FHS holds grudge meet to spite coronavirus

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  • Tyler Smedley, who swam in state last year, swam the butterfly in last Saturday’s Merry Grudgemas meet at HCM Wellness Center. – Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke
    Tyler Smedley, who swam in state last year, swam the butterfly in last Saturday’s Merry Grudgemas meet at HCM Wellness Center. – Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke
  • Emma Shepard, a junior, on the FHS swim team, practiced her backstroke in last Satur-day’s meet at the HCM Well-ness Center. — Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke
    Emma Shepard, a junior, on the FHS swim team, practiced her backstroke in last Satur-day’s meet at the HCM Well-ness Center. — Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke
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Fredericksburg swimmers of all ages competed in the first ever Merry Grudgemas Meet at HCM Wellness Center last Saturday for the love of competition.

FHS swim coach Shannon Mistr said the meet was a way to get the swim team some much needed competition, after meets were canceled due to COVID-19.

“This meet was meant to help build a fire under their rears, knowing that district is in a month,” said Mistr.

It was also a way for Mistr to scout the middle school talent in Gillespie County. The Heart of Texas swimming team athletes competed against the FHS swim team to help them prepare for the District 18-5A Meet, Friday, Jan. 29 in San Antonio at the Walker/Davis Natatorium.

“Their times were as good or better than when they swam in the same event in October,” Mistr said, about the high school swimmers. “Typically, when you don’t have meets as usual, then you swim, you get kicked in the teeth.”

FHS swimmers not only exceled but added more events to their repertoire, since this was not a University Interscholastic League-sanctioned event.

“What was cool about this meet is that they could swim in more events than a regular meet,” Mistr said. “For instance, in UIL district meets, a swimmer is allowed to swim a maximum three relays and one individual or two relays and two individuals.”

Swimmers competed in six events. Those who competed in Saturday’s meet were: Delaney Bedford, Eleanor Burns, Will Cooke, Hal Degenhardt, Kieran Ferriere, Nick Mikosh, Emma Shepard, Maggie Shepard, Tyler Smedley, Gus Spence, Rylan Steitle and William Vorauer.

Although the entire swim team was not able to compete, as some swimmers were out of town and others had job obligations, Mistr said she liked their chances of going to regionals.

“I realized we only have eight school districts in our region and the top six advance with two as an alternate,” she said. “Everyone has a good chance of going to regionals, but state is a different matter.”

The Billies will swim against Burnet, Dripping Springs and Marble Falls at the Highland Lakes YMCA in Burnet, at 4 p.m. Jan. 8, 2021 and against Smithson Valley and John Paul II in San Antonio, at 4 p.m. Jan. 9, 2021.

The holiday swim practice schedule for swimmers who are in town will be: 6-8 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Dec. 29-31, at the Hill Country Memorial Wellness Center, 1006 Texas 16 South, Fredericksburg.