Deysel, Falcons swimmers ready for state meet

The East Valley will be represented by five boys swimmers at the Class 6A state swimming & diving meet today at the Bill Walker Pool and Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio.

Brownsville Hanna senior Quinten Deysel is making his second consecutive appearance at the state meet. Unlike past years, this meet will be a single-day affair — preliminary races will begin at 10 a.m., the diving competition will be at 2 p.m. and swimming finals will commence at 5 p.m. The limited recovery time is just the latest obstacle in this season.

The severe winter weather that rolled through Texas last week and ultimately postponed the girls state meet also kept Deysel from getting in the water. But the self-motivated individual still put in good work to prepare for state, and he’s feeling ready to show what he can do on the big stage.

“I feel great and very confident,” Deysel said. “Although I wasn’t able to swim all the time during the bad weather, I was able to substitute that by weight lifting and doing other cardio. My favorite thing about state is the competition, lots of competition. By competing at these high levels, I feel challenged and determined.”

Deysel will be swimming in Heat 1 for both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races. His qualifying times from the Feb. 6 Region IV meet were 21.85 in the 50 free and 47.62 in the 100 free. Deysel’s swims in both events broke the Hanna school records that he previously held.

Hanna swim coach Sam Perez called Deysel a leader by example and credited him with being a role model for other athletes in the program. Perez said when a youngster asks how they should do something, he can simply respond, ‘Do it like Quinten,’ because the senior’s work ethic, approach and passion for the sport makes him the ultimate positive influence.

“When you have someone like Quinten on the team, he’s one of those silent leaders,” Perez said. “People see him and take it all in and follow what he does. You watch and you learn from him, and he motivates the boys. When he’s on the relay, it ramps up the pressure because they know he means business.”

Deysel hopes his teammates remember him as “their best pal,” and someone who was a good leader in and out of the pool. Perez, who has been working with Deysel since he first joined the sport at 11 years old, said watching the standout grow and succeed has been an amazing feeling. Because of the challenges that kept coming throughout the year, Deysel’s achievements have been that much sweeter, and he’s hoping to add to that at state.

“This season has been the toughest from all,” Deysel said. “These accomplishments mean so much to me, and I love every moment I have in swimming. By finishing this season on a good note, it shows that I am capable to overcome everything that comes my way.”

The Los Fresnos Falcons were the only other East Valley program to have athletes qualify for the 6A or 5A boys swimming & diving meet.

Los Fresnos will be represented by its 200 freestyle relay team, which advanced after clinching gold at the Region IV meet with a time of 1:31.18. Junior Jayden Crews, senior Efrain Mascorro, sophomore Israel Gomez and senior Evyn Garcia make up the team that will be competing in Heat 1.

Garcia also qualified as an individual in the 100 butterfly. He swam a 54.28 qualifying time and will be swimming in Heat 1. Each individual swimming event has two heats, and the relays have four heats with four teams racing in each. The top eight preliminary times in each event will swim in the finals heat, and the next eight will race in a consolation heat.