Spartan Scoreboard: Winter SPC Championships Recap

History was made over the weekend by Spartans at the 2023-24 Winter Southwest Preparatory Conference Championships in Houston. Our winter sports teams competed valiantly as they closed out their seasons with pride for their hard work and dedication – and brought some hardware back to campus! 

Swimming and Diving
The Boys and Girls Swimming and Diving teams had a stellar performance at the SPC Championship meet held at the University of Houston Natatorium. The girls team had some great finishes, most notably Mia Ip ’27 who won third place in the 100m back race, helping her team to an overall third place finish in the 3A Division. 

The boys team had an impressive number of top finishes both individually and in the relay races, giving them a second place finish overall in a tough 4A Division. The Boys 200 medley relay, made of up of Austin Ross ’26’, Levi Skaistis ’26, Tristan McCain ’26 and Watt Wilkinson ’25, took first place and broke both the St. Stephen’s record and the SPC record, which has been held by St. Mark’s School of Texas since 2016. 

"The energy throughout the race was tense up until the last few seconds when we saw the time on the board and the one next to it," said Ross. "After the race, it was exhilarating – especially with the honor of representing my school as well as breaking the SPC record. My teammates are all very hard-working and supportive of each other. They all push me to be and do my best in the pool."

Ross also grabbed first place in the 100m back race, Wilkinson took home first in the 100m freestyle, and McCain brought home a first place medal in the 500m freestyle.

In his first SPC Championship, diver Rhett Smerklo ’27 won the Boys 1-meter springboard beating the SPC overall record by a landslide with 467.15. The previous record of 431 was set in 2018 by Spartan alum Judson Kyle ’18.
“In the final three dives of the competition, Rhett was outstanding,” said Ann Befroy, who coached Rhett at the SPC Championship Meet and is his Spanish instructor at St. Stephen’s. “Not only did he save his highest degree of difficulty dives for last, but he performed them beautifully earning sevens and eights across the board. By the time the meet concluded, Rhett had extended his lead to more than 30 points ahead of the second place finishers. It was a terrific event to watch.”

Girls Basketball
The Spartan Girls Basketball team had a strong showing at the SPC Championship. They started out with a bye in the first round as they were notably ranked the second seed. Despite a tough loss in the second round to eventual champions Ft. Worth Country Day, the Spartans never backed down and competed for third place overall in the 3A Division, defeating The John Cooper School 43-27. They finished the season 18-8. 

“This season was nothing short of remarkable,” stated St. Stephen’s Girls Basketball Program Head Dustin Armstrong. “Our team showed tremendous growth, resilience, and dedication, with a third place finish at the SPC Tournament. This achievement is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our players. I am incredibly proud of this team and what we have accomplished together. We faced many challenges throughout the season, but we never wavered in our determination to succeed.”

Girls Soccer
Varsity Girls Soccer capped off their strong season with a very impressive showing in the 4A Division of the SPC Winter Championships. After a hard-fought 2-1 loss to Greenhill School on Thursday, the Spartans went on to defeat Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart 3-0 on Friday and ended the tournament with a thrilling 1-0 win against the No. 3 seeded team in the SPC, The Kinkaid School, on Saturday afternoon.

“We’ve competed with the best of the best in our conference all season, and I’m so proud of the girls for keeping up that level in the tournament,” remarked St. Stephen’s Varsity Head Coach Andy Aceves. “I’m especially proud of our gutsy win against Kinkaid. They were the third-ranked team in the conference going into the tournament and the only team who beat us in the regular season, so that was a perfect note for us to go out on—and a perfect way to send off our seven remarkable seniors. This year‘s team was an inspiring group of girls to work with. They were selfless, fearless, goofy, hard working, dedicated, and eager to learn—and they never stopped fighting for each other. They can be proud in knowing that they were a team who went toe-to-toe with some of the very best programs in the area. I will never forget the 2023-24 Varsity Girls Soccer team.”

Boys Soccer
Head Varsity Boys Soccer Coach Andy Lopez reflects on his first year leading the Spartans. "As our season draws to a close, I want to express my gratitude to our seniors for their exceptional contributions and unwavering commitment to the program,” he said. “Their leadership has been invaluable, and their dedication has set a high standard for all to follow. Looking ahead, I am filled with excitement for what the future holds for our returning players. Let's carry the lessons learned and the bonds built this season into the next year!" 

Boys Basketball
Coach LaMont King and his staff are proud of the development and growth of the St. Stephen’s Varsity Basketball team this season. “It was a tough season with lots of high level competition,” commented King. “But our boys showed up day in and day out and continued to build as a team. It was a great season and I am looking forward to seeing how this program gets better in the coming years.”

— Juliann Johnson, Sports Information Director
Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213