A year ago, the Carson Tigersharks only had two age group swimmers qualify for the high-powered Far Western Championships. The list for this year's meet was expanded to 10 this past weekend when the Tigersharks turned in a strong performance at the Spring Fling in Reno.
Jake Priest logged his first Far Western qualifying time in the 11-12 year old boys age group; Kevin Dyer achieved a qualifying mark in the boys 11-12 500 freestyle, Garrett Clayton made the cutoff in the boys 11-12 500 freestyle and 400 individual medley for the first time (he made it in the 200 freestyle for the second time), and Rebekah Niehoff got her first cutoff time in the girls 13-14 200 freestyle and John Wandel got his first cutoff time in the boys 13-14 100 freestyle.
"We're taking 10 to the Far Westerns and last spring, we only had two, so it's nice to see our program growing in the number of quality swims," Tigersharks age group coach Jackie Boudreau said about the Far Westerns, which will be held the first week of April in Pleasanton, Calif.
"We had a very successful weekend with many swimmers achieving best times. The coaches are also happy that our swimmers are trying new events, including the younger swimmers trying the long distance events."
Overall, nearly 50 swimmers competed for the Tigersharks.
In the 6-and-under boys division, Ryan Steele won the 25 breaststroke, to go with third-place finishes in the 25 free and 25 back.
In the 8-and-under girls, Jessica Fahrenbruch was third in the 50 back, fourth in the 100 free and 25 back, fifth in the 50 free and 25 free. Morgan McEwan also placed fourth in the 50 breaststroke.
In the 8-and-under boys, Jacob Branco placed fourth in the 100 free, fifth in the 25 fly and 50 back. Tim Grunert was fourth in the 25 breast and fifth in the 100 free.
In the 9-10 girls, Marisela Avitia placed second in both the 500 free and 50 fly. Adriana Avitia was fourth in the 100 breast, Krista Baumgartner fourth in the 50 fly and 50 free, Alexandra Schlager fifth in the 200 free and 100 I.M., and Lisa Yamamoto fourth in the 100 free.
In the 9-10 boys, Nick Schlager was a winner in the 50 back, 100 back, 50 breast, 100 breast, 50 free, 100 free, 500 free, 100 I.M. and second in the 50 fly.
In the 11-12 girls, Abby Niehoff was first in the 50 free, 200 back, second in the 100 I.M. and third in the 50 fly. Among the B flight swimmers: Veronica Avitia was first in the 50 back and 100 free and third in the 50 free. Caroline Suh was second in the 200 free and third in the 200 I.M. Beth Lewis was fifth in the 100 free.
In the 11-12 boys, Sam Ballard was first in the 200 fly. Clayton won the 100 breast, 200 breast, 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, as well as the 100, 200 and 400 I.M. Dyer placed second in the 50 back, 100 back and 100 free. Priest was first in the 50 fly and 50 back. Scott Wandel was second in the 100 breast, third in the 500 free and 100 I.M.
In the girls 13-14, Rebekah Niehoff was first in the 100 back and 200 free. Among the B flight swimmers: Danielle Judge was third in the 100 back, Sarah Metcalf first in the 200 free and Hilary Schlager first in the 100 back.
In the 13-14 Boys, Sean McKenna placed third in the 400 I.M., and John Wandel first in the 50 free and 100 free. Andrew Willett was first in the 100 fly, 200 fly, 100 back, 200 back, 200 free, 500 free and 400 I.M.
In the 15-and-over girls, Lauren Costella was first in the 200 fly and second in the 200 breaststroke, Tara Theilemann was first in the 100 back and third in the 50 free, and Lauren Metcalf first in the 500 free and second in the 100 back.
In the 15-and-over boys, Justin Barber was second in the 100 back and 200 fly and Adrian Zeh third in the 200 fly.
GALENA HIGH SCHOOL
Mike Damonte won two individual races, including a school record time of 55.5 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly, to help the Galena boys take a 149-133 dual swimming and diving meet victory against South Tahoe on Saturday. Damonte broke the school record in the 100 butterfly by two seconds and later won the 100 backstroke in 1:00.12.
Galena was also a 194-107 victor during the girls competition Saturday in South Lake Tahoe.