Local Swimmers Making Strides This Summer

Plenty of kids spend their summers by the pool, but for the swimmers of the Coastal Bend Swim League, summer break’s about a lot more than getting a break from the heat – it’s a chance to get ahead of the competition.

On Sunday, Region 16 swim qualifiers concluded at the Victoria ISD Aquatics Center, with swimmers from Victoria, Corpus, Rockport, Port Aransas, Odem, Kingsville and more all gathering with hopes of reaching state qualifiers. After Saturday morning’s event featuring the 10-and-under age group, Sunday featured South Texas’ best swimmers’ ages 11-and-up as they vied for a spot a the TAAF State Championships.

“It makes me feel confident that practice is actually working and all the workouts and time you put into it,” said 15 year old Tanner Luke, who qualified in the medley relay and 50 yard breast stroke. “You know it makes me feel better, healthier.”

Many coastal bend swimmers give credit to their coach, Debi Mease, for consistently pushing them to be better and faster. But if you ask her, the work they put in will extend far beyond the pool.

“It’s very important, it doesn’t matter what sport they’re going to go into in the fall, we get them in shape for any sport that they want to be in to,” Mease said after qualifiers. “It keeps them active.”

Their efforts are beginning to pay some big time dividends. In two days of qualifying, not only did 62 of Mease’s swimmers punch their tickets to the State Championships in College Station — every single one bettered their times.