Ward, Nemeth ready for state swims
The 2014 state swim meet is Saturday at the Bucky Buchanan Natatorium on the campus of UNLV.
The Division I swimmers start at 11 a.m., while the DI-A begins at 2 p.m.
The Fallon swim team isn’t satisfied with just getting to the state meet.
In fact, the Greenwave swimmers are aiming to display their talent at Saturday’s Division I-A state meet in Las Vegas.
Kyle Grimes and Katrina Ward lead the charge, as the two veterans both qualified in two individual events. Perhaps more impressively, though, is the emergence of freshman Kaelehn Nemeth, who also qualified for state after her best performance of the season at last week’s regional.
Grimes will compete in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle, while Ward will swim the 200 free and 100 butterfly.
Nemeth, meanwhile, will tackle the 100 free after an impressive regional swim where she placed third after coming in as the fifth seed.
“If their mind’s are in it … then we can take off time,” Fallon coach Ken Grimes said. “It’s notorious going to state with kids who are just happy to be at state. We’ll try to keep them focused.”
Kyle Grimes, however, is battling through injury and illness. He missed Monday’s practice with a respiratory issue and he also injured his thumb when touching the wall in the 100 free at the regional meet.
“He came in and touched the wall wrong on the touch-pad,” Ken Grimes said. “We talked about that. We don’t use the touch-pad all year. He bent his thumb back pretty good.”
Despite the injury and illness, Kyle Grimes is the North’s second seed in the 50 free and fourth seed in the 100.
For Ward, in addition to her two individual events, she will also compete in the 400 free relay along with Nemeth, Joise Bekiares and Sierra Bivens.
“I’m hoping through this week we get faster,” Ward said. “I’m hoping to break 1 (minute), 13 (seconds) with my butterfly. For the 200 … I need to get it down.”
Nemeth, meanwhile, admitted to pre-race nerves but said she is confident she can put out a solid swim.
“I’d like to push myself like I have never pushed myself before,” she added.
Perhaps the biggest surprise for the Greenwave was the result from the boys 400 free relay team of William Reece, Nathan Narga, Garrett Snooks and Grimes. The foursome placed second with a mark of 4:06.37, more than 4 seconds ahead of third-place Lowry.
“I was very pleasantly surprised with our 400 relays, both of them,” Ken Grimes said. “We have a couple people who could place in the top four.”
The 200 free relay team of Haydn Klein, Nick Amerson, Reece and Kyle Grimes took fourth at regionals and has a tough race ahead of them. The quartet narrowly missed third place at the regional and was 5 seconds behind second-place South Tahoe.
This week of practice, though, started with tough workouts with tapering coming later in the week to provide fresh bodies.
In addition, the second-year coach worked on mental preparation, especially with the first-time state qualifiers.
“We have to stay focused on what’s in front of you,” Ken Grimes said. “We will put in some pretty tough work. We won’t practice on Friday (today) because we will be driving down.”