Zach Yeadon places seventh in 800 freestyle at U.S. nationals

Former Reagan swimmer Zach Yeadon beat his entry time by more than six seconds and placed seventh in the 800-meter freestyle relay Sunday on the last night of the Phillips 66 National Championships.

It was the third top-10 finish of the week for Yeadon, 19, a 6-foot-5 rising sophomore at Notre Dame. The meet was held at the Woolett Aquatics Center in Irvine, California.

Competing for Alamo Area Aquatics and swimming for coach Lou Walker, Yeadon notched a 10th-place showing in the 1,500 freestyle on Wednesday. He added a fourth place in the 400 free on Saturday.

Finally, he took seventh in the 800 with a time of 7 minutes and 56.32 seconds. It was a significant drop from his entry time of 8:02.52. Yeadon was seeded 15th coming into the meet.

Zane Grothe won in 7:44.57 for his second victory in two nights. Grothe claimed the title in the 400 free on Saturday.

Texas notables

Former O’Connor swimmer Mikey Calvillo was 16th in the 800 at 8:02.18.

Simone Manuel, who became the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in the Olympics two years ago, set a U.S. open record in winning the 50 free in 24.10 seconds.

Manuel, 21, from Sugar Land, also claimed first place in the 100 free last week. A swimmer at Stanford, she was fifth in the 200 after not competing in the event last year.

Evie Pfeifer, 19, a rising sophomore at the University of Texas, placed fourth in the 200 individual medley.

Yeadon races into conversation for Tokyo in 2020

I first met Zach Yeadon three years ago.

He was entered in most of the freestyle races when the U.S. junior and senior nationals were held at the Northside Swim Center.

Yeadon, formerly of Reagan High School, has come a long way since then.

He placed a surprising fourth Saturday night in the 400-meter free at the Phillips 66 National Championships.

The U.S. summer nationals are being held in Irvine, California.

Trailing in third place early in the race, Yeadon made a move and surged into the lead at the 200-meter mark.

But in the final 200, the 19-year-old rising sophomore at Notre Dame couldn’t hold on.

Zane Grothe, who took the lead at 250 meters, went on to win in 3 minutes and 46.53 seconds.

Grant Shoults claimed second in 3:46.90. Chris Wieser swam 3:48.92 for third place, followed by Yeadon in 3:49.09.

Yeadon, known primarily as a distance specialist, placed 10th in the 1,500-meter free on Wednesday.

He entered the 400 on Saturday with the 22nd-best qualifying time — a 3:53.10 — and broke it twice.

First, he swam 3:51.01 in the morning preliminaries for the No. 8 time of the session to claim a spot in the championship finals.

Next, Yeadon competed against the nation’s best in the night finals and lowered his time by another two seconds.

In the first 200 meters, he had the lead at 1:52.81. In the second half, he faded. But, still, Yeadon had executed another 2-second time drop.

So, what’s in store for this young man?

If Yeadon gains enough stamina in coming years to kick at the end of the 400 as well as he starts it, he could challenge for a spot on the next U.S. Olympic team.


Yeadon is swimming the national meet for Alamo Area Aquatics under the guidance of coach Lou Walker (pictured in photo above).

Former O’Connor star Mikey Calvillo, 17, also made his mark in the 400 free. He swam 3:55.56 for fourth place in the ‘D’ consolation final.

Notre Dame highlights

Yeadon, a Reagan graduate, was named Notre Dame men’s swimming Most Valuable Swimmer in 2017-18.

He equaled the best Notre Dame finish at the NCAA championship, placing fourth in the 1,650-yard freestyle to claim first-team, All-America honors.

Yeadon established program records in the 500 (4:12.74), the 1000 (8:51.16) and 1,650-yard (14:34.60) freestyle.

Reagan highlights

Yeadon won a state championship as a Regan High School senior in 2017. Swimming the final individual race of his prep career, he claimed a gold medal in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:19.13. He also took third in the 200 free.

Gibson ties for sixth in 100 butterfly at U.S. nationals

Former Reagan swimmer Sarah Gibson tied for sixth in the 100-meter butterfly Friday at the Phillips 66 National Championships.

Competing in her third championship final in the past three nights at Irvine, California, Gibson covered half the distance in sixth place and then was caught by Veronica Burchill in the final 50 meters.

Gibson and Burchill touched the wall in 58.59 seconds.

Kelsi Dahlia (formerly Kelsi Worrell) rallied in the last half of the race to win the title in 56.3.

She surged past second-place Katie McLaughlin (57.51) and third-place Kendyl Stewart (57.70). Stewart led at 50 meters in 26.46.

