Carson swimmers gear for regionals

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Kate Hardt was all alone when she hit the finish to win her 100-yard freestyle race for Carson High School during its Northern 4A swim meet against Galena on Friday afternoon.

She didn't stop there, though. Hardt simply climbed out of the water, jogged back to Carson's team table, jogged back and climbed back on the starting blocks for the 500 freestyle. No problem. Hardt won that race, too, showing why she is one of Nevada's top prep swimmers and a qualifier for the U.S. senior long course national championships later this summer.

It was just another day in the pool for Hardt and the Carson girls, who held a 142-136 lead over Galena at the conclusion of the swimming events at the Carson City Aquatic Facility. The meet won't be officially decided until the diving is held today at 10 a.m. at the University of Nevada's Lombardi Pool.

"It's coming down to the diving," Carson coach Monica Weaver said. "We have three divers, they have three divers, so we'll see what happens."

In the boys competition on Friday, Ryan Theilemann won three individual events while Jeff Stroup won a pair to help the Senators build a 158-87 lead in their quest to improve to 6-0 in the Northern 4A's large schools High Desert League.

Galena's girls are 2-3 in the league dual meet standings and Galena 4-1. But remember, these are all preliminaries leading up to the Northern 4A and state meets -- and Carson's girls have won eight state championships in the last 10 years.

"Today was nice because we had three more kids qualify for zone," Weaver said, referring to the Northern 4A meet on May 10-11 in Reno. "Letisha Lindemann qualified in the 50 and 100 free, Erica McAfee in the 100 breast and Andrew Cardinal in the 200 free. That's going to help us because depth is so important when you get to zone."

It helps to have a talent like Hardt, who won both the 100 and 200 freestyle at last year's state meet and also won the 100 freestyle in 2000. The senior will try to repeat her state double on May 17-18 in Las Vegas, but she knows there will be a stiff challenge.

"I'm a little worried about Marshie Smith (of Reno)," Hardt said. "She will definitely give me a run for my money."

On Friday, Hardt won the 100 freestyle in 54.50 seconds and then came right back to win the 500 in 5:25.20.

"The 5:25 wasn't bad; I wish I could have gone 5:15, but this wasn't bad considering the circumstances," the Carson senior said, flashing a smile. "I had about a minute-and-a-half break between the two races, no time at all. I was still out of breath when I started that race."

Earlier, Hardt combined with Tara Theilemann, Megan Keller and Karen Burke to win the 200 medley relay in 1:56.12.

Theilemann also had a busy and productive day, as she came back to win the 200 freestyle (1:59.77) and 100 butterfly (1:01.62).

"I had three races within about 20 minutes," she said. "My 200 free time wasn't great, but I had to swim it to qualify for zone. And then I took a second off my time in the fly, so I was happy about that."

Not a bad day in the pool.

"We had practice here at 5:30 this morning and then a meet at 4," Theilemann said.

It was a day when many of Carson's swimmers tried different events. Lauren Costella, one of the nation's top milers, won both the 200 individual medley (2:11.88) and 100 breaststroke (1:10.62). Burke and Keller finished first and second in the 50 freestyle with respective times of 26.04 and 26.34, and Keller won her first 100 backstroke race of the year (1:04.90).

Costella, Lindemann, Burke and Hardt also won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:46.89.

On the boys side, Ryan Theilemann flashed to an impressive victory in the 100 butterfly with a 51.85 clocking that would have placed second at last year's state meet. He also cruised to easy victories in the 100 (51.85) and 200 freestyles (1:53.71).

Stroup won the 500 freestyle (5:35.59), followed by teammate Adrian Zeh (5:46.61). Stroup later won the 100 breaststroke (1:15.50).

Carson's Keil Costella was a winner in the 200 I.M. with a 2:22.20 clocking. Justin Barber won the 100 backstroke (56.47), just ahead of Galena's Devin Reese (57.04). Reese won the 50 freestyle (22.78), followed by Carson's Jake Oxoby in second (25.83).

Carson's swimmers conclude their regular season next Saturday when they host Reno for a league dual meet.


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