a lot of motivation knowing it could be my last swim in high school,” Bryans said. “I hit all my turns good and tried as hard as I could. I wish I was a little faster. At regionals, I feel I can break a minute.”
Bryans just missed qualifying for regionals in the 100 butterfly, taking seventh in 1:03.99.
BLEVINS QUALIFIES FOR REGIONALS IN FOUR EVENTS
Decatur freshman Allie Blevins earned regional berths in four events Saturday.
The freshman earned spots in two relays, the 200 and 500.
“It’s amazing. I wouldn’t be where I am without my coach and teammates,” Blevins said.
Blevins finished fourth in the 500, finishing in 5:58.18.
“In the beginning, it was not so bad,” she said. “In the middle, I died. I’ve got to get that middle down. I tried to watch the girl next to me.”
In the 200, Blevins finished fifth in 2:15.91. She was 0.74 of a second from third place.
“I felt good. I came in seventh and moved up two spots.”
MILES RALLIES IN 50
Decatur freshman Ethan Miles was slow off the board Saturday in the 50, but rallied to earn a trip to regionals. Miles finished fifth in the 50, swimming a 24.43. In a tight race, he finished 0.29 of a second in front of seventh place.
“My dive was really bad, and I had to catch up the entire race,” Miles said. “My turn was good.”
Miles explained that he took advantage of his strength – accelerating following the turn.
Miles finished seventh in the 100 freestyle in 55.53, getting edged by a Denton swimmer for the final regional berth.
Miles helped a pair of Decatur boys relays earn regional trips. The 200 medley relay team that included Miles, Trey Dale, Logan Huff and Robert Davila finished fourth in 2:02.44. That quartet finished fifth in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:47.32.
COWDREY SNAGS REGIONAL BID
Decatur freshman Caraline Cowdrey earned a trip to regionals, taking sixth in the 100 backstroke at the 6-4A meet Saturday. Cowdrey finished in 1:16.37.
6-4A SWIM RESULTS
200 freestyle: 5. Allie Blevins, Decatur, 2:15.91
200 medley: 8. Baley Phariss, Decatur, 3:06.42
50 freestyle: 1. Katey Rowden, Decatur, 25.33; 13. Guirnalda Lopez, Decatur, 29.13; 15. Madeline Semmelmann, Decatur, 30.09; 16. Emily Howdeshell, Decatur, 30.3; 20. Savannah Richardson, Boyd, 34.08
100 butterfly: 1. Katey Rowden, Decatur, 1:01.17
100 freestyle: 10. Madeline Semmelmann, Decatur, 1:09.33; 11. Caraline, Decatur, 1:09.88; 13. Marissa Ledford, Decatur, 1:11.03; 17. Savannah Richardson, Boyd, 1:18.07; 22. Alexis Downe, Decatur, 1:27.66
500 freestyle: 4. Allie Blevins, Decatur, 5:58.18
200 freestyle relay: 4. Decatur: Allie Blevins, Guirnalda Lopez, Emily Howdeshell, Katey Rowden, 1:56.03
100 backstroke: 6. Caraline Cowdrey, Decatur, 1:16.37; 8. Guirnalda Lopez, Decatur, 1:19.18; 12. Marissa Ledford, Decatur, 1:26.86; 17. Alexis Downe, Decatur, 1:45.71
100 breaststroke: 8. Baley Phariss, Decatur, 1:27.85
400 freestyle relay: 2. Decatur: Allie Blevins, Katey Rowden, Emily Howdeshell, Guirnalda Lopez, 4:18.22
200 medley relay: 4. Decatur: Ethan Miles, Trey Dale, Logan Huff, Robert Davila, 2:02.44
200 freestyle: 9. Robert Davila, Decatur, 2:17.18
50 freestyle: 5. Ethan Miles, Decatur, 24.43; 14. Logan Huff, Decatur, 26.03; 17. Coy Johnson, Decatur, 28.44; 18. Dylan Carter, Decatur, 28.73
100 butterfly: 7. Jake Bryans, Boyd, 1:03.99
100 freestyle: 7. Ethan Miles, Decatur, 55.53; 12. Logan Huff, Decatur, 59.21; 14. Robert Davila, Decatur, 1:01.02; 15. Trey Dale, Decatur, 1:02.67
200 freestyle relay: 5. Decatur: Logan Huff, Trey Dale, Robert Davila, Ethan Miles, 1:47.32
100 backstroke: 3. Jake Bryans, Boyd, 1:00.16; 14. Chase McBride, Decatur, 1:36.79
100 breaststroke: 15. Trey Dale, Decatur, 1:23.06; 16. Dylan Carter, Decatur, 1:25.14