BELTON — The Harker Heights boys and girls swimming teams both had superb performances at the 12-5A District Meet in Belton on Saturday and each finished in third place.

“I’m really proud of my boys and my girls,” said Heights head coach Kate Eikrem. “I’m shell-shocked with how well we did.”

Leading the way for the boys team was Matthew Sluss, who earned Athlete of the Meet honors. Sluss won four gold medals: 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay.

Also excelling for Heights was Morgan Bean, who finished first in the 200 individual medley and second in the 100 butterfly. Teammate Douglas Sauer finished second in the 100 backstroke and sixth in the 200 individual medley.

A sixth-place or better finish was needed to qualify for the regional meet which takes place in Rockwall on Feb. 7.

Knights’ Nicholas Meyer took fifth in the 500 freestyle and Michael Swader took sixth in the 100 backstroke.

Three Knights relay teams advanced to Rockwall.

Swader, Lexie Gibbs, Camden Hall and Meyer finished fourth in the 400 freestyle.

Taking the gold in the 200 freestyle and 200 medley was the quartet of Sauer, Sluss, Bean and Evan Pearce.

The Lady Knights 200 medley relay team of Geneva Pantoja, Olivia Nutter, Kelsey Castro and Kathleen Sauer finished third. Pantoja, Castro, Jordan Marlow and Sauer took third in the 200 freestyle relay. Also for Heights, Leilani Evans, Caitlin Fleming, Anna Hoy and Marlow finished fifth in the 400 free.

The Lady Knights also excelled in some individual events.

Castro took fifth in both the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly. Nutter took sixth in the 100 breaststroke. Danielle Nelson took third in the 100 butterfly, Pantoja took third in the 100 backstroke and Sauer finished fifth in the 100 breaststroke.

Contact Allan Mandell at or 254-501-7566​ and read his blog on

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