Wave aims to make splash at regionals | NevadaAppeal.com

Wave aims to make splash at regionals

Steve Puterski
Fallon's Kyle Grimes finished fourth in the 50-yard freestyle and eighth in the 100 free at Saturday's Division I-A state swim meet in Las Vegas.
Steve Puterski / sputerski@lahontanvalleynews.com | LVN

Regional info

The 2014 Northern Division I-A regional swim meet is today and Saturday at the Carson Aquatic Facility, 841 N. Roop St.

Today’s meet starts at 3 p.m. and consists of the preliminary heats in events that are applicable. Saturday’s finals begin at 11 a.m. and determine state qualifers. Swimmers must finish in the top four to reach next week’s state meet in Las Vegas.

Ticket prices for both days are $10 per adult, $5 for students, $3 for seniors (62 and older) and free for children 8 and under.

Barring a disqualification, the Fallon swim team already has its first state qualifier.

Katrina Ward qualified in the 200-yard freestyle, but will still swim in today’s and Saturday’s Northern Division I-A regional meet in Carson City.

Through no fault of her own, Ward’s event only had four qualifiers, and thus, all should compete in next week’s state meet in Las Vegas.

As for the rest of Fallon swim team, the athletes dive into the pool at 3 p.m. today at the Carson Aquatic Facility for the preliminary races. The top eight of each event, assuming more than eight swimmers qualified in an event, will compete at 11 a.m. Saturday in the finals. The top four of each event qualify for state.

Ward, meanwhile, qualified in a pair of individual events including the 100 butterfly. As luck would have it, there is no prelim for the fly either.

Despite the brush of good fortune, Ward still must finish in the top four of the fly to qualify.

“For both events, I don’t like to think that I’m just going to make it,” she said. “I like to think I have to push for it. I’m thinking I have to get my times faster.”

As for the fly, Ward said she must learn not to breathe and keep her head down to plow through the water. Coming up for air, she said, increases fatigue in her arms, which leads to a slow pace.

“Since I’m shorter, I have to get my reach longer too,” Ward said. “It’s what training is for. I have trained myself not to breathe as much.”

Joining Ward in the chase for state in individual events, though, are fellow Lady Wave swimmers Kaelehn Nemeth and Joise Bekiares, both in the 100 free. On the boys side, Kyle Grimes leads the pack for Fallon in the 50 and 100 free, while Garrett Snooks aims to qualify in the 200 free and 100 fly. William Reece joins Grimes in the 50 free.

“We’ve just been working sprints, sprints and sprints,” Grimes said. “I think we will do pretty good. I’m hoping all three of us swimming Friday will make it to Saturday and make the top eight.”

Grimes is Fallon’s top-ranked swimmer as he is ranked No. 2 in the 50 free and No. 3 in the 100. He is focused on returning to state, where he helped the Greenwave boys to a 14th-place finish last season.

A year ago, Grimes placed eighth in the 100 backstroke, but this year has made his mark in the sprints. He won the Northern Nevada Invitational in April and has proved to be one of the fastest swimmers in the North.

“I’m ready for it, honestly,” Grimes said. “There is no reason to put more pressure on it. You can psych yourself out, so treat it like any other event and hope it turns out well.”

Reece, meanwhile, has a tough challenge ahead as the No. 10 swimmer in the 50 free must drop more than 1 second to challenge for a state berth.

Snooks is also playing the role of underdog as he sits in sixth and eighth in the fly and free, respectively. Like Ward, Snooks will also forgo the prelim heat in the fly.

“I’d like to see Will drop a little more time and make the finals,” Ken Grimes said. “If he can drop 1 second, he has an opportunity to make finals.”

As for the Lady Wave, their relay teams sit in good position to qualify all three to state. The 200 free team of Ward, Sierra Bivens, Bekiares and Nemeth is ranked fourth, although Incline sits in fifth by .13 seconds.

The 200 medley squad of Josey Moore, Danielle Brown, Amber Revels and Tia Owens sits fifth, while the 400 free team of Ward, Bivens, Nemeth and Bekiares is sixth.

“We have a couple shots there,” Ken Grimes said of the relays. “We are getting everyone mentally ready for it. We have been trying to fine tune everything.”

For the boys, the 200 free foursome of Haydn Klein, Nick Amerson, Reece and Grimes is fourth, while the 200 medley of Davis Koenig, Amerson, Zack Keener and Eric Endacott is sixth.

The 400 free team of Reece, Nathan Narag, Snooks and Grimes sits in seventh.