Grimes, Ward nab 2 state bids
It was a trio of qualifiers for the Fallon swim teams.
Kyle Grimes, Katrina Ward and Kaelehn Nemeth all earned bids to this week’s Division I-A state meet in Las Vegas after solid performances at the Northern Division I-A regional meet at the Carson Aquatic Facility.
In addition, the boys will send their 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay teams to state, while the Lady Wave will compete in the 400 free relay.
Fallon’s girls placed fourth with 146 points behind regional champ Truckee (328), South Tahoe (325) and Lowry (190).
The boys, however, took sixth with 137 behind regional winner South Tahoe (282), Sage Ridge (259), Truckee (230), Fernley (217) and Lowry (196).
“I thought we just did a fantastic job,” Fallon coach Ken Grimes said. “It was beyond my expectations. The kids came through.”
Grimes placed second in the 50 free with a time of 23.70 seconds, just behind South Tahoe’s Brady McIntyre (23.37).
Grimes also took fourth in the 100 free in a dramatic finish. The Fallon junior edged Sparks’ Dominic Roman by .09 seconds (56.60-56.69) to secure his second individual qualification.
Ward, meanwhile, added another pair of qualifications as she took second in the 200 free with a time of 2:21.60. She also placed fourth in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:13.69, narrowly missing third place behind South Tahoe’s Margaret Albrecht (1:13.14).
“For my 200 (free) … when we in the water I could see the girl next to me,” Ward said. “All that really mattered to me was begin ahead of that one girl.”
Freshman Kaelehn Nemeth, who was seeded fifth, took third in the 100 free (1:05.84), while Joise Bekiares (1:07.08) missed the state cut by .59 seconds behind Lowry’s McKenzie Maddoz (1:06.09).
“At the beginning I was really skeptical about it,” Nemeth said of her race. “When I touched the wall … and saw my name was No. 3, I was so proud.”
The boys added their 200 free relay squad to the state mix, as Kaydn Klein, Nick Amerson, William Reece and Grimes took fourth (1:47.14). In addition, the 400 free relay team of Reece, Nathan Narag, Garrett Snooks and Grimes took second (4:06.37) to capture another state bid.
“The 400 free relay, I thought, would take fourth,” Ken Grimes said. “That was a surprise to me and did a real nice job.”
Bekiares, a senior, earned her place in state along with Ward, Sierra Bivens and Nemeth, in the 400 free relay (4:26.22).
“We were trying to win that relay for Joise so she could go to state as a senior,” Ward said. “We sprinted as hard as we could.”
Ward, Nemeth, Bivens and Bekiares nearly earned another state bid in the 200 free relay, but fell just short taking fifth (1:58.61) behind Truckee (1:58.19).
“All my 400 free relay girls dropped time,” Grimes said. “It shows we have a lot working and I’m excited for next year already.”
Snooks, though, missed a state bid in both of his individual events as he took sixth in the 100 fly (1:16.36) and was ninth in the 200 free (2:22.30). Reece placed 12th in the 50 free (27.89) and missed the cut for the regional finals.
The Lady Wave’s 200 medley team of Josey Moore, Danielle Brown, Amber Revels and Tia Owens finished sixth (2:25.27), 2.24 seconds behind Lowry for fourth.
The boys 200 medley relay team of Davis Koenig, Amerson, Zack Keener and Erik Endacott placed fifth, about 19 seconds behind Fernley.