Distance swimmers help Tigersharks take second

Brea Cook, 8, of the Douglas Dolfins competes in the girls 10 and under 100 freestyle during the final day of the Intermountain Classic at the Carson Aquatic Center on Monday afternoon.

Brea Cook, 8, of the Douglas Dolfins competes in the girls 10 and under 100 freestyle during the final day of the Intermountain Classic at the Carson Aquatic Center on Monday afternoon.

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Propelled by a strong effort from their distance swimmers in the 800-meter freestyle, the Carson Tigersharks moved up to second-place in the team competition at the end of the Intermountain Classic long course age group meet on Sunday.

Lauren Metcalf and Rebekah Niehoff placed first and third respectively in the 15-18 girls 800 freestyle; Kevin Dyer and Matt Grunert went 2-3 in the 13-14 boys race and Caroline Suh was second in the 11-12 girls race to set the pace for the Tigersharks in the finale of the four-day invitational at the Carson City Aquatic Facility.

The Tigersharks finished second as a team with 466 points, behind only the Reno Aquatic Club with 768.5 points.

Carson's Jamie Engan also emerged as the individual high-point trophy winner and Tara Theilemann was the runner-up in the 15-18 girls age group. Dyer was also the high-point trophy runner-up in the 13-14 boys division.

"This was a good start for the long course season for the kids," Tigersharks coach Jim Puleo said, "and I saw things like team spirit, a lot of kids cheering for their teammates, and that's important. So, all in all, I was very proud of the kids."

Metcalf picked up her 800 freestyle victory with a personal record time of 9:56.17, Niehoff took third in 9:59.33 and Hilary Schlager was fifth in 10:38.79.

Dyer logged a time of 9:52.06 to place second in his race and Grunert was third in 10:18.95, a personal record by 40 seconds. Suh placed second improved her lifetime best by two seconds with a time of 11:42.09. And Jake Oxoby placed fourth in the 15-18 boys race in a personal best 11:25.66.

"The distance kids all did a good job, especially when it came to working the back half of their swims," Tigersharks age group coach Jackie Boudreau said. "We wanted them to shoot for negative splits and, pretty much across the board, the swimmers were able to do that."

Theilemann, who just finished her freshman year at the University of Alabama, captured first-place in the 200 freestyle with a 2:15.03 - five seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

Dyer, 13, was also a winner in the 200 freestyle with a 2:18.62 clocking and Grunert placed fourth in 2:20.38. Grunert placed third in the 200 individual medley in 2:42.74, eight-tenths of a second away from winning.

Oxoby placed third in the 100 butterfly with a 1:09.05 clocking and Schlager took eighth in the 200 IM in 2:51.85, her personal best time by six seconds.

Suh placed third in the 50 butterfly with a 36.19 and fifth in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:40.08 - both personal best times. She also took third in the 100 backstroke in 1:24.34.

Members of the Tigersharks will compete in the 24th Lake Berryessa 1- and 2-Mile Open Water Swims this coming Saturday.

"That's something the kids enjoy doing," Puleo said of the open water swim. "They get to go there and do stuff as a team and it's a change of scenery from training in a pool. They're not staring at a black line in a pool, there's no flip turns, there's some pushing and elbows being thrown, so it's good experience for them."

Looking ahead, Lauren Costella will represent the Tigersharks at the prestigious Janet Evans Invitational on June 10-13 in Long Beach (Justin Barber is also entered, but he will swim for Notre Dame), while the rest of the team competes at the Reno Gamble.


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