MINDEN - When the inaugural Pacific Swimming Zone 4 Championships swim meet began on Friday, there was a little something for each of the 300-plus age group swimmers present at the Carson Valley Swim Center.
"We're trying to make this meet very supportive of all the levels of swimmers in Zone 4," meet referee Gale Maynor said. "The idea was to accommodate the fast kids and to give the novice kids something, too."
The meet continues today and Sunday, starting at 9 a.m. both days in the Swim Center's outdoor pool.
This is the first time an official championship meet has been held for Pacific Swimming's Zone 4 (Northern Nevada and California's Eastern Sierra region). The eight participating clubs include the host-Douglas Dolfins, the Carson Tigersharks, Reno Aquatic Club, Lakeridge Swim Team, Incline/Tahoe Aquatics, plus California's South Tahoe Swim Club, Mammoth Lakes Swim Team and Bishop Swim Team.
From an individual standpoint, the competition is divided into a B flight for novice racers and an A flight for those who have more experience. Medallions are being presented to the top eight in each event and high-point trophies go to the top swimmers in six age categories.
"This is the first time we've had this meet," Dolfins head coach Sarah Govan said. "It's kind of an end-of-the-summer meet."
Not for everyone. Some of the competitors this weekend are preparing for the prestigious Far Western Invitational in two weeks in Concord, Calif.
"For the novice kids who didn't make the cut for Far Westerns, this is their championship meet," Douglas assistant coach Susan Govan said. "And for the kids who did (make the cut for Far Westerns), this is a semi-taper meet to see where they're at."
The Dolfins' Andrea Lindsey achieved a couple of goals on Friday when she won the girls 13-and-over A flight 400-yard individual medley. The 13-year-old Lindsey posted a time of 5 minutes, 00.30 seconds to win her race and set a personal record by nine seconds. The time was also good enough that she will receive an invitation to Far Westerns in 2002.
"That was a Q Time. That qualifies her to go to the Far Westerns spring meet," Susan Govan said.
Another Dolfin, 13-year-old Kaitlin Young, lowered her personal best by eight seconds with a 5:30.5 effort in the same race. And 14-year-old Brian Shepard clocked a 4:50.34 in the boys 13-and-over 400 I.M.
"There's a kid who is coming into his own," Susan Govan said of Shepard. "He had the meet of his life up at South Tahoe a couple of weeks ago. He was dropping his times by as much as 20 seconds and he ended up with a high-point trophy."
Interestingly enough, Susan Govan has been involved with the Dolfins for no less than 11 years. And one of the young swimmers in the program at that time was her daughter, Sarah, who is now head coach.
In the past, this meet was called the Cal-Nevada Championships. Now, it's a zone championship.
"I think it's great we finally have a championship meet," Maynor said. "I'm glad to see it arrive; this has been a long time coming."