Tigersharks shine at Far Westerns
April 6, 2003
Abby Niehoff may be one of the youngest Carson Tigersharks swimming at the Far Western Regional Championships, but she produced the team’s biggest result Saturday in Pleasanton, Calif.
The 11-year-old blazed to a time of 11 minutes, 0.31 seconds in the 1,000-yard freestyle to shatter her personal record for the event and capture second-place in the girls 11-12 age group. She set a National Reportable Time and improved her personal best by 24 seconds in the process, according to Tigersharks assistant coach Jackie Boudreau.
“She had our swim of the meet,” Boudreau said. “She was just strong the whole way.”
To put the effort in perspective, Niehoff turned a personal record time of 5:31.11 to finish 18th in the 500 freestyle earlier in the day. She swam even faster over both the first half and second half of her 1,000 — going out in 5:30.10 and finishing in 5:30.21.
Overall, the day was a success for the Tigersharks, who logged improved times in 10 of the 11 events they entered, Boudreau said.
Kiel Costella placed eighth in the boys 17-18 age group 200 butterfly with a time of 2:07.72. He qualified for the finals with a 2:08.64 clocking that improved his previous personal record by two seconds.
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Rebekah Niehoff swam 11:13.50 in the 1,000 freestyle, good for 14th in the girls 13-14 division and a personal record by four seconds. She also finished 28th in the 500 free in 5:28.50.
Andrew Willett finished 14th in the boys 13-14 500 free in 5:05.98, his lifetime best by six seconds. Later in the evening Willett, Sean McKenna, John Wandel and Garrett Clayton placed eighth in the 200 freestyle relay, timed at 1:42.08.
Kevin Dyer, 11, improved his times in the 100 backstroke (he finished 23rd in 1:07.48) and the 500 freestyle (27th in 5:43.53). This is Dyer’s first trip to the prestigious Far Westerns.
Lauren Costella, a Carson High senior swimming for the Tigersharks, placed 10th in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the U.S. National Championships, finishing in 16:45.90.