Both Union teams enjoy strong showings

The Union boys and girls swimming teams put up impressive outings the past week, at both the Hornet Invitational at Booker T. Washington on Jan. 9 and the Frontier Conference meet Tuesday in Jenks.

The Union boys edged defending Class 5A state champion Bishop Kelley by one point, 410-409, to win the Hornet Invitational. The meet came down to the final event and the Redskins won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:41.63, a margin of 0.93 seconds over Kelley — and a Union school record — to win the race and the meet.

“They’ve broken that record now twice, first by a little bit and at Booker T. in fine fashion, winning the meet by one point and smashing that record by over four seconds,” Union first-year coach Lynne Gorman said. “That was pretty exciting.”

Sophomore Trenton VonHartitzsch won both of his individual events, the 200 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke, and junior Danny Sibley won the 100 butterfly (in a school record of 59.41 seconds) and also placing second to VonHartitzsch in the breast. Both also swam on the victorious 200 medley relay, as well as the meet-clinching 400 free relay (along with senior Eric Uerling and sophomore Jacob Wise).

At the Frontier Conference meet, Union placed third with 314.5 points behind defending Class 6A state champion Jenks with 560.5 and Bartlesville with 378.5.

Sibley won the 200 and 500 free, and VonHartitzsch placed second in the 100 breast and third in the 200 individual medley, as Gorman switched their events around. The Redskins, who placed fourth at last year’s 6A state meet, also finished third in the 200 medley relay and second in the 400 free relay.

The Union girls placed second at the Hornet Invitational with 327 points, behind host Booker T. (355). Junior Courtney Posey won the 200 IM and the 400 free, and sophomore Abby McMahon won the 100 free and was second in the 100 backstroke. Freshman Kate Uerling won the 100 fly and finished second in the 200 free, and sophomore Kelly Vu was second in the 200 IM and 100 breast. The Redskins also won the 200 and 400 free relays and tied BTW for first in the 200 medley relay.

At the Frontier Conference meet, Union finished third with 269 points, behind champion Jenks (493) and Bixby (303). Posey placed second in the 200 IM and fourth in the 500 free, McMahon was second in the 100 free and third in the 100 back, and Uerling was third in the 100 fly and fourth in the 200 free.

Union’s girls, who placed fifth at the 2019 6A state meet, were third in all three relays.

“The girls had five top-three performances and so did the boys, and in the top 10, the girls had seven and the boys had 12,” Gorman said of the Frontier meet. “And getting those performances in the top 10, that’s the game. Top three is great, the more you can do that the better, but to have so many in the top 10 is encouraging.”

Gorman had been an assistant coach at Union from 1999-2008 before moving to the Dallas suburbs to coach Southlake Carroll, where she won nine boys’ state championships and three girls’ titles. Despite having a relatively small roster that consists of just 12 swimmers on each of the boys’ and girls’ teams, Gorman is happy with her teams’ performances.

“It’s a very large team (at Southlake Carroll), but to come home to a very small team, I’ve been very excited on how they perform on meet day,” she said. “They race! It’s been great. I think we have a strong team and should perform well at state.”