Tay Lopez-Simms moved over to a diving board when he added one more sport to his Douglas High School athletic resume this spring. As it turned out, his decision took the senior all the way to the medal stand Saturday at the NIAA State Swimming and Diving Championships in Las Vegas.
Lopez-Simms placed fourth in the one-meter diving with a score of 334.45 points at UNLV’s Buchanan Natatorium, good for five points that helped Douglas finish eighth in the boys team standings with a total of 21 points.
Shelby Koontz sprinted to second-place in the girls 50- and 100-yard to help Douglas finish seventh in the girls team standings with 27 points.
Koontz was timed in an impressive 50.89 in the 100, more than one second faster than her first-place effort of 52.14 at the region meet. It wasn’t fast enough to take the gold medal from Bishop Gorman senior Amy Lubawy, who won in a state meet record time of 49.82 to break the state record of 50.76 set by Reno’s Marsha Smith in 2002. Lubawy, who has signed to swim at the University of Tennessee, swam 24.09 for the opening 50 yards en route to her victory.
Earlier in the day, Koontz clocked a 23.70 in the 50 freestyle, which was a .12 improvement from her winning mark at the region meet. Lubawy won in a state record time of 22.98, surpassing the previous record of 23.48 by Silverado’s Alyssa Cady in 2004.
Douglas placed seventh in the girls 400 freestyle relay in 3:46.26 with the team of Erica and Savannah Chappell, Duffy and Koontz. Koontz swam an anchor leg of 50.85.
The team of Emma Gray, Clara Gray, Erica Chappell and Koontz placed fifth in the girls 200 freestyle relay (1:43.42).
Duffy also placed eighth in the 200 IM (2:22.01).
Senior Janosch Lancaster placed fifth in the 200 individual medley (2:01.48) and eighth in the 100 backstroke (58.66).
Lancaster was also part of the Tigers’ fifth-place 200 freestyle relay team (1:32.70) that included Joe Sullivan, Josh and Kevin Smithen.
Kevin Smithen placed seventh in the 100 butterfly (54.14).
For Lopez-Simms, the score was just short of the 343.60 total he put up one week before at the Northern Region diving competition held at the Carson Valley Swim Center. Not bad considering this was only his first season as a diver and that he only qualified for the region meet at the Tigers’ regular season-ending double dual meet on May 10.
Then again, Lopez-Sims has earned six varsity letters the last two years at Douglas and has been successful at every sport he has attempted. This past winter, he played his second season as a guard for the varsity basketball team. Last fall, he was the Tigers’ place kicker as a first-year varsity player and kicked two key field goals in the 19-13 rivalry game loss to Carson. He played soccer the two previous fall seasons and in the spring of 2013, and in the spring of 2013, was proficient enough in the pole vault to jump 12 feet for the track and field program.