Swimmers set the bar in South Tahoe
Last year was a big one for the Greenwave varsity swimming team sending 12 swimmers to the state competition. This year most of those swimmers have returned for coach Kenneth Grimes’ fifth year with the Wave in the pool, and the team’s start to the season in South Tahoe this weekend is already turning some heads.
With four teams split into two brackets, South Tahoe vs. Lowry and Churchill County vs. Sage Ridge, the Wave boys swimmers came close to Sage Ridge with a total 96 to Sage Ridge’s 111, while the Wave girls triumphed 143-36 over the Sage Ridge girls.
Grimes said he was really happy with what the boys accomplished for their first meet of the season despite some losses and he was very proud of the girls as well.
“They did a really good job and we had some real solid swims even from a lot of our newer members,” Grimes said. “I was just really happy to get them all in the water and get a base line for where we’re at while taking a look at some of the other competition we’re going to be up against this season.”
The Wave’s second meet of the season is Saturday at 9 a.m. at Minde with four teams including Douglas, Hug and Sage Ridge.
“I was just really happy with our performance,” Grimes added. “We had a couple of missed DQ’s (disqualifications) but we had some good solid times and we’re going to build this year quite a bit. Kids who swam last year are swimming about where I expected them to, and my new kids coming in did an awesome job.”
Among Grimes’ returning cast, the foursome of Kaelyn Nemeth, Danielle Brown, Amber Revels and Katalina Martinez placed first in the girls 200-yard medley Relay with a time of 2:17:24 minutes against the Sage Ridge girls’ time, 2:44.59.
“They actually dropped a little bit of time from last year from where I had them, so I was really proud of them,” Grimes said of the foursome.
Among the boys returning, Wave sophomore Christian Nemeth came in second in the 200 yard individual medley with a time of 2:36.05, just behind Sage Ridge’s Chris Miller who took first with a time of 2:07.44.
Grimes said he was pleased Nemeth dropped a little bit of time from his previous best like several others in the boys bracket are trying to accomplish.
The freshmen crop began to make a name for themselves at this event while displaying there is still work to be done. On the girls team, Katlynn Hanks swam in the 200 yard individual medley and finished with a time of 3:13.60, second to Martineze who finished at 2:45.65 with no Sage Ridge swimmers in the bracket.
“Hanks swam individual medley and she finished the race, so I was really proud she got a pretty decent time,” Grimes said, adding that his only other new swimmer on the girls team didn’t have enough practice under her belt to qualify competing at South Tahoe.
Swimmers filling out the girls roster include Sierra Bivens, Bailey Deide, Addy Harmon, Journey Martin, Madison Tiede, Michelle Ward and Makayla Webb.
Among the new boys, freshman Justin Bivens swam in the 500-yard freestyle and finished with a longer time of 10:14.35. Grimes added, however, that this was impressive for Bivens’ first meet, let alone his first 500.
“It was his first time ever doing it and he picked a hard one to do, so it was his choice and I was proud of that,” Grimes said. “I always like swimmers who pick the tough ones. I like that attitude.”
Swimmers filling out the boys roster include Kobe Abe, Nick Amerson, Charlie Brown, Chai Yu Chang, Thomas Diaz, Kelsey Isaac, Jared Miller, Lorenzo Mori, Nathan Narag, Kendall Rogers, Brian Seline, Lance Turnham and Ryan Ware.
“Right now we’re just trying to get conditioned mostly,” Grimes said when asked about practice for the upcoming meet at Douglas. “We’re trying to build our condition up so we can compete in all of the events and finish. Events like the butterfly are extremely intensive as far as just trying to finish the race, so we’re all trying to build endurance and make sure we can finish all four events. Most of my swimmers swim two individual events and then two relays, and I ask them to make sure we swim two relays just so we can score points to get in there and be competitive.”
With the bulk of his state competitors returning, Grimes said he is excited with the lineup this year in light of the team’s performance this weekend.
“I think the girls definitely showed me they’re going to be strong this season and my relay teams did an excellent job,” Grimes said, “so fingers are crossed and I’m hoping everything pans out the way it looks. They look they’re going to be tough. We don’t have a big girls team but we’re pretty competitive so I think we’ll be right in the mix.
“The boys I have are developing and young swimmers and I’m looking to see some of these guys drop some times from last year. Some came back bigger than last year, so its just a matter of getting conditioning down and watching some times fall.”