All good things must come to an end and to be honest, Carson High's streak of six straight state titles in girls swimming is in jeapordy.
With only five swimmers heading to the NIAA/U.S. Bank 4A State Championships on Friday and Saturday in Las Vegas, the Carson girls swim team realistically has a slim shot at best of defending its crown. With its depth, Reno will be the favorite to win the title.
But that doesn't mean the Senators will be conceding anything and while a state title is a long shot -- a second place finish behind Reno is still a definite possibility. With six swimmers, the Carson boys swim team should also have a strong showing at state.
Carson's boys are coming off a zone title. Senator coach Monica Weaver said she's hoping for a top three finish for her boys team at state. Among the favorites is Silverado.
Justin Barber, who won the 500-yard freestyle and the 200 individual medley at zone and is hoping to repeat that feat at state, isn't counting out Carson as a threat to win the state title as well.
"It will be good to win, but I think we'll be second, maybe third," Barber said.
For the girls to have any shot at a state title, Weaver said her team will have to win all three relays and Tara Theilemann and Kate Hardt will have to go one-two in the 100 free. That will be difficult since Carson finished second to Reno in all three relays at zone. Carson and Reno both broke the state record in the 200 medley relay at zone.
"Their girls are phenomenol," said Weaver about Reno. "To make another run at the state title, I feel we'll have to win all three relays. I don't know if that's going to be possible."
Lauren Costella is the favorite to win the state title in the 500 free and Kate Hardt and Theilemann are favored to go one-two in the 200 free for Carson.
While Barber did what was expected of him at zone, it took outstanding efforts from the who boys team to win the Northern 4A crown.
"I was pretty confident, but not sure," said Barber about the team winning zone. "It was still pretty exciting.
"It was great that those people made it into the finals that were kind of iffy. Every couple of points counted."
Among the key wins for Carson came in diving where Brent Server won the zone title.
"I didn't know it was going to make that much of a difference," said Server about his victory helping the Senators win zone. "It made me feel better about winning."
"It went off and on through the season, but I felt confident about winning," said Server about his diving heading into zone.
Server said his goal is to win the state title, but would be satisfied with a top four finish.
Another key performer was Kiel Costella, who qualified for state in four events. Baseball's loss was swimming's gain when it came to Costella. He wanted to play baseball, but eventually came out for swimming.
"We weren't sure we were going to have him before the start of the season," Barber said. "I'm glad he swam instead. We needed the points."
Those who will be competing for Carson at state and their scheduled events are: Girls -- Theilemann 100 free, 200 free, 200 free and medley relays; Hardt 100 free, 200 free, medley and 400 free relays; Karen Burke -- 50 free, medley, 200 and 400 free relays; Megan Keller medley, 200 and 400 free relays; Costella 200 I.M., 500 free, 200 and 400 free relays.
Boys -- Ryan Theilemann 100 butterfly, 100 breaststroke, medley and 400 free relays; Barber 200 I.M., 500 free, medley and 400 free relays; Costella 200 and 500 freestyles, medley and 400 free relays; Jake Oxoby medley and 400 free relays; Jeff Stroup 500 free; Server diving.
Diving notes: Carson High diver Tamara Hall, who has advanced to zone the last two years, has signed a letter of intent to dive for Findley University, a Division II school in Ohio.