Carson boys and girls swim past Lowry in dual
There's nothing like an exciting 400-yard freestyle relay at the end of any high school swimming and diving meet. The Carson Senators and Galena Grizzlies made sure that matter was taken care of Saturday afternoon when they waged a nip-and-tuck race to the wire to close out their Northern 4A double dual meet at the Carson Aquatic Facility.
Even though no points were at stake since the teams weren't competing head to head in the meet, Galena did log a solid early-season time of 3 minutes, 34.29 seconds - four-tenths ahead of Carson - in what looks like a season-long race toward the 4A state finals in May.
Carson didn't have to take a back seat in its dual meet against Lowry, however, as the Senators won by a 173-75 score in the boys competition and by a 181-96 score in the girls competition. In the other dual, South Tahoe's boys edged Galena 147-144, while Galena's girls won by a 173-112 score.
All in all, Carson coach Monica Weaver described the meet as a success.
"They did great. This is just our third meet, we're still trying to get some of our newer swimmers in swimming shape and it looks like we're getting there," she said.
Carson's 400 freestyle relay team has already emerged as a state meet contender after turning in solid performances back-to-back in its last two meets. Last week, the Senators turned a time of 3:33.20 and barely lost to Douglas. Saturday, the quartet of Kiel Costella, Jake Oxoby, Jeff Stroup and John Wandel went 3:34.69.
Costella staked the Senators to an early lead with his 53.23 effort for the leadoff leg and Oxoby extended the lead to nearly five seconds with his 54.12 split for the second leg. Galena came back to take the lead on Adam VanAntwerp's 50.2 effort (a personal record by more than one second) on the third leg, then Jon Garvey (52.5) held off Carson's Wandel over the final leg. Nick Damonte and Tony Aguilera swam the first two legs for Galena.
By comparison, Oxoby and Costella are returning members of the Carson team that placed fifth in the 400 freestyle relay in a time of 3:31.05 at last year's state meet in Reno.
"That was a good race, a fun race to watch," Weaver said. "Right now, it looks like they're one of the top two or three teams (in the North), but they're going to have to step it up because that's going to be a very close race at zone."
From an individual standpoint in Carson's dual against Lowry, Costella was an easy winner in both the boys 200 individual medley (2:08.06) and 500 freestyle (5:06.37). Oxoby was a double winner in the 100 butterfly (59.15) and 50 freestyle (24.61), while Wandel swept the 200 (1:50.58) and 100 freestyle (51.39). Wandel won the 200 freestyle by two seconds over South Tahoe standout Zach Powers in a time that would have placed sixth at last year's state finals.
Carson also had plenty of individual highlights on the girls side, led by double winners Jamie Engen, Hilary Schlager and Rebekah Niehoff. Engen won the 200 I.M. (2:13.48) and 100 backstroke (1:01.26), Schlager won the 100 freestyle (59.23) and 100 breaststroke (1:15.23) while Niehoff doubled up in the 200 freestyle (2:02.04) and 500 freestyle (5:24.90).
Engen's time in the 200 I.M. would have placed fifth at last year's state meet. Niehoff's time in the 500 freestyle would have been good for eighth at state.
Katie Wandel placed first in the 50 freestyle (26.76) while Jessica Goddard won the 100 butterfly (1:08.15) and placed second in the 50 freestyle. Lauren Metcalf was a close second-place finisher in the 500 freestyle (5:27.8) and the 100 breaststroke (1:17.27).
Wandel, Metcalf, Schlager and Emily Johnson combined to win the 200 freestyle with a 1:50.13 effort. Engen, Schlager, Goddard and Niehoff won the 200 medley relay in 1:58.15.
Notes ... Galena's Gillian Auble finished first in her 500 freestyle event with a time of 5:30.52 that was less than two seconds off the school record. ... South Tahoe did get a school record time of 3:59.53 in the girls 400 freestyle relay from the team of Lacey Payne, Melissa Anstett, Natalie Turner and Jorie Turner. ... Carson will be at home again this coming Saturday for a dual against Spanish Springs.