Four Granbury High School swimmers competed at the Class 5A state swim meet on February 26-27, 2021, at North East ISD’s Bill Walker Pool and Josh Davis Natatorium.
Competing were seniors Jaden Bradshaw, Daniel D’Souza, and Brady Willmeth along with junior Matthew Walters.
The foursome placed 11th in the consolation finals for the Boys 200 Freestyle Relay at 1:29.74 – up from 13th place in prelims with a time of 1:30.64. The group had an initial seed of 15th going into the meet but finished with “monster swims” to move up four slots in the finals, according to head coach Jason Pullano.
D’Souza was 15th in Boys 100 Butterfly with a time of 52.86 in the consolation finals. He had posted 52.52 during prelims.
The swimmers advanced from the Region II-5A competition on February 6 at Mansfield ISD’s Debbie Weems Natatorium.
“We returned two state qualifiers and developed two more along the way, qualifying in the final callup spot at the most exclusive state meet in three years due to COVID restrictions,” stated Pullano, who was assisted by Deneen Carter. “Not a bad meet for four boys who have never swam club and did not swim from March to August due to COVID.”
Pullano also mentioned that three of the four boys split time this season as dual sport athletes, with Walters even playing four baseball games over the two days prior to the state meet. “Not to mention the fact that we were out of the water for a full week (due to winter weather school closure) and still managed to equal our time from regionals – a rare feat in a normal swim season,” remarked the head coach.
Last year, D’Souza and Walters competed in the Boys 200 Freestyle Relay (14th) and Boy 200 Medley Relay (tied for 9th), while D’Souza competed individually in the Boys 100 Breastroke (18th) and Boys 100 Butterfly (19th).
Pictured at the state contest are (left to right) alternate Jordan Buchanan, Jaden Bradshaw, Matthew Walters, Daniel D’Souza, Brady Willmeth, and alternate Ryan Solisz.