Engan wins title in 500 free
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – How many swimmers do you know that win a state title in one event and finish second in another, and aren’t jumping up and down with joy?
Well, you can put Carson High’s Jamie Engan, who won the 500 free and finished second in the 200 free at Saturday’s NIAA State Swimming Championships at Lombardi Rec Center at the University of Nevada, in that category.
“I’m bummed,” were the first words out of her mouth as she got ready to leave the meet. “I’ve been tapering and I felt really good. I thought I would be able to go a lot faster.”
She went fast enough. Engan led the Senators to a seventh-place finish, accounting individually for 17 of Carson’s 26 points. Engan also swam a leg on the Senators’ fourth-place 200 free relay squad, which also earned a medal.
The Carson junior won the 500 in 4:57.80, well under her time of 5:04.98 en route to knocking off Boulder City’s Blakely Bunch, who beat Engan earlier in the day in the 200.
It was obvious that Engan had a plan in the 500. Each length of the pool she narrowed the gap on Bunch. She trailed by .06 after 350 meters, but passed Bunch on the next length of the pool and took the lead by 0.16 and easily held on.
“It went pretty much the way I wanted,” Engan said. “I wanted to stay on her; draft off her a little. I had a little more left at the end than she did.”
“It was one of her best times,” Carson coach Monica Weaver said. “We wanted her to stay close and pass her at the end.”
In the 200, Engan wasn’t pleased with her splits, though she never trailed Bunch by a wide margin.
“I was pretty nervous,” Engan said. “I think that might have had something to do with it. I wasn’t really looking for a negative split, but I felt I was getting slower every lap.”
In the 200 relay, Carson moved up one notch on its last lap to medal. Other members of the relay squad were Katie Wandel, Hillary Schlager and Jessica Goodard.
Carson also placed seventh on the boys’ side with 30 points, as John Wandel grabbed a fourth and fifth, and Sam Forbes had a fifth and seventh. The 200 free relay squad placed fourth to earn a medal and the 400 free relay squad took seventh.
Wandel went out in 24.26 and swam a little slower in the final 50 meters en route to a 50.63, good for fifth place. In the 100 back, Wandel improved by more than one second on his time from last week and squeezed into the last medal spot.
“I’m proud of my 100 back (race),” Wandel said. “I beat Trevor Schaff (from Douglas). That’s what I wanted to do. In the 100, I felt I could have done better.”
Forbes got off to a slow start in the 200 IM and was last most of the way before finishing seventh in 2:10.91, well off his time from the zone meet. He returned to the pool and swam a strong 100 fly (56.19), shaving more than two seconds off last week’s time.
“It (the 100 fly) wasn’t as good as I expected,” said Forbes, a junior foreign exchange student from Australia. “I had some really bad turns.”
“I think it was a matter of getting that first swim out of the way,” Weaver said. “He swam better in his next event.”
Garrett Clayton, Matt Grunert, Scott Wandel and Kellen Dale combined for a 1:38.51 and a fourth-place medal in the 200 free relay. Dale swam an especially strong second leg to get the Senators back in contention after a slow start.
Forbes and John Wandel teamed with Andrew Cardinal and Matt Grunert for a seventh in the 400 free relay, the last event of the day.
When asked to assess her team’s performance, Weaver didn’t mince words.
“Fair to middling’,” she said. “Some swims were better than others.”
Kayla Mariani led the Galena girls to a sixth-place finish.
Mariani swam a leg on the Grizzlies’ fourth-place 200-yard medley relay squad (1:55.97), teaming with Janelle Lasko, Gillian Auble and Cady Auble. The group lowered its time from the zone meet (1:55.97 compared to 1:57.87).
Mariani took third (25.52) in the 50 free, losing out to a pair of talented freshmen – Alexis Grothe of Boulder City and Jace Howanitz of Bishop Gorman. She grabbed a fifth in the 100 fly, clocking a 1:00.24.
“The free was exciting,” Mariani said. “I didn’t feel real good during warmups; didn’t feel like I could move. I was happy with the 50 free and I came in not caring. I went up one place too early.”
The Grizzlies also got a fifth-place finish from Janet Swensen in 1-meter diving, and a fifth-place finish by Gillian Auble in the 500 free (5:22.54).
Keegan Ferrari finished seventh in the boys’ 100 breaststroke (1:05.13) and he swam a leg on Galena’s eighth-place 200 medley relay squad (1:47.22). Nick Damonte, Ryan Owens and Adam Antwerp were also on the squad.
South Tahoe didn’t bring a lot of competitors, but still fared well.
Natalie Turner took two fourths – the 100 free (54.87) and the 50 free (25.57). She swam a shade faster in both events at zone last weekend. Tim Powers was seventh in the 100 fly (58.56) and swam a leg on the Vikings’ fifth-place 200 free relay squad (1:38.64). Hans Mayer, Greg Koeck and Dan Rabbets were also on the squad.
Douglas tied for 10th on the boys’ side, as Trevor Schaff (100 back, 57.56), Taylor Brockway (500 free, 5:20.39) and Justin White (100 free, 51.24) all finished sixth in their respective event.
Hayes Wilson, Schaff, Brockway and White also were on the 400 free relay squad (eighth) and 200 free relay (seventh). Mike Freeman swam a leg on the 200 relay.