When the UIL Class 5A state swimming and diving title was on the line Saturday, the Dripping Springs Tiger girls swim team delivered when it mattered most.
A late push by Tiger senior Keeley Vardeman in the anchor leg of the last event allowed Dripping Springs to not only claim first place in the 400-yard freestyle relay, but the state championship.
Dripping Springs claimed its first swimming title in program history by outlasting Humble Kingwood Park, which took home the silver medal in the team standings.
However, Kingwood Park, which was only seven points behind Dripping Springs heading into the 400 free relay, held a one second lead over the Tigers heading into the anchor leg.
Vardeman, who was the fourth and final Tiger to compete in the 400 free relay, sped past Kingwood Park senior Hannah Mosier in the final 50 meters to claim the victory.
For Vardeman, the emotion behind the possibility of claiming a possible gold medal for her teammates pushed her as she splashed into the water.
“I think what got me through the last 25 (meters) was the drive to get that gold medal, to get it for the whole team,” Vardeman said.
Tiger London Farris said the victory was a team effort.
“Being here with my team, and all of us working together as one, being together creates a powerful atmosphere and helps us work harder, with all of our teammates cheering on the side,” Farris said. “It’s something I’ll never forget.”
A full story on Dripping Springs’ first state swimming title can be found in this week’s print edition of the News-Dispatch. Photos from the event can be found here.
UIL Class 5A State Swimming and Diving final team standings
- Dripping Springs – 199 points
- Humble Kingwood Park – 185 points
- Lubbock High – 102 points
- A&M Consolidated – 105 points
- Frisco High – 102 points
UPDATE – 12:55 p.m.
Dripping Springs leads Kingwood Park 159-152 heading into the final race of the competition.
Dripping Springs and Kingwood Park will face off in the Girls 400 yard freestyle relay and the two teams will be side-by-side in the last race.
UPDATE – 12:30 p.m.
Dripping Springs’ lead atop the Girls 5A team standings has been trimmed by Kingwood Park.
The Tigers and Kingwood Park are now tied at 146 points each with two races to go.
UPDATE – 11:48 a.m.
Seven events in and Dripping Springs holds a four point lead over Humble Kingwood Park for first place in the team standings in the Class 5A Girls championship.
Dripping Springs leads the way with 94 points, while Kingwood Park has 90. Boerne Champion is currently third with 82 points.
Roughly six events remain in the competition.
Ten Dripping Springs High swimmers are competing at the UIL Class 5A swimming and diving meet at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center in Austin.
The Tiger team opened with a bang as the Dripping Springs girls 200-yard medley team claimed the silver medal with a time of 1:49.97.
Dripping Springs junior London Farris claimed silver in the girls 200-yard freestyle with a time of 54.26.
Dripping Springs’ Keele Vardeman claimed 5th in the Girls 200-yard individual medley final, while Markus Egger took 6th in the Boys 200-yard individual medley consolation final.
Dripping Springs at the UIL State Swimming and Diving meet
Girls 200-yard medley relay final
Dripping Springs (2nd) – 1:49.97
Girls 200-yard freestyle final
London Farris (2nd) – 54.26
Girls 200-yard individual medley final
Keeley Vardeman (5th) – 2:09.15
Boys 200-yard individual medley consolation final
Marcus Egger (14th) – 1:59.51
Girls 100-yard butterfly final
London Farris (4th) – 57.67
Keeley Vardeman (5th) – 58.24
Girls 500-yard freestyle consolation final