Gibson has been consistent at the national meet by reaching championship finals in the 200 (seventh place), in the 50 (fourth) and in the 100 fly.

But she has yet to win to lock up a berth at the Pan Pacific Championships, the major international meet of the season.

Gibson finishes fourth in 50-meter butterfly at U.S. nationals

Former Reagan High School swimmer Sarah Gibson finished fourth in the 50-meter butterfly Thursday night to highlight standout performances from San Antonio athletes at the Phillips 66 National Championships.

Kelsi Dahlia (formerly Kelsi Worrell) won the event in 25.48 seconds to tie her own American record. Kendyl Stewart was second in 25.83, followed by Hellen Moffitt in 26.45 and Gibson in 26.65.

For Gibson, 23, a gold medalist at the 2017 FINA World Championship, it was her second appearance in a championship final in the past two nights at the national meet.

She finished seventh in the 200 fly on opening night. The meet opened Wednesday and is scheduled to run through Sunday at the Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine, California.

The nationals are considered pivotal for elite athletes in the four-year cycle leading into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

At stake this week are berths in the Pan Pacific Championships, set for Aug. 9-13 in Tokyo.

U.S. athletes’ performances at nationals and at the Pan Pacific meet both factor into selection of the team for the 2019 world championships.

Gibson, a former All-American at Texas A&M, reached the 2017 world championships and won gold in the 4×100 medley relay. She is training under coach David Marsh at Team Elite’s west coast site in San Diego.

Meanwhile, distance freestyle specialists Zach Yeadon and Mikey Calvillo are coming off strong performances at the nationals in the 1,500-meter freestyle.

Yeadon, a Notre Dame swimmer from Reagan, posted the 10th best time in the field Wednesday night. Calvillo, a former O’Connor student who has signed with Indiana, placed 13th.

Both Yeadon and Calvillo are competing for Alamo Area Aquatics.

San Antonio to host the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2025

The NCAA Men’s Final Four is returning to San Antonio for the fifth time.

Officials on Monday announced that college basketball’s showcase event will be played at the Alamodome in 2025, with San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg calling it, “Great news.”

Nirenberg said in a news release that the decision confirms that San Antonio “is one of the best cities in the nation — if not the best” to host the tournament.

In thanking local organizers, the mayor added, “Once again, all that makes San Antonio special will be showcased across the country and around the world.”

San Antonio previously staged the Final Four in 1998, 2004, 2008 and in April of this year.

Host institutions will be NCAA Division I members UTSA and the University of the Incarnate Word.

The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee selected Houston for 2023, Phoenix (2024), San Antonio (2025) and Indianapolis (2026).

According to, the announcement capped a year-long process that included site visits to each of seven finalist cities and in-person presentations during the committee’s annual summer meeting, which took place last week in Boston.

The other finalists were Detroit, Los Angeles and North Texas.

Final Four sites

2019 — Minneapolis
2020 — Atlanta
2021 — Indianapolis
2022 — New Orleans
2023 — Houston
2024 — Phoenix/Glendale
2025 — San Antonio
2026 — Indianapolis


Lisa Campos, UTSA vice president for athletics:

“We’re so excited that the Final Four is returning to San Antonio. I’d like to thank the NCAA for selecting our great city as the location for the 2025 Final Four and I also want to congratulate everyone who worked so hard behind the scenes on the bid and presentation. Earlier this year, the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee, which includes UTSA, put in an incredible amount of hard work to host one of the best Final Fours ever held. We look forward to making the 2025 event even better.”


In April, San Antonio hosted a Final Four consisting of the University of Michigan, Loyola (Chicago), Villanova and Kansas.

A crowd of 68,257 watched in the semifinals as Michigan defeated Loyola 69-57 and Villanova downed Kansas, 95-79. Another 67,831 turned out for Villanova’s 79-62 victory over Michigan in the finals.

UIW steps up

The announcement proved to be a big moment for the University of the Incarnate Word, whose athletics program has stepped up in recent years from NCAA Division II to Division I.

After a four-year transition, UIW of the Southland Conference became fully eligible for the Division I men’s basketball tournament for the first time in 2017-18. When the news surfaced, the Cardinals tweeted it out to their supporters.

What handicap? Missions pitcher inspired by his older brother

Lefthander Logan Allen has forged an 8-5 record and a 2.78 earned run average to emerge as one of the top pitchers in the Texas League. (Courtesy photo, San Antonio Missions)

Philip Allen can’t walk, can’t talk and can barely see. Afflicted with severe cerebral palsy since he was an infant, Philip has struggled physically ever since.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the older brother of San Antonio Missions pitcher Logan Allen doesn’t feel joy and can’t have a good time when the occasion calls for it.

