COPPELL COWBOYS DELIVER AT REGION SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIP
Aurelie Migault and Johan Pretorius Advance to State
Just when you think it can’t go much faster, they go faster again, said Coach Mastebroek. The Coppell High School Swim Team walked away from the meet with four new school records, one almost school record (missed by one hundredth of a second), one victory, one bronze, one fourth and one fifth place, and a plethora of best times. In addition, juniors Aurelie Migault and Johan Pretorius both managed to qualify for the upcoming State Championship in Austin. Migault will make her debut as the first girl to represent CHS at State in many years, whereas Pretorius advanced to State last year as well.
The 200 boys medley relay held its own against power teams Southlake, Plano, and Flower Mound. Johan Pretorius (24.0” backstroke), Justin Kim (28.0” breaststroke), Emil Aaltonen (24.5” butterfly), and Ivan Lau (22.8” freestyle) raced to fifth place in the event with a time of 1:39.36”, just one hundredth off the school record of 1:36.35”.
Aurelie Migault took bronze in the 100 freestyle in a time of 52.9”, which was 0.7” faster than the school record she set a day earlier during prelims. Migault got her hands on this record earlier this season after it had gone untouched for 18 years. She has since lowered it by a total of two full seconds.
Johan Pretorius showed versatility racing to fourth place in the 200 individual medley in an impressive time of 1:55.8”, which set the stage for his main event, the 100 backstroke. After an enervating prelim swim a day earlier, which provided much hope for the competition, Pretorius was seeded third going into the finals of the 100 back. However, his rivals didn’t stand a chance at finals, where Pretorius left no doubt as to who deserved the title: With a perfectly-timed start, he took the lead from the beginning and only crept ahead further along the race. With a generous lead, he stopped the clock at 50.4”, a full second under the school record with automatic qualification for State.
After narrowly missing state qualification in the 100 free, Aurelie Migault succeeded to advance in the 100 breaststroke in a very respectable time of 1:05.6”. A day earlier, in prelims, she had lowered the school record in the event by more than a full second in an impressive time of 1:05.1”.
Cole Tramel competed in finals in the 500 freestyle, in which his time of 4:49.9” was just 5 seconds a way from the school record. The 200 freestyle boys relay also qualified for finals with breakout swims for junior Connor Neeley and sophomore Hector Romero. Both boys didn’t move up to Varsity until last season and have seen massive improvement in very little time. Neeley’s 22.4” split was at least a full second time-drop which opens up interesting possibilities for next season. Romero’s split of 23.0” was almost two seconds faster than his personal best of 24.8”. Ritesh Dontula’s split of 23.2” and Ben Borchgardt’s split of 23.5” were personal best times as well.
Ivan Lau shone in the 400 free relay which unfortunately stranded in prelims due to a rushed take-over in the middle. Nonetheless, Lau’s lead off time of 49.3” was a very promising personal best time by seven tenth of a second which underscored his abilities in the event. Emil Aaltonen was also faster than ever with a split of 49.3”. Perhaps the biggest surprise within this relay came from Ben Borchgardt who closed the race with a time of 50.8”, much faster than his previous best time. Borchardt, originally a middle-distance swimmer, is clearly seeing opportunity in the shorter freestyle events and has gained tremendously in value for the team. With only one of the four graduating, the boys 400 freestyle relay school record appears up for grabs next year.
Captain and senior, Emil Aaltonen finished a wonderful high school career winning the 100 breaststroke B Final with a time of 1:02.9”—a race he dominated from the start. Aaltonen has been on a path of enormous progress since he got promoted to Varsity two seasons ago ( 100 breaststroke progress from 2016-2019: 1:22”/1:12”/1:06”/1:02”) and will be missed tremendously especially considering his versatility and value in the relays. At this point, there is no telling what his limits in the pool are.
The girls 200 medley relay managed to qualify for the A final. Shreya Tirumala (28.5” backstroke), Aurelie Migault (30.6”breaststroke), Carly Yang (29.5” butterfly), and Krithi Meduri (26.5” freestyle) all hoovered around their best times and raced to an impressive relay time of 1:55.0” Reesha Goes had a breakout swim as the lead off of the 400 freestyle relay. Her time of 58.1” was more than a second faster than her 100 freestyle time at District two weeks ago and two full seconds faster than her personal best time at the beginning of the season.