The Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF) recently held its Region 14 swim meet; the last leg in the road to the state meet at College Station this coming weekend. Established in 1925, the T.A.A.F. is considered the Original State Championships of Texas. Swimmers at the Summer Games this weekend can earn berths in the Games of America national meet. The West Houston Aquatic League captured Region 14 first place team honors at Thompkins High School in Katy. The South Belt Area All-Stars came in second with the Westbury Swim Team rounding out the top three.
The South Belt Swimming All-Stars qualified 40 swimmers in 67 events plus six relay teams for that portunity. The athletes led by coaches Robert and Darla Kelly range in age from 4 to 61.
Four of those swimmers are from the Kelly family which has become an institution in and of itself in the world of swimming. Since 1996, at least one member of the family has medaled at what is known as The Games of Texas. Robert qualified in three events with first place finishes in the 50 yard breaststroke, and the 50 and 100 yard freestyle in the 60-64 year old age group. Darla, with first place finishes in the 50 yard freestyle and the 50 yard backstroke earned qualifying berths in the 50-59 year old age group. Daughter Kristine, a scholarship swimmer for the University of Houston qualified for the Games of Texas in the 25-29 year old age group with first place finishes in the 50 yard backstroke and the 100 yard freestyle and a fourth in the 50 yard freestyle. Joining them is the newest member of the Kelly swimming clan six year old Kirstin. The youngest Kelly and teammates Mia Torres, Addison Patton and Emily Patton secured the 100 yard freestyle title in the PeeWee Division.
Torres and Addison Patton finished 1-2 in the 6 & under 25 yard freestyle and 25 yard backstroke. Four year old Emily Patton finished fourth in the 25 yard freestyle.
Eight year old Abigail Acosta grabbed first in both the 50 yard freestyle and the 100 yard individual medley (IM) event for nine and under.
In the 11 & 12 year old age group, twelve year old Grace Frazier touched the wall first in the 50 yard freestyle and the 50 yard backstroke. Fellow 12 year old Sydney Graham took second in the 100 yard freestyle.
Melissa Sells outdistanced all her competitors in the Girls 13-14 Category winning the 50, 100 and 200 yard freestyle. Elizabeth Bobbitt won the 50 yard butterfly, placed in the 50 yard backstroke and swam the second leg of the silver medal winning 200 yard freestyle relay team. Tristan Nale-Ewing finished second in the 50 yard butterfly and placed in the 50 yard backstroke and 50 yard freestyle. Alexis Perez earned her right to compete in the Summer Games with a second place finish in the 200 yard freestyle.
In the Women’s categories, Breanna Bowers and Elisabeth Rosenbaum each qualified for the games in the 15-17 year old swimming events. Bowers took second in the 50 yard breaststroke and the 50 yard butterfly along with a fourth in 100 yard IM. Rosenbaum, the 17 year old from Pasadena with third place finishes in the 50 yard breaststroke and the 100 yard IM.
Jenna Taylor swam to a first place finishes in the 50 yard butterfly and 50 yard breaststroke for women in the 25-39 year old group.
Two South Belt All-Stars swam their way qualifying berths in the boys eight and under category. Sebastian Marquna took home the gold in the 100 yard IM and a third in the 25 yard breaststroke. Trace Neal finished second in the 100 yard IM and third in the 25 yard backstroke.
Kaden Gray had a gold medal finish in the 100 yard freestyle and a second in the 50 yard freestyle and 50 yard butterfly for boys 13-14 age group. Mateo Ulloa, Miguel Divo and Matthew Bravo earned third place finishes in the breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle respectively. Saul Urbina qualified for the Summer Games with a second place finish in the 100 yard IM a qualifying run in the 50 yard butterfly as did David Riley.
In the 15-17 year old category, Trevor Nale and Daniel Ryan both advanced to the Summer Games in the 50 yard freestyle. Nale also qualified in the 100 yard freestyle, 50 yard backstroke and 50 yard butterfly. Ryan also advanced in the 50 yard backstroke and breaststroke. Tristan Morgan had second place finishes in the 100 yard freestyle, the 50 yard breaststroke and the 100 yard IM. Devin Graham punched his ticket to the Games with third place finishes in the 200 yard freestyle and the 50 yard butterfly. Marco Castillo qualified for the 100 yard freestyle with a third pace finish. He also placed in the 50 yard breaststroke. Other qualifiers in the 15-17 year old category included Alfredo Vasquez (100 yard IM, 50 yard breaststroke, 50 yard butterfly), Edgar Sanchez (50 yard breaststroke, 50 yard backstroke) and Brian Perez (50 yard butterfly).
Carson Howard swept through the competition in the 18-24 year Men’s Category winning the 50 yard breaststroke, 50 yard butterfly and 100 yard IM to earn his way into the Summer Games at College Station. Roberto Flores qualified winning the 100 yard freestyle and placing in the 50 yard breaststroke.
Landon Howard qualified to swim at the Texas A&M Natatorium this weekend winning both the 50 yard butterfly and 100 yard IM and, taking the silver in the 50 yard freestyle for the 25-39 year old age group. Kevin Tinney’s silver in the 50 yard backstroke got him into the games. He will also swim the 50 yard freestyle. Jameson Frey will also join his teammates in the 50 yard freestyle and is the South Belt’slone entrant in the 50 yard butterfly. Jameson’s time of 2:22.81 earned him the silver in the 200 yard freestyle for ages 25 and up.
Six relay teams will by vying for the gold this week from the South Belt team led by the gold medal winning performances of the Mixed 15-17 year old 100 yard freestyle, the Mixed 15-17 yard old 200 yard freestyle and the Girls 6 & under 100 yard freestyle relay team. Other relays competing for South Belt this weekend include the Girls 13-14 200 yard freestyle, Boys 13-14 200 yard freestyle, and the Mens 18 & over 200 yard medley