Good day for local swimmers at zone meet

MINDEN - Abby Niehoff started out on a positive at the Pacific Swimming Zone 4 Championships swim meet when she won her girls 9-10 age group 200-yard individual medley on Friday afternoon.

The 10-year-old Carson Tigershark continued her momentum right into Saturday when she added two more victories and a third-place finish at the Carson Valley Swim Center. Niehoff won the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:17.36 and 50 freestyle in 29.98 and placed third in the 50 backstroke in 35.66. She also won the 200 individual medley (2:41.65) on Friday.

"Abby had a really good day; she has the lead for the (girls 9-10) high-point trophy right now," Carson Tigersharks coach Jackie Boudreau said.

The day was a good one overall, Boudreau went on to point out.

"We're not the largest team here in terms of numbers, but we're up there competing for the team championship, so all-around this has been a successful day. We're looking forward to coming back tomorrow," Boudreau said.

Carson also produced a winner in the girls 11-12 age group 200 freestyle relay when the quartet of Barbara Perkins (30.7), Sarah Metcalf (29.1), Samantha Ashmore (31.5) and Rebekah Niehoff (29.3) turned a time of 2:01.17. The Tigersharks were chased to the finish by Lakeridge (2:02.39) and South Tahoe (2:04.61).

The meet host Douglas Dolfins had some victories of their own to celebrate in the A flight competition on Saturday. Katie O'Neill won the girls 11-12 100 backstroke (1:13.81, two seconds faster than her entry time), Andrea Lindsey won the girls 13-and-over 200 breaststroke (2:40.58, an improvement of two seconds), Whitney Lindsey won the girls 9-10 100 breaststroke (1:28.27, an improvement of three seconds), Steven Shih won the boys 8-and-under 50 backstroke (42.07), David Shih won the boys 13-and-over 200 breaststroke (2:37.41, an improvement of three seconds), Scott Cronk won the boys 15-18 200 breaststroke (2:31.58, an improvement of two seconds) and Brian Shepard won the boys 13-and-over 100 butterfly (1:00.47), followed by David Shih (1:01.57).

Eleven-year-old Kaylee Hames finished 10th in the girls 11-12 A flight 100 freestyle, but her 1:07.57 effort was a major highlight for the team, according to coach Sarah Govan.

"Kaylee had an incredible 100 freestyle. That was a new state time and she took six seconds off her previous best," Govan said, referring to the state championship meet which will be held this November in Las Vegas. "She barely made the A standards for this meet, but she's been killing all of her old times today."

Another improved Dolfin was 7-year-old Jeremiah Simpson, who won the boys 8-and-under B flight 100 freestyle with a 1:40.76 clocking. The time was a personal record by 16 seconds.

Speaking of improved swims, Carson Tigershark Logan Merriweather took 10 seconds off his best time in the 50 breaststroke with a 44.63 clocking that was good enough to win the boys 13-and-over race.

"We have our novice swimmers who have only been in the water for six weeks and Logan stepped up and won his event," Boudreau said of Merriweather.

Two other Tigersharks who only joined the team this summer competed well: Kaitlin Scharmann was second in the girls 11-12 B flight 50 freestyle (32.52) and Hannah Nystrom (38.5) improved her time by three seconds.

"For the kids who just came out this summer, we're using this meet as a reward for all the work they've put in," Boudreau said. "This is their first chance to go to a championship meet; they're getting used to the atmosphere, and they're doing great."

Govan echoed those thoughts.

"Our new swimmers were awesome today," the Dolfins coach said. "Kids like Cassandra Howard and Marissa Bertolone-Smith did a great job."

Individual winners for the Tigersharks in the B flight on Saturday included Monique Hautekeet in the girls 8-and-under 100 freestyle (1:44.14, an improvement of seven seconds), Sean McKenna in the boys 11-12 100 freestyle (1:11.69, an improvement of three seconds), Kevin Dyer in the boys 11-12 100 backstroke (1:37.15), plus Paul Chang in the boys 9-10 50 freestyle (38.85, an improvement of five seconds) and 25 breaststroke (22.93, an improvement of 13 seconds).

The Dolfins' B flight winners included Jeremy Tigh in the boys 9-10 50 backstroke (49.30, an improvement of 21 seconds), Rebecca Chappell in the girls 11-12 100 backstroke (1:25.96, improvement of five seconds), Justeen Mills in the girls 11-12 100 freestyle (1:10.75) and 50 breaststroke (40.21), Veronica Avitia in the girls 9-10 100 freestyle (1:20.31) and 50 freestyle (34.94).

The zone meet concludes it three-day run today. The competition begins at 9 a.m. at the Carson Valley Swim Center.


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