Last week was a whirlwind for local athletes.
The winter weather that swept across Texas left many without power for hours or days and caused widespread distress across the region.
The swimmers and divers preparing for the University Interscholastic League state championships were waiting to hear how their schedules would be impacted.
They got their answer Thursday as the UIL announced the postponement of the girls state meets to March 1-2 at the North East ISD Davis Natatorium in San Antonio. The championships were originally scheduled for this past Friday at Saturday.
During a season that has been challenging at times due to the coronavirus pandemic, the athletes have learned to adapt and overcome adversity.
The Woodlands coach Jeremy Wade and Magnolia coach Jared Kaminski, whose girls teams will be the most represented at state from Montgomery County, said their athletes have been able to roll with the punches and are excited to compete on the biggest stage.
“It really just kind of goes with the theme of everything we’ve been dealing with this year with the coronavirus,” Wade said. “We’re grateful that we’ve been able to have a season. We’re ready to overcome and adapt to this little hiccup as well.”
While the delay for the girls meet comes as no surprise due to persistent power and water issues in the San Antonio area, the boys championships remain as originally scheduled, Feb. 26-27, at the same venue. Two days later, the girls will get their shot.
Training regimens for the girls state meets have been altered slightly for the swimmers, but the impact has been minimal considering the circumstances.
“Most of the fitness work and all that was done before you get to regionals,” Kaminski said. “Now it’s just keeping the little things sharp and keeping the mental side of it sharp. Since they moved it back to March, that’s actually beneficial because we get a whole week of being back in the water, which I think is really going to help.”
The Woodlands girls, who finished fifth at state last season, have been dominant throughout the postseason. They won the District 13-6A championships by 190 points and followed that up with a 308-point victory at the Region IV-6A championships.
The Lady Highlanders automatically qualified for state in seven events at regionals and tacked on another eight entries through call-ups.
The Woodlands boys, who finished as the state runners-up last season, also won district and regional titles in convincing fashion. The Highlanders earned six automatic qualifying spots from regionals and tacked on another five entries at state through call-ups. They are by far the most represented boys team from Montgomery County.
“Everybody is excited, and that’s good because a lot of this about your mental attitude going into it,” Wade said. “If you think it, then you can achieve it. They really have their goals set, and they’re still focused. We’re excited to travel to San Antonio still.”
The Magnolia girls finished third at state last season and are sending another solid contingency this time around. The Lady Bulldogs were district and regional champions and secured six automatic spots at state. They added another seven through call-ups.
“They’re ecstatic,” Kaminski said. “The fact that the meet is actually going to happen is what they’re most thrilled about, especially for the seniors. We’ve got a good senior group, and they’re just excited to race. This group, if they can get up and race and have fun together, that’s what they like doing the most. They’re excited to ready to enjoy it.”