Allen, one of the top pitchers in the Texas League, made sure of that on Saturday when he sent out a tweet directed to Philip.

“Happy 31st Birthday to the best big brother I could have ever asked for!” Logan wrote. “I thank God every day for you! I love you, Philip.”

Especially poignant in the tweet was a hashtag that said simply, “What handicap?”

A few days ago, Logan Allen, 21, sat in the dugout at Wolff Stadium and talked at length about his tightly-knit family, based in Asheville, North Carolina.

About how much he appreciates his parents.

About how he connects with his younger brother, Bryson, age 17. And about Philip, who has shaped his life in so many ways.

“He’s the best person in the entire world,” Logan Allen said last week. “He’s always happy. He’s never sad. Everything’s always great. He definitely is someone I look up to.

“He’s also an inspiration, a reminder every day, that you don’t get these opportunities (all the time), and there’s a million people in the world that wish they could be where you are.”

When Philip was diagnosed as an infant, physicians worried that he wouldn’t have long to live.

Even though the journey has often been painful, he has lived for more than three decades now and beats the odds on a daily basis.

A fighting spirit

It’s a fighting spirit that clearly drives Logan Allen, who leads the league in victories (eight), earned run average (2.78) and strikeouts (102).

Missions manager Phillip Wellman said he thinks his No. 1 pitcher draws strength from his older brother’s drive to survive.

“I think that’s part of his overall attitude about life,” Wellman said. “I think he understands how precious these moments are. He’s extremely grateful for the opportunity, and he goes about his business that way.”

Drafted by the Boston Red Sox out of Florida’s IMG Academy in 2015, Allen was one of several minor league prospects shipped later that year to the San Diego Padres for reliever Craig Kimbrel.

With the Padres, Allen has evolved into one of the organization’s top-rated prospects.

He is 15-13 over his last two years, including 8-5 in his first year with the Missions.

On his best days, he dominates, as evidenced by a combined no-hitter at Tulsa on May 31.

Pitching a no-no

Against the Drillers, he pitched seven innings and teamed with Jason Jester for just the 13th no-hitter in the ball club’s history.

Even on his bad days, Allen is pretty good. On Friday night, for example, he yielded three first-inning runs in a 3-2 loss to Northwest Arkansas.

But after the hard-luck first, he settled down to blank the Naturals over the next five innings, artfully painting a low-90s mph fastball on the corners and striking out seven along the way.

“The biggest attribute is his command,” Wellman said. “You know, he can hit a gnat in the rear end. That’s very good. And his changeup is outstanding.

“He gets lefthanders out. He gets righthanders out.

“You know, right now, it’s just a matter of him being young. He’s 21 years old. He lacks timing and experience. That’s what we’re here to give him.”

Some of his athleticism may be a family thing, as his father, Norman Allen, once played professional hockey.

Logan Allen said that Bryson, his teenaged brother, once played baseball and might have evolved into No. 1 talent in the family at that sport.

But with baseball in his rearview mirror, Bryson has since taken up “three-gun” competition shooting.

Grudgingly, Logan admits his younger brother is the best of the brothers when the two go hunting in the offseason.

“If someone’s got to take the shot, it’s definitely him,” he said. “He shoots a little straighter (than I do).”

It’s always a big day when Logan returns home to see Philip.

In an article published in 2016 in the East Village Times, a San Diego sports website, Logan said his parents have always “hyped” his visits to his older brother.

Grinning from ‘ear to ear’

“When I came home and he heard my voice, it was special,” he told writer James Clark. “Seeing his head whip around to look at the door when he heard me call his name. He was grinning from ear to ear and stomping his feet.

“It’s like that every time I walk in the door, and it gives me chills just thinking about it.”

Logan’s relationship has been chronicled in the media more than once, so he does get feedback from the public about it.

“When I talked to people about this, they say, ‘How’d you grow up with that?’ “ he said. “I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. This was never an issue. Yeah, you have people staring and stuff like that.

“But the lessons I’ve learned from him, and he’s never said one word to me, ever, you know. (Because he) can’t talk. But I’ve learned more from him than anyone, I’d like to think…

“Just by him sitting there, smiling, just going through his daily routine. That boy has been through more than I have — 10 times through. It’s incredible.”

A shining moment: Austin Allen brings fans to their feet

An almost incandescent blue-sky background provides the backdrop as San Antonio Missions catcher Austin Allen smashes a solo homer off Northwest Arkansas starter Emilio Ogando in the sixth inning Friday night.

