11/4/2018 – The Swim & Dive Bulldogs fought hard through some tough mid-season training to place fourth (girls) and eighth (boys) at The Woodlands Invite against a competitive field of 5A, 6A and private schools. The meet, which was held at the Conroe I.S.D. Natatorium, started Thursday with diving and finished Saturday with swimming.
It was a very competitive meet, featuring 30 to 90 athletes per event. The Bulldogs faced competition from 10 Houston-area high schools and one from San Antonio. The host, The Woodlands High School, won all team competitions, while San Antonio's Ronald Regan High School finished second overall.
The top finishers for the Lady Bulldogs were sophomore Noelle Marsh and the 400-yard free relay team, who earned third-place finishes. There were several other good performances, including many from the relay events, which score double the points.
Marsh, who is one of many talented swimmers new to Magnolia High School this year, had the top individual finish with a third in the 50-yard free. It was a promising result for the freestyler, considering this was her first meet back from an injury. She also placed fourth in the 100-yard free, and she swam the freestyle anchor legs on the Bulldogs’ fourth place finishes in the 200-yard medley and 200-yard free relays.
Joining Marsh in the 200-yard medley relay were junior Madi Kohlmeyer, sophomore Presley Heitzmann, and junior Olivia Gonder. The foursome were seeded in a slower heat, but they won their heat with a time that placed them fourth out of 28 teams. In the 200-yard free relay, junior Salina Damas, sophomore Kailey Turner and senior Kiley Moriarty teamed up with Marsh to just miss third by 0.61 seconds.
Kohlmeyer, Moriarty, Turner and Gonder earned the Bulldogs' other third-place finish by battling and defeating the 6A team from San Antonio in the 400-yard free relay. The girls beat out 22 other teams for the podium finish, and they were only beaten by last year’s 6A champions from The Woodlands and Montgomery, who moved to the 5A class from 6A this year, meaning they will compete against the Bulldogs at the district and region championships.
Moriarty, whose father passed away last week, showed tremendous courage and strength by just getting in the pool to race on Saturday in not only the two relay teams, but also the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard free. Bulldog Nation is proud of you, Kiley!
Also contributing to the Lady Bulldogs points were individual fourth-place finishes by sophomore Jada Shorter, Gonder, and Turner. Shorter finished fourth in the one-meter dive on Thursday, while Gonder captured a pair of fourths in the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard breaststroke to complement her relay duties. Turner, who had a busy back half of the meet with all four of her races occurring then, took fourth in the 500-yard free and tenth in the 100-yard backstroke.
Heitzmann and Kohlmeyer also produced points outside of the relays. They finished sixth and seventh in the 200-yard individual medley. Komlmeyer placed fourteenth in the 100-yard butterfly, too.
Juniors Erica Field, Courtney Fults and Julia Giannotti also scored points for the team. Field placed eighth in the 100-yard backstroke, Fults was ninth in the 500-yard free, and Giannotti finished fourteenth in the one-meter dive –– one spot ahead of sophomore Megan McCabe, who finished fifteenth with points.
Joining Turner and Heitzmann from the scoring sophomore class was Liv Flores, who finished eleventh in the 500-yard free. Flores was also part of a scoring 200-yard free relay for the Bulldogs, when she, Heitzmann, Field and junior Abby Portwood placed eleventh as Magnolia’s B team.
Earlier, Portwood was joined by sophomores Kelsey Portwood, Rebecca Mitcham and senior Anna Wentzlaff to take sixteenth and score points in the 200-yard medley relay. Wentzlaff and Mitcham later joined Fults and Field to finish fifteenth in the final event of the day, the 400-yard free relay.
With the Lady Bulldogs’s depth this year, the A and B relay squads are often interchangeable, as the coach has to look at different relay orders to find the best combination for the championship season.
BOYS BATTLE HARD
Senior Mason Machicek and sophomores Jett Lively, Gustavo Ott, Ben Saucier, and Cooper Waybright all scored in individual events. Their points combined with two sixth-place finishes in the 200-yard free and 400-yard free relays placed the boys eighth overall and only one point out of a three-way tie with Magnolia West and Grand Oaks.
Lively started the scoring on Thursday with a fifth in the one-meter dive. Saucier finished thirteenth in the event to also score points.
For the swimmers, Machicek led the way with a sixth in the 200-yard individual medley and a ninth in the 100-yard backstroke. He was also on the Bulldogs' sixth-place 200-yard medley and 400-yard free relay teams.
Ott, who was also on the top-placing relay squads, continued the string of sixths with one in the 100-yard backstroke.
Waybright’s best result was an eleventh-place finish in the 500-yard free to score for the Bulldogs.
Sophomore McKinley Mouton and senior Torsten Henze joined Machicek and Ott to form the sixth-placing team (out of 28) in both the 200-yard and 400-yard free relays.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Bulldogs, as they host Oak Ridge High School on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at the Michael D. Holland Aquatic Center.
Go Bulldogs Go! #ALLINMHS