Douglas High coach Sarah Davenport knew her girls had some catching up to do Saturday at the Northern Division I Region Swimming and Diving Championships in Carson City.
It was close, but in the end, the Douglas girls pulled together and edged Galena by a narrow 342-337 margin to secure their third straight team championship. The Douglas boys, meanwhile, had a little more breathing room while outscoring Reno 434-380 to win their team championship and complete a Douglas sweep at the Carson Aquatic Center.
In addition to the team titles, Douglas took home the region’s Sportsmanship Award, sophomore Shelby Koontz received her second Female Swimmer of the Year, and the Tigers’ diving coach, Hope Castro, was honored as the region’s Coach of the Year.
The top three finishers in each event qualified for the NIAA State Championships, which will be held Saturday starting at 8 a.m. for swimming races and 11 a.m. for the diving at UNLV’s Bucky Buchanan Natatorium.
The Tigers’ girls and boys championships represent the culmination of a lot of work and preparation. The sweep was within reach last year, however, the Douglas boys fell three points short of Reno.
“I had full confidence in our team,” said senior Janosch Lancaster, a gold medal winner in the boys 200-yard individual medley. “Our goal was to win both, and we pulled it off.
“We were worried, but as soon as the meet began, we had some guys improve their times and move up. Once that started happening, I knew we were going to be tough to beat.”
The girls team faced some adversity, however, when swimming standout Shaeline Morefield was lost to an injury last week and diver Dakota Boisseau had to undergo emergency oral surgery.
“We started out the meet without 50 points we expected to have,” Davenport said. “It was fun to watch them come together. Everybody was out there taking up the slack and swimming their hearts out.”
Douglas held a 13-point lead over Galena going into the 400 freestyle relay, and clinched the team title with a third-place finish (3:45.97) by Kaila Duffy (1:00.09), Erica Chappell (57.15), Savannah Chappell (58.14) and Koontz (50.59). It marked the end of a big day for Koontz, who earlier successfully defended her region titles in the 100 freestyle (52.14) and 50 freestyle (23.82). She also brought Douglas from behind on the anchor leg for first-place in the 200 freestyle relay (1:42.36 along with Emma Gray, Clara Gray and Erica Chappell).
“It was pretty hard,” Koontz said of the team championship. “We just had to work all that much harder to reach out goal.”
Douglas won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:42.36 with the team of Emma Gray (26.82), Clara Gray (26.14), Erica Chappell (26.15) and Koontz (23.25). Koontz trailed Damonte Ranch by one-half second when she hit the water for her anchor leg, however, she won by 1.41 seconds.
Erica Chappell placed fourth in the 100 freestyle (57.31) and fifth in the 200 freestyle (2:05.17). Kaila Duffy placed third in the 200 individual medley (2:22.0, an improvement of nearly 2 seconds over her prelim time). Duffy also placed fourth in the 100 butterfly (1:03.70). Savannah Chappell placed fourth in the 500 freestyle (5:28.98) and fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:03.67).
Lancaster won the 200 IM in 2:00.59, five seconds faster than his time Friday in the prelims, and good enough to beat Carson rival and top-seeded Dagen Kipling (2:01.44). Lancaster’s time was also two seconds off the Tigers’ team record held by Jeff Maynor, a 1996 Douglas graduate who went on to swim at LSU and at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials.
“He (Kipling) beat me in the prelims so it was good to come back and beat him,” Lancaster said. “It’s a good rivalry. We’re always pushing each other, but no matter what happens, we’re always happy for each other.”
Lancaster also placed third in the 100 backstroke (56.80) and Kevin Smithen fourth (57.85). Douglas placed second in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:31.44 with Lancaster, Josh Smithen, Sullivan and Kevin Smithen. Douglas took fourth-place in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:31.15 with the team of Adam Dack (53.51), Justin Hight (54.21), Joe Sullivan (53.44) and Lancaster (49.99).
Tay Lopez-Simms placed third in diving Thursday at the Carson Valley Swim Center with a score of 343.60, while Jordan White took fourth (310.50) to narrowly miss qualifying for state. Garrett Seward placed sixth (243.10) as Douglas racked up 44 critical diving points.
Kevin Smithen placed second in the 100 butterfly (53.87).
Josh Smithen placed third in the 200 IM (2:06.79) to qualify for the state meet and fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.62).
Adam Dack placed fourth in the 500 freestyle (5:15.59, a 2-second improvement) and fifth in the 200 freestyle (1:56.34, a 2-second improvement from his prelim time). Freshman Joe Sullivan placed fifth in the 50 freestyle (23.21).