Hoping to bounce back from a disappointing loss, the Missions will open a three-game home series Saturday night against the Arkansas Travelers.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Wolff Stadium.

Northwest Arkansas scored three runs in the first inning and held off San Antonio 3-2 Friday night.

With the victory, the Naturals snapped a five-game losing streak. They also stopped the Missions’ modest winning streak at three, handing ace lefthander Logan Allen the loss in the process.

Despite the setback, Allen leads the Texas League in victories (eight), earned run average (2.78) and strikeouts (102).

Missions catcher Austin Allen hit a solo home run in the sixth inning, giving him 16 for the season to tie for second in the league.

Outfielder Josh Naylor delivered with his league-leading 58th RBI on a single in the seventh, pulling the Missions to within 3-2.

But the Naturals held on to win, producing their only victory on a three-game trip to San Antonio.


San Antonio — 8-7 in the second half, 50-35 overall
Northwest Arkansas — 3-10, 38-45


Austin Allen and Logan Allen are not related. Austin Allen, 24, is from St. Louis. Logan Allen, 21, is from West Palm Beach, Fla.

San Antonio’s Josh Naylor takes the Texas League lead in RBI with 58 on a run-scoring single to left field against Northwest Arkansas.

Missions take two from Naturals in extra innings

San Antonio’s Rod Boykin bunts for a single, and Northwest Arkansas reliever Bryan Brickhouse throws high to first base for an error, allowing the winning run to score in a wild finish to Thursday night’s doubleheader.

The San Antonio Missions swept a doubleheader from Northwest Arkansas Thursday night at Wolff Stadium, claiming both victories in extra innings by 4-3 scores.

They won in the eighth inning in the first game and in the ninth in the second.

Both contests were scheduled for seven innings, with one counting as a makeup for a Wednesday night rainout.

The second game featured a more dramatic play to end the proceedings, as San Antonio’s Matthew Batten scored from second base on Rod Boykin’s bunt single and a throwing error by Northwest Arkansas reliever Bryan Brickhouse.

New rules in the Texas League this season mandate that innings beyond regulation start with a runner at second base.

The Missions took full advantage of the rule as Boykin laid down his bunt to the left of the mound.

Brickhouse fielded the ball cleanly but threw late and high to first base, which allowed Batten to score.

The Naturals tried to put the home team away by scoring twice in the top of the eighth, capitalizing on a Missions error and two singles to take a 3-1 lead.

But the Missions tied it in the bottom half on a two-out, two-run homer by Nick Schulz, who was credited with the winnning RBI in the first game.


San Antonio 8-6, 50-34
Northwest Arkansas 2-10, 37-45

Missions rightfielder Nick Schulz rounds the bases after a two-out, two-run homer off Coleby Blueberg to tie the game at 3-3.


In Game One, Schulz drew a one-out, bases-loaded walk, forcing in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth.

Take a look at the winning play and the reaction of the Northwest Arkansas players, who apparently disagreed with the call on a fastball that was deemed to missed the strike zone, just off the inside inside corner:

How it happened

The Missions led 3-0 leading into the sixth of a scheduled seven-inning game, the first of a doubleheader. In response, the Naturals retaliated by scoring once in the sixth and twice in the seventh to tie.

After 19-year-old Missions reliever Andres Munoz blanked the Naturals in the top of the eighth, the home team took advantage of new rules to end the game against Naturals reliever Andres Machado.

Starting the inning with a runner at second base, the Missions got another freebie when Machado intentionally walked Austin Allen.

At that point, Taylor Kohlwey bunted for a hit to load the bases.

Initially, the Missions failed to take advantage. Webster Rivas popped up to right field for the first out.

The next man up, Schulz, worked the count full against Machado, fouling off multiple pitches on strike two. Finally, he took a ball four to force in the game winner.

Ty France jogged home to give the Missions the victory in the first game of a six-game homestand.

Coming up

Naturals at Missions, Friday, 7:05 p.m.

Missions reliever Andres Munoz fires a high fastball past Erick Mejia to end the top of the eighth. The Naturals left runners at first and third base. Munoz, 19, from Los Mochis, Mexico, earned the victory in his home debut.

San Antonio Missions are rained out on July 4

With red, white and blue bunting hanging from the facade at Wolff Stadium Wednesday afternoon, fans clutching tiny American flags filed into the West Side municipal facility, eager to see a ball game, a concert and a Fourth of July fireworks display.

And then the rain came and forced a change in the plan.

The game between the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and the San Antonio Missions has been postponed, and is now scheduled to be made up as part of a doubleheader Thursday starting at 6 p.m.

Officials said they are still assessing whether the concert and the fireworks show can be held, as scheduled.