Three Denton school district swimmers advanced to Saturday’s UIL Class 5A state meet finals, where Braswell junior Alexa Barnes led the way with a seventh-place finish of 58.46 seconds in the girls 100-yard butterfly.
Barnes was seeded sixth entering the championship finals and finished just behind Allie Giles of Magnolia West (58.20).
Barnes’ time in the prelims of 57.77 was a season best, giving the junior something to build on in the offseason.
“I’m extremely proud of how she swam,” Braswell coach Sabrina Carlile said. “We have high expectations and she always meets them. Placing in the top eight is a great accomplishment, and it’s definitely a good spot to be in for next year.”
Braswell junior Paul Santibanez advanced to the consolation finals as the No. 14 seed after the 200 breaststroke prelims. Santibanez placed 15th Saturday with a time of 1:01.82, coming in behind a tight battle for 13th between Tanner Williams (1:01.40) of Victoria West and Mitchell Imrie (1:01.42) of Richmond Foster.
Santibanez was seeded 21st after regionals and was excited about the opportunity to compete in the finals during his debut at the state meet.
All three swimmers will be back for Braswell next season.
“It’s exciting,” Carlile said. “It will definitely set the bar high for our program. With the new athletes coming in, it will be exciting to see how we look overall as a team.”
Denton senior Seth Herrmann closed out his high school career with a 12th-place finish in the consolation finals of the 200 freestyle. He cut more than a second off his qualifying time from Friday morning, finishing in 1:44.12. He was just two-tenths of a second behind Eric Phegley of Frisco in 11th.
“He was a little disappointed in himself,” Denton coach Stephanie Sullivan said. “But he has club swimming coming up and has goals in mind for that. He wanted to get a 1:41 this weekend, but after [Friday] I told him to just relax, have fun and put that in the past.”