Small in numbers, but big in talent is the driving force for the Fallon swim teams.
The Greenwave returns another solid core to the Northern Division I-A regional meet today and Saturday at the Carson Aquatic Center.
Today’s action begins at 3 p.m. and Saturday’s meet starts at 11 a.m.
Despite Fallon’s limited roster size, the boys qualified five and the Lady Wave earned six individual regional bids.
“We are basically fine tuning everything,” Fallon coach Ken Grimes said. “Making sure are strokes are staying nice and neat, and starts and turns are good.”
Spearheading the charge for the boys team is speedster Kyle Grimes, who is one of the fastest swimmers in the North. The Wave senior is among the top five in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events.
He must battle a tough field in today’s preliminary heat before taking on an even stiffer challenge in Saturday’s finals to once again earn a state berth.
“This year I think there is going to be a little more competition,” Grimes said. “As a whole, I think we are going to do pretty good.”
Fellow senior Katrina Ward, meanwhile, is also gearing up for another state run in the 200 free and 100 butterfly events. She is also a key cog in the Lady Wave’s 200 medley and 400 free relay teams.
“I’m shooting for second again,” Ward said of her 200.
But for Ward, the past week has been a blessing as she and the rest of her regional qualifiers finally got a much-needed break from painstaking workouts.
In swimming, tapering is nearly as important as blasting through hundreds to thousands of yards of swimming during a regular prep week.
This season was condensed as a result of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s decision to move the season up one week to avoid Memorial Day weekend.
As a result, Ward and her mates haven’t had time to allow their muscles to rest and for the work put in during the season to really shine. Despite the grueling schedule, Ward expects her times to drop even more than they have this season, which will be needed at the regional meet.
“Usually we get in shape right at state,” she said. “We started earlier (practice) this year … and I feel like I am in better shape than last year. Coach is finally going to let us taper and my muscles will be rested so I can go faster.”
While Grimes and Ward are focused on their specialties, they will be joined by nine teammates in various events.
Isaac Kelsey (100 free), Nathan Narag (200 and 500 free), Christian Nemeth (200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke) and Kendall Rogers (100 backstroke) fill out the boys roster.
For the Lady Wave, Sierra Bivens (50 free), Danielle Brown (100 breast), Amber Revels (50 free, 100 fly), Kaelehn Nemeth (50 free, 100 back) and Katalina Martinez (50, 100 free) join Ward.
Martinez, though, has been a rising star for the Lady Wave the past several weeks as she has shot through the ranks to qualify for regionals.
In addition to the individual qualifiers, Fallon also earn regional berths in five of the six relays (boys and girls combined). The boys will compete in the 200 and 400 free with the foursome of Grimes, Narag, Kelsey and Christian Nemeth.
The Lady Wave, meanwhile, qualified all three including the 200 medley team of Kaelehn Nemeth, Brown, Ward and Martinez.
Bivens, Revels, Nemeth and Martinez will race in the 200 free, while Bivens, Revels, Brown and Ward take on the 400 free.
“We’re going and let’s get as many to state,” Ken Grimes added. “This is certainly attainable and something we can do better next year.”