Boys

Outstanding Swimmer

Thomas Vanderbrook/Rummel, Jr.

Not too many swimmers can set a high school record and leave a meet somewhat disappointed.

But there certainly aren’t many swimmers like Thomas Vanderbrook.

A junior at Rummel, Vanderbrook had his sights set on two records when the LHSAA state swimming championships were held last month in Sulphur. He shattered a 21-year-old mark in the 200-yard IM, with a scorching time of 1 minute, 50.78 seconds, topping the previous record of 1:52.06. He narrowly missed the state record in the 100-yard backstroke but “settled” for a victory in 51.18.

Both were repeat state championships for Vanderbrook, and they are the primary reasons he is The New Orleans Advocate’s Most Outstanding Male Swimmer for 2015.

One of the first persons to greet Vanderbrook when he emerged from the record-setting IM swim was previous record holder Kris Babylon, who now coaches at St. Paul’s.

“He stuck his hand out, and we shook hands,” Vanderbrook said. “He told me he was happy I broke the record. I told him I was happy he had put that record up there. I was aiming for it.”

Vanderbrook credited hard work — “every single day,” he says — for allowing him to drop about seven seconds in the 200 IM since the beginning of the prep season.

Rummel coach Joe Fritscher said Vanderbrook is not only a gifted athlete (he also is on the Raiders’ soccer and track and field teams) but he’s the kind of person around whom you want to build a program.

“He’s very controlled, but very competitive,” Fritscher said. “He’s a perfect gentleman. The way he conducts himself and the way he pursues his sport; it’s impressive. Everything you want from a kid, he’s doing it.”

THE TEAM

Jack Jackson/Jesuit, Jr.

50-yard freestyle

21.67

Thomas Vanderbrook/Rummel, Jr.

100-yard freestyle

46.08 (opening relay split)

Warren Massimini/Hahnville, Sr.

200-yard freestyle

1:43.18

Josh Armond/Jesuit, Jr.

500-yard freestyle

4:40.39

THOMAS VANDERBROOK/Rummel, Jr.

100-yard backstroke

51.18

Pedro Rivera/Holy Cross, Sr.

100-yard breaststroke

59.17

Griffin Guzan/St. Paul’s, Sr.

100-yard butterfly

51.20

THOMAS VANDERBROOK/Rummel, Jr.

200-yard individual medley

1:50.78

200-YARD MEDLEY RELAY/St. Paul’s

Harrison Prieto, Kyle Hladky, Griffin Guzan, Jack Cheng

(1:37.23)

200-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY/Jesuit

Josh Armond, Cade Fuxan, Jack Jackson, Noah Wilkens (1:30.40)

400-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY/St. Paul’s

Griffin Guzan, Morgan Myers, Harrison Prieto, Jack Cheng (3:16.00)

Coach of the Year

Kris Babylon/St. Paul’s

GIRLS

Outstanding Swimmer

DENISE FRANTZ/Mandeville, Sr.

It’s not uncommon for athletes to hear the phrase “work through the pain.”

But for Mandeville’s Denise Frantz, there is real physical pain when she swims. It started two years ago when she began experiencing pain in her groin. A torn labrum then was found in her hip, and after surgery and physical therapy, she developed tendinitis in the front and back of the joint. She underwent acupuncture treatments to relieve the symptoms, but still, there was pain.

She continued to swim for the Skippers.

Her efforts were rewarded with a state title in the 50-yard freestyle when the Division I LHSAA state championship swim meet was held Nov. 20-21 in Sulphur.

She is now The New Orleans Advocate’s Most Outstanding Female Swimmer for 2015.

Frantz swam the 50 free in 24.58 seconds at the state meet, and Mandeville’s girls finished second in the team competition.

To watch her swim, you’d never know the level of discomfort she endures. She also recently developed a sports hernia and is spending a doctor-recommended six months away from the pool to let her body heal.

“There’s a lot of pain,” she said of being in the pool. “In the free and the back, it’s in my hip. In the breaststroke, it’s my groin. Now my other hip is getting irritated because of overcompensation. I’m a mess.”

Frantz hopes to continue swimming in college and said several programs have offered her a spot on their team, even though she won’t return to the water until late spring.

“Most people would have quit,” Mandeville coach Robbie Fritscher said. “Denise didn’t. She has grit. She never gave up.”

THE TEAM

Denise Frantz/Mandeville, Sr.

50-yard freestyle

24.58

Heidi Fritscher/Mandeville, Jr.

100-yard freestyle

54.24

Brittany Pierce/St. Scholastica, So.

200-yard freestyle

1:59.02

Hannah Morris/Dominican, Fr.

500-yard freestyle

5:17.74

Madelyn Byrd/Northshore, So.

100-yard backstroke

1:00.76

Kaylin Swoboda/Mt. Carmel, So.

100-yard breaststroke

1:07.18

Laura Bruce/Sacred Heart, Sr.

100-yard butterfly

58.93

Emma MacMahon/Dominican, Fr.

200-yard individual medley

2:10.02

200-YARD MEDLEY RELAY/Mt. Carmel

Olivia Givens, Charlotte Russo, Kaylin Swoboda, Hailey Reynolds (1:53.37)

200-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY/Mandeville

Heidi Fritscher, Charlotte Shackelford, Courtney Teas, Denise Frantz (1:41.60)

400-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY/Mandeville

Heidi Fritscher, Rachel Fontan, Claire Collins, Denise Frantz (3:43.34)

Coach of the Year

Robbie Fritscher/Mandeville

Teams compiled by Andrew Canulette