Gold Medal Wins in Five Events Sending Jacket Swimmers to State
Cleburne came away with gold medal wins in five events to send Jacket swimmers on to State following Saturday’s Region 2-5A contest.
Among the state qualifiers is senior Matthew Harman, who was also honored as the Texas Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association Region 2 Athlete of the Meet. Harman was the gold medalist in the boys’ 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke.
Harman’s third gold medal came as a member of the state-bound 200-yard medley relay team which includes Jaxon Coates, Ryan Head and Parker Pritchard. The team also came away as the silver medalists in the 400-yard relay.
Coates will be advancing in individual racing as the Region 2 gold medalist in the 500-yard freestyle. The CHS senior finished just outside medal range with a fourth place finish in the 100-yard butterfly.
On the girls’ side, state qualifier Samara Harman, who was the number two seed in the 500-yard freestyle going into the Regional meet, swam her way to the gold on Saturday. She finished second in the 200-yard freestyle event.
The girls’ 400-yard freestyle relay team of Harman, Julie Hall, Jorie Nagel and Morgen Mathson placed 7th in the Regional finals. Cleburne’s girls’ 200 medley relay team of Hall, Belicia Cox, Reese Easley and Cheyanne Harmon came in at 11th.
Easley, who is a sophomore, finished 11th individually in the girls’ 100-yard butterfly. Pritchard, who is also a sophomore, place 9th in the boys’ 100-yard freestyle and 10th in the 100-yard backstroke.
Under COVID guidelines established by the UIL for 2020-21, only those finishing in the number one spot in team and individual events automatically advance to state, along with the next eight swimmers with the best regional final times overall. New protocols have the State Meet taking place over two weekends, starting with the girls’ contest on February 19-20, followed by the boys’ competition on February 26-27. The meets will be held at the North East ISD Bill Walker Pool and Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio.
Cleburne’s 200-yard medley relay team, from left, Ryan Head, Matthew Harman, Parker Pritchard and Jaxon Coates is headed to the UIL State Swim Meet following their gold medal finish at Saturday’s Region 2-5A contest. The team also took the silver medal in the 400-yard relay. (David Beans Photo)