Local Club Team Produces Top State Swimmers - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/6/07

Local Club Team Produces Top State Swimmers

9 swimmers, 5 schools, 2 state meets, 1 swimming pool. Almost every East Texas swimmer taking part in the UIL or TAPPS state meets this year swims day in and day out as part of the Metroplex Aquatics club team at the TISD Aqutic center in Tyler. There's Natalie Holcomb.  She and Brittany Wilkens swim for Whitehouse. Freshman Jennifer Steele is statebound for Chapel Hill. David Michaels will represent Robert E. Lee. And Rourke Barrett, Cody Robson and Michael Haynie will race for Athens. Oh, and William Norton and Matt Harris, swimming for Grace, each won two gold medals at last weeks TAPPS state meet.

"Most of them have been training together since they were 6 or 7 years old," said Metroplex Aquatics and Grace coach Janet Taylor,  "Best of friends, so going with their high school is a little different."

"We were really excited when Natalie and Brittany were doing well," said Athens swimmer Rourke Barrett, "and they were against us. They were not our teammates."

"Our girls on our (Athens) team, they get pretty upset when we're like screaming over," said fellow Athens swimmer Michael Haynie.  "They're racing against Whitehouse and we're screaming for Whitehouse to go. They're not too happy about that sometimes."

"We stand behind the blocks and we'll be yelling and it's a completely different team," added Holcomb.  "Even when we race against them, we root for them."

"It just really enhances the competition at practice and brings it to a whole new level," said Metroplex Aquatics and Lee coach Matt Franks.

"If you swim with and practice with the best, you become the best," said Haynie.

"They've kind of proven it this year, all of their work has kind of paid off," said Taylor.

The UIL meet gets underway Friday, February 16th and concludes Saturday, February 17th.

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