As Laney Recer prepares for the biggest race of her young high school career, the Pottsboro sophomore doesn’t have to look very far to find some sage advice.

As Laney Recer prepares for the biggest race of her young high school career, the Pottsboro sophomore doesn’t have to look very far to find some sage advice.

She can talk to her former club teammate and Denison senior Tori Fryar, who is headed to state for the third time.

Then she can seek out another former pool pal, Dodd City junior Miranda Fannin, who is about to make a return trip as well.

Just a few years ago the trio was making waves in the Waterloo Pool for the Denison Dolphins. Now the biggest collection of Texoma water talent can be found together in the Class 4A state swim meet at the University of Texas’ Lee and Joe Jamail Swim Center.

The preliminary races are Friday with the finals for each event on Saturday.

Fannin, in the 100 breaststroke, and Recer, in the 100 freestyle, earned their spots at state after top-three finishes at the Region III meet. While Fryar automatically qualified for state as the region champion in the 500 freestyle, the other two were call-ups based on times from around the state.

"It was really nerve-wracking," Recer said. "It was really exciting once I saw I made it."

Each of the eight region champions automatically qualify before the next eight fastest times are included. That also allowed Fryar to compete in the 200 free.

"I’m super excited about that," she said. "It’s another opportunity to perform."

Fryar, who holds seven of the eight individual school records, became the first Denison swimmer to qualify for the state meet three times — only Michelle Wasmund had made it more than once. Her region-winning time of 5:02.06 was the third-fastest qualifying time in the state, lowering her school mark.

The chance to add to her legacy with a medal is within reach.

"I definitely want to be on the podium," Fryar said. "I want to break five minutes. If I do that it should get me there."

To be in this position she has spent much of the season overcoming an ankle sprain suffered in early January.

"The doctors told me to stop swimming but that wasn’t an option. It was super hard to swim with it. I couldn’t kick very well. There was two or three weeks of aching pain. It still hurts a little bit."

The injury isn’t noticeable based on her recent efforts, like chasing down defending region champ Lauren Murski of Highland Park and winning by a little more than a second and a half.

"She always wins by a lot," Fryar said. "The last lap I thought I could beat her."

This past spring she finished sixth at the state meet in the 500 freestyle — the first appearance in the final race by a Denison swimmer — with a time of 5:10.23 after placing eighth in the prelims.

She had just missed making state in the 200 freestyle and this time around her 200 free time is 12th among qualifiers, so Fryar’s main goal is to at least reach the final race.

As a freshman she made it to state in the 100 freestyle but was 12th in the prelims and 1.4 seconds from the medal race. In the spring of her sophomore year she was just short of a return to Austin with a third-place finish at regionals and on the outside of a wild-card entry, the lone time she was unable to qualify.

She was second-team all-state in the 100 free and honorable mention in the 200 free in 2011, was honorable mention all-state in the 200 free in 2012 and was first-team all-state in the 500 free last spring.

Fannin finished 10th in the 100 breaststroke prelims in her first appearance at the state meet and her time of 1:07.99 was 0.61 seconds from advancing to the final. She was disqualified in the consolation race, admitting to being caught in the moment.

"I flinched at the start. I feel a little more prepared. I didn’t know what to expect, it being my first time," Fannin said. "You have to make sure you’re not overwhelmed with your nerves."

She returns to state after putting up the second-fastest time among call-ups at 1:07.11 after a runner-up finish at the regional meet. Overall her time is the fifth-fastest among qualifiers and she expects to be in contention for a medal this year.

"It’s definitely a goal," Fannin said. "I’m seeded fifth so I have a great shot at the podium."

Despite coming from a 1A program competing at the 4A level, Fannin felt a return was a season-long mission following her sophomore success.

"It was very pressured," she said. "If I hadn’t made it, it would have been a disappointment. You’re supposed to get stronger as you go along."

Recer is heading to state for the first time after her strong showing at the Region III meet. She will compete in the 100 freestyle after taking third at regionals and earning the eighth and final call-up spot at 54.04 seconds. Even though it was a faster time than two region champions, Recer was left waiting to see if she would be included.

"I was afraid I was going to get ninth, but I got in so that was good," Recer said.

As a freshman she won the district title in the 100 free and was the runner-up to Fryar in the 200 free. When she got to the regional meet, she was sixth and saw the opportunity in front of her this season.

"I knew there were a lot of seniors so I had a chance to get into the top three," she said. "I knew it was doable. I was really driven."

Recer’s lean to the pool is a bit of surprise given her family ties. Her father, Josh, had success as Van Alstyne’s boys basketball coach while her mother, Elaine, was a key player on Denison’s state semifinalist volleyball team in 1989.

"I was in love with ‘The Little Mermaid,’" said Recer, referring to the animated Disney classic released a decade before she was born. "They put me in swimming lessons and it went from there."