AP NEWS

Stephenson, Shiller finish as UIL state champions

February 18, 2019

Stratford senior Emma Stephenson and Bellaire senior Briggs Shiller were among those donning gold medals to cap their high school swimming careers after exceptional showings at the UIL Class 6A championships Feb. 16 at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center in Austin.

Stephenson won her third state title, breaking the 6A record in the 50-yard freestyle. Her time of 22.67 edged the old mark by .01 seconds. She added a bronze medal in the butterfly with a 52.95, finishing only behind two record-breaking times.

Shiller held on for a close victory in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing in 4 minutes, 22.72 seconds to win by 1.53 seconds. It was the first state championship for Shiller, who also placed 10th in the 200 free.

Stratford’s girls also had the top relay among Spring Branch ISD and Houston ISD qualifiers. The team of Emma Venghaus, Kara Moss, Stephenson and Kaitlyn White placed sixth.

Memorial junior Noah Czelusta reached the B final in both the individual medley and breaststroke in his first state appearance.

Lamar’s Gus Rytting, Stratford’s Dean Rathgeb and Strake Jesuit’s Andreas Mason, Jeremy Bates and Chris Russell were among the seniors closing their careers in Austin.

UIL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

BELLAIRE

Boys 400 free relay, 22nd, 3:18.37 (William He, Alvin Oentoro, Louis Diara, Briggs Shiller)

Briggs Shiller, Sr., 10th, 200 free, 1:39.15; 1st, 500 free, 4:22.72

LAMAR

Gus Rytting, Sr., 19th, 100 breast, 58.87

MEMORIAL

Noah Czelusta, Jr., 15th, 200 IM, 1:55.20; 11th, 100 breast, 57.79

SPRING WOODS

Samuel Jennings, Jr., 13th, 100 back, 51.65

STRAKE JESUIT

Medley relay, 13th, 1:36.83 (Nathaniel Allen, Jeremy Bates, Andreas Mason, Reed Casper)

200 free relay, 14th, 1:26.95 (Chris Russell, Reed Casper, Jeremy Bates, Andreas Mason)

Andreas Mason, Sr., 12th, 100 fly, 50.77

Jeremy Bates, Sr., 14th, 100 breast, 58.36

Chris Russell, Sr., 17th, 100 free, 47.63

STRATFORD

Girls medley relay, 6th, 1:47.40 (Emma Venghaus, Kara Moss, Emma Stephenson, Kaitlyn White)

Girls 200 free relay, 8th, 1:37.23 (Emma Stephenson, Laura Powell, Kaitlyn White, Kara Moss)

Emma Stephenson, Sr., 1st, 50 free, 22.67*; 3rd, 100 fly, 52.95

Boys medley relay, 12th, 1:36.42 (Keagan Firenza, Dean Rathgeb, Henry Genez, Cole Oliphant)

Boys 200 free relay, 17th, 1:27.11 (Henry Genez, Cole Oliphant, Dean Rathgeb, Luke Reed)

Dean Rathgeb, Sr., 10th, 100 breast, 57.77