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Bellaire senior Reagan Kimzey singing the national anthem at the Cardinal Classic. (Photo: Andrew Abdala)
The splashing of water echoes throughout the building. Parents and teammates yell to give the competitors a final push. Every head instinctively whipped their heads around to land their eyes on the scoreboard.
All of this occurring in one of the largest meets for some of the city's most affluent schools at the annually held Cardinal Classic. Seventeen private schools (with the exception of Lamar and Bellaire High School) participated in the event, with more than 358 swimmers participating.
“It’s crazy how many swimmers there are at this meet,” Bellaire High School senior Andrew Abdallah said. “We can barely fit everyone in the pool, I thought we would have to move some swimmers to the gym in order to deal with the overflow.”
Swimmers began warming up early Saturday morning sacrificing their weekend sleep in the hopes of improving their times. After a series of technical problems the meet began to the anxiety of swimmers who saw this meet as a stepping stone to the upcoming district meets later this month.
“I am looking to reduce my time before the upcoming TAPPS district meet,” St. Thomas junior Anthony Herger said. “The most important meets are almost here and this meets a perfect opportunity to prove yourself.”
The meet lasted for six hours as the constant stream of swimmers began their races. Beep. Splash. Beep. Splash. A continuous rhythm begins to take place only interrupted by the 10-minute break halfway through the meet to give the swimmers a respite.
Finally, at two o'clock the meet slowly winds down to the end as the last events occur and the exhausted swimmers go home once more.
“It was a long meet and now I am glad to go home,” Lamar High School freshman Connally Leach said. “I did well I dropped my time by a second and I am looking forward to the meet's results.”
Once the results were tallied, Kinkaid took home the top spot as the scores were finally counted up. The Homeschooled Christian Youth Association snagged second place and Bellaire High School followed behind, finishing up in the top three.