Ascension Episcopal girls finish third, Notre Dame’s Erin Trahan honored at state swim meet _lowres

Photo provided by Roderick Anderson Ascension Episcopal's Victoria Barczyk's time of 1:55.83 won the Division IV 200-yard freestyle state title Thursday at the LHSAA state swimming championships in Sulphur.

SULPHUR — Skeptics looking at results from Thursday’s finals at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/Louisiana High School Athletic Association state swim meet could argue that Acadiana-area swimming took a step backward in 2014.

Don’t tell that to Ascension Episcopal coach Colleen Barczyk.

Even though her girls team dropped one spot to third place in the Division IV team standings, the veteran coach said Thursday’s meet was perhaps one of the best ever for Lafayette-area swimmers.

“We had a couple of disqualifications that really hurt us,” she said. “When you only have nine girls, it really hurts you. I’m very pleased and happy and proud. Plus, I thought swimmers from our whole area did well.

“Swimming in Lafayette is getting better and growing, and I think this shows that. You had some established swimmers who did well, but you also had some kids who came out of no where who won.”

New Orleans-based Lusher Charter (boys) and Thibodaux’s E.D. White Catholic (girls) won Division III titles, while Baton Rouge-based Episcopal swept the Division IV titles. The four-day meet at the SPAR Aquatic Center continues Friday with preliminary action for teams in Divisions I-II.

Even though there were a number of top swimmers from across the state competing, Notre Dame’s Erin Trahan was arguably the best of the bunch.

The junior was voted the Outstanding Girls Swimmer in the Division III meet after a record-setting performance in Thursday’s late session. First, Trahan set a Division III record while winning the 50-yard freestyle in 23.70 seconds, a personal best that was just .69 off the composite mark for all divisions.

Think things couldn’t get much better? Well, they did. After a 15-minute break, Trahan won the next event, the 100 butterfly in 55.28 seconds, by setting Division III and composite records.

Trahan’s butterfly time was one of only two All-America consideration times recorded Thursday. The other came in the Division IV boys 100 butterfly as Newman’s Jared Williams set a division record while swimming a consideration time of 49.79.

“I was very pleased,” Trahan said. “I just wanted to beat my (previous best) time. I know the state record was close, but I wasn’t expecting to get it today.

“I was expecting to get the state (Division III) record in the 100 butterfly. I was going for it. I was so happy to look up and see that 55.2. I was expecting maybe a 55-mid. I was very excited.”

The other Acadiana-area swimmer to post two wins was AES’ Victoria Barczyk. The daughter of the Blue Gators coach is a recent TCU signee who won the 200 freestyle in 1:55.83 and the 500 freestyle in 5:11.55.

Austin Briggs of Westminster Christian and Ricky LeFleur of Lafayette Christian also were boys individual winners in Division IV.

Briggs won the 50 freestyle in 23.03, while LaFleur won his 500 freestyle race in 4:57.01.

As AES’ Colleen Barczyk said, “It was a good day.”