There’s quality, and rivalries, at Intermountain Classic | NevadaAppeal.com

There’s quality, and rivalries, at Intermountain Classic

Dave Price

There’s an ample supply of talent competing in the Carson Tigersharks Swim Club’s Intermountain Classic this weekend. Not to mention some old rivalries.

Julie Hardt, a Carson High School graduate who now swims for the University of Georgia, won the women’s 13-and-over 50-meter freestyle on Saturday. Lauren Costella of the Tigersharks posted her second victory of the weekend, this time in the 200 breaststroke. Justin Barber of the Tigersharks also placed second in the 400-meter individual medley and 100 backstroke as the four-day meet reached its midway mark at the Carson City Aquatic Facility.

Hardt, a gold medal winner in the 800 freestyle relay at the 2001 World Championships, led a 1-2-3 Reno Aquatic Club sweep in the 50 free with a time of 27.82 seconds. Ashley Clendenin, a former junior college national champion in the 100 freestyle and now at the University of Nevada, was second (28.29). Kate Hardt, Julie’s younger sister and a Carson High senior who has signed with Minnesota, was third (28.87). Konnie Seamons of the Douglas Dolfins was fourth (28.93).

Costella, a qualifier for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials, won the women’s 13-and-over 200 breaststroke in 2:53.76, just ahead of the Terrapins’ Shiloh Brice (2:54.18) and Jenni Stratton of Portland’s David Douglas Swim Club (2:54.69).

Brice began her swimming career with the Douglas Dolfins in Minden. She is now a a junior at Liberty High in Brentwood, Calif., where she was a top-five finisher in the 200 I.M. and 100 butterfly at the CIF North Coast Section finals last weekend.

The talent pool on the boys side is pretty impressive, too.

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Barber renewed a former rivalry with Scott Kaufmann of Reno Aquatics in the men’s 13-and-over 400 I.M., where they finished first and second. Kaufmann, a Reed High graduate who placed seventh in the 1,000 and mile freestyle races for Florida at the SEC Championships, won the race in 4:48.07. Barber, a 17-year-old Carson High junior and another Olympic Trials qualifier, was close behind at 4:49.95.

That was nothing new because Kaufmann and Barber went 1-2 in the 500 freestyle at last year’s Nevada state high school championships as well as the 2000 and 2001 Northern 4A meets.

Barber was even closer in the 100 backstroke, where he lost by three-one hundredths of a second to Matt Biel of the Terrapins. Biel, who won the 500 freestyle for De La Salle High School at the North Coast Section meet, was clocked at 1:06.62 and Barber at 1:06.65.

Kaufmann won the 200 breaststroke (2:38.31), while Ryan Theilemann of the Tigersharks (2:39.76) edged Barber for second (2:40.8).

Theilemann also placed fifth in the 50 freestyle (26.98) and 14-year-old David Shih of the Dolfins sixth (27.00). James Anderson of the Fallon Barracudas won the race in 25.80.

The host Tigersharks had highlights in the younger age group races, too. Garrett Clayton was third in the boys 11-12 200 freestyle (2:40.34, an 11-second improvement on his personal best) and the 200 breaststroke (3:16.8). Luke Gentner placed third in the boys 9-10 200 freestyle (3:02.76, a personal best by two seconds) and Paul Chang was sixth (3:08.48, a personal best by 15 seconds). In the girls 11-12 100 butterfly, Candice Cottle swam 1:29.58, her best by 18 seconds, and 9-year-old Elizabeth Bennett went 2:34.17 in her first attempt at the event.

Steven Shih of the Dolfins won the boys 8-and-under 200 freestyle in 3:16.01, his best time by 13 seconds.

The Intermountain Classic resumes today, with the morning session scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. at the Carson City Aquatic Facility.