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Sohn hopes to repeat title as six Aledo swimmers compete at Class 5A Swimming and Diving State Meet in Austin beginning Friday

Aledo senior Elijah Sohn will look to defend his 2019 200 freestyle state title when he leads a group of six Aledo swimmers who have qualified for the state meet in Austin. Sohn also qualified for state in the 100-yard freestyle. The Class 5A meet will be held Feb. 14-15 at the Lee and Joe Jamal Texas Swimming Center in Austin. Photo by Tony Eierdam

Last year at the Class 5A Swimming and Diving State Meet, Aledo’s Elijah Sohn captured the school’s first-ever gold medal at state after winning the boys’ 200-yard freestyle race.

It was an exciting race, as Sohn – then a junior – won the gold medal by a mere 1-100th of a second. He also earned a bronze medal in the boys’ 100-yard freestyle.

The Class 5A Swimming and Diving State Meet will be held at the Lee and Joe Jamal Texas Swimming Center on the campus of the University of Texas with preliminaries beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 14 and finals held Saturday, Feb. 15. Finals will begin at 9:30 a.m.

At the regional meet two weeks ago, Sohn qualified for state in both events, finishing first in the 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle races.

The top two times in each race at the regional meet automatically qualify for the state meet.

But Sohn is not the only returner to the state meet. The girls’ 200-yard freestyle relay team of Ava Willis, Maddie Edwards, Abby Morrison and Hanah Terrell won the regional meet (1:44.05) and will once again compete for a medal. In 2019, the team did not reach the finals and finished 12th.

Last year, Hannah Farmer was on that relay team, and this year will join the team in Austin. Farmer, a senior, had an accidental, unfortunate disqualification at the regional meet in the 200-yard medley relay. Championship meet rules declare that any swimmer who is disqualified in one event is also disqualified for any remaining events.

The Ladycats relay team will come into the state meet with the 12th fastest time of all the automatic-qualifying teams in this event.

Freshman Ava Willis, who has qualified for state in the girls’ 100 butterfly, filled in for Farmer in the 200 freestyle relay. However, Farmer will have a chance to earn that elusive gold medal at state as a member of the 200 freestyle relay team at the state meet.

Another swimmer from the relay team, Maddie Edwards, has qualified in the 100-yard breaststroke. Edwards’ time of 1:09.59 ranks as the 15th best mark of the automatic qualifiers. The top time in this event belongs to Kiara Xanthos of McKinney North (1:03.94).

Willis qualified for state in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.87 at the regional meet, which represents the seventh-fastest time of the automatic qualifiers. Olivia Theall of Friendswood has the top qualifying time of 54.71.

Sohn has the third-fastest time (1:40.54) of all automatic qualifiers in the boys’ 200 freestyle, but the margin from third to first is slim. The top time of the auto-qualifiers is 1:40.03 by Corby Furrer of Georgetown.

Sohn’s time of 45.32 in the boys’ 100 freestyle is second best of the automatic qualifiers, just one-tenth of a second behind the top auto-qualifier, Kraig Bray of Corpus Christi Flour Bluff.

“My goal for state is to win both races,” Sohn said.

For the complete state meet advance article see the Feb. 14 issue of The Community News.

Aledo at preliminaries

(10 a.m., Feb. 14)

Elijah Sohn – boys’ 200 freestyle

Ava Willis – girls 100 butterfly

Elijah Sohn – boys’ 100 freestyle

Girls’ 200 freestyle relay

Maddie Edwards – girls’ 100 breaststroke

Order of events:

200 Medley Relay

200 Freestyle (Elijah Sohn)

200 Individual Medley

50 Freestyle

100 Butterfly (Ava Willis)

100 Freestyle (Elijah Sohn)

500 Freestyle

200 Freestyle Relay (Aledo girls)

100 Backstroke

100 Breaststroke (Maddie Edwards)

400 Freestyle Relay

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