Schedule, teams to watch and people to know

Lindsey Hosch looks back on how far she’s come in four years simply by thinking back to her first UIL Swimming and Diving State Meet as a rookie.

“Everything was so big and scary and all the swimmers were so fast,” the Highland Park elder recalled. “My goal was just to say. But I remember our elders, how much it meant to them. And I will never forget to admire them on the podium with their medals. I really enjoy learning from these older children.

“Now I’m the senior.”

And a very decorated with already three individual medals to his credit. She’ll be looking for more when the competition returns Friday and Saturday at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center in Austin.

Hosch has the fastest qualifying time in her specialty, the 100-yard breaststroke, an event in which she won gold last year, building on her second-place finish as a sophomore.

“You could tell that as a freshman, Lindsey could go far in this sport,” said Jesse Cole of Highland Park, in his 35th year as a coach. “She had doubted herself a bit then. But her confidence has grown with her success. She knows what it takes to look your best when it means the most.”

UIL rules allow no more than two individual events and four in total, including relays. Hosch’s secondary event is the 100m butterfly. She won the silver medal last year and currently holds the second qualifying time. Its state competition schedule includes legs on the 200 medley relay in which Highland Park holds the second fastest qualifying time and the 12th seeded 400 freestyle relay.

“Not a ton of double breaststroke with the butterfly,” Hosch said. “It’s not a fun shot to train. But it’s a good choice for me. I think I relax a bit more because it’s not my main event.

From the moment Hosch started swimming in summer league at the age of 6, she was hooked. Other activities like gymnastics and dancing came and went.

Highland Park Senior Lindsey Hosch trains at Highland Park High School Natatorium in Highland Park on Tuesday, February 15, 2022. Hosch will compete in four events; the 100 breaststroke, 100 butterfly, 400 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay at the UIL swim meet Friday and Saturday in Austin. She has a shot at breaking the state meet record in the 100m breaststroke.(Brandon Wade / Special Contributor)

She ruled out golf because she didn’t like being in the heat, even though the sport has been very good for her older brother. Turner Hosch has played on three Highland Park Golf State Championship teams and is now a member of the University of Oklahoma golf team.

But that was the pool for Lindsey, who graduated from club swimming at age nine. Two years later, she turned to breaststroke.

“It’s considered one of the hardest shots to learn,” Hosch explained. “It seems most who try it are either really good at it or can’t do it at all.”

After a brief hiatus from freestyle, Hosch returned to breaststroke in her freshman season in high school.

Hosch’s winning time of 1:01.76 at last year’s breaststroke state meet was a split second away from breaking the Class 5A state meet record of 1:01.74 set in 2018 by Emma Garfield, then of The Colony and now a member of the University of Arkansas swim team.

Due to the bad weather the state experienced last February, the preliminaries and finals were combined into one very intense day rather than split into two as is the tradition. The meet also had to be moved from its usual home to the University of Texas at San Antonio.

“Last year was tough for a number of reasons,” Cole said. “But it’s hard to say what would have happened. Lindsey’s mechanics were so good that day, I have no complaints.

The same pool where Hosch’s high school career ends this weekend will be his future home for the next four years. She will be a third generation Longhorn after her mother Kelly and grandfather Larry Leonard of Dallas.

In November 2020, Hosch became the first high school class of 2022 swimmer to orally commit to Texas and 12 months later made it official by signing a letter of intent.

“I always thought if I had the chance once I was fast enough that’s where I wanted to be,” Hosch said. “I think I fit in well with the girls on the team and the coaches. It is an excellent school. He just ticked all the boxes.”

But before he takes the next step in his career, there’s one last chance for Hosch to show a nervous freshman or two how it’s done.

Highland Park senior Lindsey Hosch poses for a photo at the Highland Park High School Natatorium in Highland Park on Tuesday, February 15, 2022.
Highland Park senior Lindsey Hosch poses for a photo at the Highland Park High School Natatorium in Highland Park on Tuesday, February 15, 2022. (Brandon Wade / Special Contributor)

Team competition

Southlake Carroll finds himself in an unusual position heading into the state meet. For the first time in 10 years, neither the boys’ nor the girls’ team have a state title to defend.

Carroll amassed 15 state crowns, 11 of which were won by the boys.

In 2021, the girls finished third in the team standings and the boys, hampered by relay disqualifications in the regional meet, finished fourth.

Carroll’s coach Kevin Murphy expects his side to face The Woodlands and Kingwood in both Class 6A divisions but said the Dragons come in as outsiders.

The boys’ team is bolstered by the infusion of Maximus Williamson, the only Class 6A freshman with a No. 1 qualifying grade in an individual event. He has two – the 100 backstroke and the 200 IM. Among the Carroll girls, junior sprinter Hailey Heldenbrand set the fastest qualifying time in the 50 freestyle.

In Class 5A, Conor McKenna returns to help Frisco Wakeland defend his 2021 boys’ team title. The senior holds the fastest qualifying time in the 200m freestyle and is seeded second in the 100m butterfly. Wakeland qualified all three stints with the four fastest times.

8 local girls to watch

Swimmer To classify school Comment
Campbell Chase So. Woodrow Wilson Best regional time in the 5A 200 IM, an event she won at the state as a rookie, and posted the second fastest state qualifying time in the 100 m freestyle.
Elise Clift So. Mansfield The rapidly improving distance swimmer is the No. 1 seed 6A in the 200 and 500 freestyles after finishing ninth overall in both events as a rookie.
Maria Faro Prof. lovejoy The top-ranked Class 5A diver follows in her older sister’s footsteps with a qualifying score of 485.60.
Camille Murray So. North McKinney Finalist in the 5A 100m backstroke in her first year, she has the best qualifying time and is ranked third in the butterfly.
Siena Schellenger Sr. Frisco Independence The UT signee holds the best 5A state qualifying times in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle, events for which she won silver and gold respectively in 2021.
Ava Topolweski Sr. Mansfield Lake Ridge Third seed in two 6A individual events, the butterfly and the 500 free.
Ava Whitaker Jr. Stone wall Verbally committed to SMU, she is the first seeded Class 6A in the 100m butterfly.
Julia Wozniak Sr. mound of flowers Fifth in a freestyle event at the state a year ago, she holds the state’s best 6A qualifying time in the 200m individual medley.

8 local boys to watch

Swimmer Cl. school Comment
Jack Berube Jr. Woodrow Wilson Fifth at state in the 5A backstroke last year and looking to improve with the No. 2 qualifying time.
Grant Hu So. lovejoy Second seed in the 500 freestyle 5A, third in the 200 IM.
Luke Huffman So. City of Royse Ranked #2 among state qualifiers in the 5A 200m freestyle.
Gio Linscheer Sr. East plan The University of Florida signee is ranked second in the 500 freestyle and third in the 200 IM.
Cooper Lucas So. Keller The distance specialist is the top seed in the 6A 200 (gold in 2021) and the 500 free (finalist a year ago).
Luke Sitz So. Thrive Rock Hill Enters the state 5A diving competition with the second best qualifying score of 587.15.
Jacob Wimberley So. Prosper The butterfly specialist has the second fastest 6A qualifying time.
Jon Van Zandt Sr. frisco The Auburn signee has the best 5A qualifying times in the 50 and 100 freestyles.

UIL National Swimming and Diving Meet

(Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center, UT-Austin)

Friday

Class 5A preliminaries, 10 a.m.

Cass 6A playoffs, 5:30 p.m.

Saturday

Class 5A Final, 9:30 a.m.

Class 6A Final, 3:30 p.m.

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