Sombrero Championship Meet




Our local HOT (Heart of Texas) Swim Team competed in the Sombrero Series Championship meet this past March 29th through 31st.   At ‘press time’ the winner for this year’s championship had not been identified. Twenty Four swimmers from the HOT team competed at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio with 18 other south Texas teams. Over 580 athletes completed on a ‘level playing field’ which computed the number of PBT’s (‘Personal Best Times’) divided by the total number of swims.   The HOT Team swam 107 PBT’s (beating their seed times) out of 129 total swims. All teams who compete in this three-meet series have the same chance of winning.   Technical swimming makes the difference; a technical disqualification scores zero and each swimmer must beat their own record PBT in order to contribute to the over-all Team score in this Championship Meet.

The following results were reported to the USAS National ‘SWIMS’ data-base for this sanctioned championship meet: (the fastest six places and number of ‘Personal Best Times’ for each swimmer are reported for brevity)

Alyssa Ables (12) posted seven of her eight events as PBT’s in the 50 Back, Breast, Free and her 100 Breast, Back, Free and the 100 IM (Individual Medley).

Lauren Benfield (15) placed 3rd in the 50 Back; 5th in the 100 IM and 6th in the 100 Fly. She bettered two of her swims earning PBT’s.

Gracie Bush (10) placed 1st in her 200 IM; 2nd in the 200 Back; 3rd in the 200 Breast; 4th in the 200 Free and 5th in the 50 Fly.   Gracie also garnered eight PBT’s at this meet. She is recognized by the HOT Team for reducing the most cumulative time (1:41.77) over her 10 Events.

Maia Fuchs (12) placed 1st in her 200 back, 100 and 50 Freestyle; 2nd place in the 50 Back and Breast, 100 Back and 200 Breast; 3rd place in her 50 Fly and 100 IM and 5th in the 200 Free. Maia swam 12 PBT’s in her 12 Events.

Anna Kate Goodson (13) placed 1st in the 50 Back; 2nd   place in the 50 Breast and her 200 Fly; she placed 5th in the 200 IM for three PBT’s.

Elijah Junker (13) placed 1st in the 100 IM; 3rd in the 50 Free; 4th in his 100 Fly and 6th in the 200 IM and 100 Breast; all five PBT’s.

Leah Junker (11) placed 5th in her 50 back and 6th in the 100 IM. She gained PBT’s in all five of her Events including the 50 Free, 100 Breast and Fly.

Noah Kovar (8) captured 5th place in his 100 IM and additional PBT’s in the 50 Back and Free.

Nichlas Mikosh (14) took 1st place in the 50 Back; 3rd in the 200 Back; 4th in the 50 Fly and 100 IM and 6th place in the 100 Back with five PBT’s.

Sebastian Nery (11) swam his first PBT’s in five of his events in his first USAS sanctioned meet.

Amanda Phelps (15) placed First in her 50 Breast and Back; 2nd in the 200 Back; 3rd in the 100 Back and 5th in the 100 Free including four PBT’s.

Colter Potucek (13) enjoyed four PBT’s for his four events; the 100 IM, 100 Breast and the 50 Back and Free.

Maverick Potucek (13) swam four events, the 50 Back and Free and the 100 Breast and 100 IM; all PBT’s at his first meet.

William Potucek (7) swam PBT’s in both of his events at his first meet; the 50 Back and 50 Free.

Luis Robles (9) gained PBT’s in all three events at his first USAS meet; the 50 Back, Free and the 100 IM.

Skye Salinas (9) claimed three PBT’s at her first swim meet in the 50 Back & Free plus the 100 IM.

Morgan Sanchez (14) placed 5th with his 50 Fly and garnered PBT’s in the 200 Back and 100 Back and Free.

Sophie Sanchez (9) placed 3rd in her 50 Fly and 100 Back; 6th in her 50 Breast and posted PBT’s in all four events.

Michael Solder (8) claimed two PBT’s in the 50 Back and 50 Free at his first USAS meet.

George Stenberg (12) placed 3rd in the 100 Back; 4th in his 50 Breast and 5th in the 50 Fly. George set PBT’s in all four of his events.

Sophia Urbinas Frias (10) place 4th in her 100 IM, 50 Breast and Fly; 5th in the 100 Breast, and 100 Back and 6th in the 100 Free; all PBT’s.

Sarah Grace Walton (15) placed 2nd in the 50 Free; 3rd in the 100 IM; 4th in her 200 Free and 6th in the 100 Breast; all PBT’s.

Alice Welder (10) had an exceptional meet with six First Places in the 50 Back, Fly, and 50 Free, 100 Breast, 100 IM and 200 Free; 2nd in her 50 Breast, 100 Back and 200 Breast.   Alice gained the Team recognition as “Most Improved Swimmer” with eight PBT’s.

Lindsay Welder (7) swam three events in the 50 Back, Breast and Free; all PBT’s at her first USAS swim meet.


Coach Al Carr   (HOT Head Coach for the past 25 years)   summarized the Sombrero Series Championship this way:

“A level playing field is great fun and challenging for small teams.   Normally we are not even in contention to win a ‘scored’ meet without 200 plus swimmers on which to draw from. Small teams can not muster four or more swimmers of the same age/sex for a relay team.  This series of meets was developed by coaches with team with less than 100 swimmers on their rooster who wanted a venue which was designed for all the 30 plus small teams in south Texas.” Coach Carr explained.

“Our local team established a Team Goal of winning the ‘Travelling Sombrero’ again this year at the start of this season.    The Coaches and Team Leaders have been focused on teaching ‘perfect’ technique for all four Olympic strokes as well as the peculiarities of the IM.    The team started the series with 69 percent (legal) Best Times in Sombrero Uno meet in late October.    We advanced slightly to 73 percent by Sombrero Dos in November 2018. At the series Championship (April 29 – 31, 2019) we mustered  the largest number of participants (24) for any meet in the past 12 months and posted 82% Times” Coach Carr continued.

“I was especially proud of the Team leader’s encouragement of each swimmer during the meet.   There was no question when an athlete from Hot was competing.   The Team went wild with every win, but more importantly, they congratulated our young, first-time swimmers and passed words of encouragement to everyone.   The whole team had a hand in preparing for this meet.   We used ‘experienced’ swimmers to coach small groups on special race techniques and then simulated the meet environment to practice race starts from the start blocks.   Fully one-third of the team was in the water each day helping their teammates improve and we grew as a team every day.  First place or 18th place we can be proud of our improvement this year because it was earned by ‘Character First’ athletes extending a helping hand to their teammates” Coach Carr concluded.

The HOT Swim Team will compete in the International Long course Cinco de Mayo meet in San Antonio on May 4th and 5th, 2019.