MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The District 2-6A swimming and diving championships occurred at COM Aquatics. For Midland I.S.D. Head Swim and Dive Coach Steve Flato, this is his first district meet since being hired last summer to coach Lee and Midland High. Although San Angelo Central has won seven consecutive district championships, Flato believes they can compete with the reigning champs and also prepare for regionals.
"We had a couple of different groups coming in here and swimming this time of year. We have a group that you're resting, a group that you think can make it to regionals. So you're still working them out hard, and our resting group is just dropping buckets of times. Very happy as a coaching staff," said Flato.
The Midland girls team has a strong group with plenty of experience. Mixed in with that, is some young talent.
"The freshman depth has really helped. They're the ones who have really been doing some big drops right now. Our senior girls have been working. It's just a great complimentary to have senior, freshman and sophomores. That's the way you want to do any type of program," said Flato.
Among the Midland teams are college Division I commits. Mollie Wright is committed to swim at Texas A&M while Braden Vines is signed to the University of Texas. Both are bringing high energy to their teams.
"That just makes coaching really dynamic, really fun. They push the other kids. That's a standard now here in Midland. D1 girls and guys and other kids believe that they can probably do the same thing," said Flato.
As the season winds down, the Midland swim teams have unfinished business.
"The end goal is how many kids can we final in the top 8 in the regionals. How can we climb as a team, girls, and guys there. And then how many state qualifiers which will be on February 15, 16 in Austin, Texas," said Flato.
The Midland High Girls Swimming and Diving Team won the District 2-6A title over the reigning champs San Angelo Central. This was the first team victory for any aquatics team at a district meet since 2005. MHS boys came in second while the Lee Rebels followed behind them in third. 36 swimmers from M.I.S.D. will move on to regionals, which are in Lubbock at the beginning of February.