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MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls Tsunami swim team has been preparing for the first lap of reaching the state meet.

That lap is July 19 at the Region 3 meet of the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Landa Park Aquatic Complex, 350 Aquatic Circle in New Braunfels.

To qualify for the state meet, swimmers must finish in the top three in the finals of the regional contest.

The Tsunami will be sending 43 swimmers ranging in age from 6-18.

“That’s our biggest number so far,” head coach Martha Montoya said. “Swimming is one of those sports a lot of people want to get into. I think it’s going to be a great meet.”

Swimmers who are 10 and younger are limited to a total of three events, including relays; athletes ages 11-14 are allowed to compete in a total of four events including relays; and swimmers ages 15-17 can compete in four events and three mixed relays.

Almost 30 Tsunami members already have swam at the regional meet, which Montoya believes is an advantage.

“The experience is always beneficial,” she said. “Of course, it’ll factor in greatly because they know what they’re up against. It doesn’t come easy; the wins won’t come easy.”

One of the challenges for the Tsunami is starts from the block. The members’ home pool, the Marble Falls city pool, does not have blocks. So the team went to the YCMA of the Highland Lakes at Galloway-Hammond to work from the blocks July 16.

“If you train well and you get a good start and a good turn, you’ll do excellent,” the coach said. “Starts are a very important part of the race, if not the most important.”

Montoya said she has looked at the times for many of the relay teams competing at the regional meet. The Tsunami have several relay teams in the top three, she said.

The Tsunami will have a total of nine relay teams at regionals.

The state meet is July 31 at the Bryan Aquatic Center, 3100 Oakwood Drive in Bryan.