Niehoff pulls off impressive double

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Abby Niehoff pulled off an impressive double for the Carson Tigersharks on Thursday at the Adam Szmidt Memorial Pacific Swimming Long Course Junior Olympics in San Jose. Teams from Northern Nevada and Nevada are competing in the event.

Niehoff swam in the 100-meter freestyle preliminaries, then won the 1,500 free, and finished by winning the 100 free in the finals in 13-14 girls. Niehoff finished third in the 100 free preliminaries in one minute, 1.47 seconds.

She went on to win the 1,500 free in 17:38.18, a national reportable time which places her in the top 16 in the nation in her age group. The time was her second best ever, just missing her personal best she set two weeks ago at the Santa Clara Junior International meet.

"I tell you what she took it out real fast," Tigershark coach Jim Puleo said. "She did everything I asked her to do."

Niehoff finished by winning the 100 free in 1:00.17. Puleo told Niehoff before the finals why not break one minute. "Can't you follow directions?" said Puleo, jokingly about what he told Niehoff after the race.

"I think that puts a feather in her cap," said Puleo about the double. "She works hard in morning practices and afternoon practices. That says a lot about maturity and toughness."

Despite not having their best races, Kevin Dyer and Barbara Perkins were still able to finish strong in the 1,500 free. Dyer won in 15-18 boys in 17:38.22 and Perkins took second in 15-18 girls in 19:01.11. Tatum Boehnke swam to a personal best of 18:59.42 in taking fourth in 13-14 girls.

Samantha Ashmore also did the 100-1,500 double in 15-18 girls, finishing 43rd in the 100 free preliminaries in 1:06.46, lowering her best time by three seconds. Despite being bothered by shoulder problems, she was able to finish the 1,500 free in 20:19.51. "She finished real strong," Puleo said.

Also for the Tigersharks, Michaela Gillenwater took 21st in the 10 and under girls 100 breaststroke in a personal best 1:41.10 and 52nd in the 100 free in 1:21.22, Cody Gillenwater took 22nd in the 11-12 boys 100 free in a personal best 1:09.15 and Julia Asire was 50th in the 13-14 girls 100 free in 1:07.02.

"I think the kids are doing a really good job," Puleo said. "They're supporting each other and they're having fun. If they're having fun they're going to swim well."

Today, Boehnke, Niehoff, Ashmore, Perkins, Dyer and Michaela Gillenwater will swim in the 200 free, Caroline Suh (13-14 girls) and Michaela Gillenwater will swim in the 100 butterfly, Hannah Burton will swim in the 11-12 girls 200 breaststroke, Michaela and Cody Gillenwater and Burton will swim in the 50 backstroke and Suh, Asire, Ashmore, Boehnke, Perkins and Niehoff will swim in the 800 free. The meet concludes on Sunday.


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