Swimmers hope nationals berth is sweet experience

July 27, 2013

Hershey, Penn., is most famous for arguably the world’s favorite chocolate.

And three young swimmers on the Granbury SEALS are hoping their trip to the city next week will be a sweet experience.

Brothers Matthew and Andrews Walters, along with David Fauber, will be competing in the USA Swimming State Games of America Thursday and Friday.

Matthew and Andrew will each compete in five events at nationals, Matthew is in the 9-10 age division and Andrew in the 11-12 division. David will be competing in three events in the 11-12 category.

All three are also in Corpus Christi this weekend competing in the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Games of Texas.

“I think this is going to be a great experience for them,” said SEALS coach Janet Steenberge of the Hershey competition. “They’re going to have a lot of fun and see some tremendous competition.

“And they’ve all been swimming well, so I think they’ll go up there and have a great meet.”

Matthew and Andrew competed in the State Games, which are held every two years, in San Diego in 2011. Matthew brought home a bronze medal in the 50-meter breaststroke in the 6-8 division.

He will again be competing in that event, along with the 50 free, 100 individual medley, 100 free and 200 free. Andrew will be in the 50 breaststroke, 50 butterfly, 50 back, 100 IM and 100 free.

David is entered in the 50 free, 50 fly and 100 IM.

“Matthew is already in the top of his age group, even though he’s just turned 9,” said Steenberge. “And Andrew is at the top of his group. He has his focus going.

“David is an excellent swimmer and has a very cool head. I don’t think the fact that this is his first time (at nationals) will get to him at all.”

Steenberge said one thing that helped all three prepare is simply competing in TAAF Region IV, generally considered by most to be the toughest region in the state.

“Swimming in this region, they’ll see competition equivalent to what they’ll see in Hershey,” she said. “This region has some of the best talent to be found.

“And these guys swimming at this event is only going to make them better. You always want to get to the biggest meets you can, and this is a great one.”

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Category: Sports Archived