2023 TXLA Speedo Southern Sectionals
- July 6-9, 2023
- Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, Austin, TX
- LCM (50 meters)
Longhorn Aquatics hosted the 2023 Austin Speedo Sectionals earlier this month at the University of Texas. The host team swept the men’s, women’s, and combined team titles with a total of 900 points scored overall.
The meet featured a mix of top club and collegiate teams from Texas and the surrounding area. Highlighting the college teams was the University of Texas, which had a mix of professional and college athletes swimming.
Team Scores – Women:
- Longhorn Aquatics – 515
- Alamo Area Aquatics Association – 450
- Nitro Swimming – 439
Team Scores – Men:
- Longhorn Aquatics – 385
- Alamo Area Aquatics Association – 356
- Nitro Swimming – 348.5
Team Scores – Combined:
- Longhorn Aquatics – 900
- Alamo Area Aquatics Association – 806
- Nitro Swimming – 787.5
Leading the Texas squad for the women was Dakota Luther and Grace Cooper, who nearly beat their times swam at Nationals just a week prior. Luther won the 200 fly in 2:07.67 at finals, which is two tenths quicker than she swam in finals of the event at Nationals where she earned 3rd.
Cooper, a rising senior at Texas, swept the sprint freestyle events. She opened with a victory in the 100 freestyle at 55.22, then touched first in the 50 with a time of 25.04. She raced the same events in Indianapolis, where she was as fast as 24.90 in the 50 and 54.85 in the 100.
Another strong performance from the Texas women came from Leah Smith, who is currently training at UT. Smith logged a season best time of 4:39.83, which marks over a two second improvement from the Pro Swim Series stop in January. Smith is traveling with Team USA to the World Championships later this month as a member of the American 800 free relay, and didn’t swim either IM race at Nationals.
Rounding out the standout swimmers for the Texas women was Olivia Bray, who notched personal best times in the 200 and 400 freestyles. She knocked two seconds off her previous best in the 200 (2:00.77), while in the 400 she dropped over twenty seconds from her previous best done in 2015 (4:13.17) to snag Trials cuts in both.
Highlighting the men’s side of the Texas squad was Alec Enyeart and Jake Foster, who went 1-2 in the men’s 400 freestyle. Enyeart took 1st with a time of 3:54.22, leading Foster by about two seconds (3:56.52). Enyeart also hit a best time of 4:23.14 en route to winning the 400 IM, while Foster topped the field in prelims of the 200 breaststroke (2:13.39).
Texas A&M’sThomas Shomper notched a personal best time in the 100 backstroke. Shomper won the event in 55.48, which puts him under the 2024 Olympic Trials qualifying time. Additionally, he secured his spot at Trials in the 200 backstroke where he logged a season best time of 2:01.25.
Among the top club swimmers of the meet was Cade Duncan from the Dads Club Swim Team. The Northwestern commit collected victories in the 100 fly (54.09) and 100 free (50.07), with the 100 fly marking a new personal best by over a second. He also dropped time in the 50 free (22.71) and 100 back (56.47), picking up another 2024 Olympic Trials cut in the process with his performance in the 50 free.
Ana Herceg set a handful of personal bests as well. Herceg, who represents Nitro, dropped half a second in the 100 freestyle to log a 56.97, while in the 100 back she took off a second to post a 1:02.92. Herceg’s performances mark her first improvements in these events since 2019.
Rounding out the top performers was Carli Cronk of Alamo Area Aquatics, who punched her ticket to Indianapolis next summer in the 400 IM and 200 fly. The Notre Dame commit took 2nd behind Smith in the 400 IM with a time of 4:49.45, edging under the cut by about half a second. She was also the runner-up behind Luther in the 200 fly, as she stopped the clock at 2:13.24 to narrowly dip under the standard. Neither swim marked a personal best, however, as she’s been as fast as 4:48.53 and 2:11.06, respectively.