VHS girls swim & dive win state, Boys place 5th at state
By JULIE WOLK, Four Point Contributor
The Vandegrift Viper swim and dive girls team won the Girls’ UIL State 5A Championship title by 62.5 points last weekend. The boys team came in fifth overall, a dramatic rise from last year’s 19th placement.
Overall, the Vipers took the podium with three gold and two silver medals during the Feb. 20-21 state event at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center at the University of Texas.
“The state title for the girls and the boys’ incredible rise in placement are due to depth, passion and teamwork,” said Kimberly Davies, VHS swim and dive head coach. “We don’t rely on one or two star athletes. Our focus has been to maximize each swimmer’s strength to contribute to the whole. We emphasized ’team’ this entire season.”
Davies also won the UIL State 5A Girls Coach of the Year.
FOX Sports Southwest announcers said during the live broadcast of the UIL State Swim & Dive Championship, the Vandegrift Viper swim and dive team is “a team on the rise and a team to watch.”
During finals on Saturday, the girls’ three relay teams blistered the competition with a full sweep of the gold for all three events.
Senior and team captain Maddie Ibrahim said,“It’s such an honor to share a successful ending with these amazing girls. I’ll never forget this. I’m so proud to be a Viper.”
Freshman girl Kendall Shields, the only individual medalist, won a silver medal in the 100 back.
The boys’ team churned white water to earn a silver medal in the 200 freestyle relay. “We set our sights on making the State Championships from Day One,” said Jack Hanna, senior and team captain. “It feels great to finally reach this goal.”
Senior team captain Sydney Sanders said that Coach Davies did an amazing job coaching the team both physically and mentally.
“She taught us that even though swimming is an individual sport, we are still a team that needs to support each other no matter what. That is what pushed us to be state champions this year,” Sanders said.
UIL State 5A Champions:
Gold Medalists: Girls 200 Medley Relay – Maddie Ibrahim, Sydney Sanders, Hannah Palacios, Elizabeth Nelson
Gold Medalists: Girls 200 Free Relay – Lindsey Thompson, Kendall Shields, Hanna Brown, Jade Federlin
Silver Medalists: Boys 200 Free Relay – Zach Bezella, Zach Wolk, Jack Hanna, John Winkler
Silver Medalist: 100 back – Kendall Shields
Gold Medalists: Girls 400 Free Relay – Hanna Brown, Jade Federlin, Maddie Ibrahim, Kendall Shields
Girls UIL State 5A Champions – Vandegrift Vipers Girls Swim Team
Girls UIL State 5A Coach of the Year – Vandegrift Vipers Head Coach Kimberly Davies