Trey Hayes is about to complete his first decade as Lubbock ISD’s swimming coach, and he’s yet to put a pupil on the medal stand at the UIL state meet.
He’s confident the drought will end this weekend.
Lubbock High sophomore Madisyn Cox is seeded third and fifth in her two individual events, a year after finishing fifth in both. But Hayes expects her to place among the top three — at the very least — in Saturday’s Class 5A championship races at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center in Austin.
“I think they’re probably 100 percent,” Hayes said of her chances to medal. “I know that’s a big number, but I couldn’t imagine her not getting a medal in both. The real question for me is, ‘Is she going to win?’ ”
Cox wouldn’t make such a bold prediction as she prepared for today’s preliminary races, but she’s confident she’ll perform well. She set meet and Pete Ragus Aquatic Center records in all three of her events at last week’s Region I-5A competition — the 200-yard individual medley, 100 breaststroke and 200 medley relay — and has tailored her training regimen to peak at the state championships.
Hayes said only one of Cox’s competitors in each individual event — Conroe’s Kelsey Leneave in the individual medley and Sugar Land Clements’ Romy Landeck in the breaststroke — also should peak this weekend. Hayes said the rest targeted the regional meet just so they could advance to Austin.
“Everything feels perfect,” Cox said, “so I have a good feeling something good’s going to happen.”
At the regional meet, Cox posted times of 1 minute, 3.57 seconds in the breaststroke and 2:03:79 in the individual medley. Her personal bests are about one second faster in each event, and that’s what she’s shooting for this weekend.
Hayes said Cox can win both events if she shaves about two seconds off her regional times, and he’s confident she can. The coach said Cox looked as fast as ever during practice this week, and he described her as a “gamer” on race days.
“I have to step up my game and kind of bring it to a new level,” she said.
Hayes said another LISD swimmer also could become the school district’s first state medalist since 1998, when Lubbock High’s Trey Scarborough finished third in the boys 100 backstroke. Coronado senior Victoria Palombit is seeded among the bottom half of the field in the girls 50 and 100 freestyle races, but Hayes said the New Mexico State signee is good enough to finish near the top.
“She’s an unbelievable sprinter,” Hayes said. “She’s definitely got a chance.”
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