Tigersharks set for major meets

The next couple of weeks will be a busy time for many Carson Tigershark swimmers.

Lauren Costella and Justin Barber will compete in the USA Summer National Championships at Clovis West High School in Central California. The nationals will be held Aug. 14-18.

At the same time, many Tigershark swimmers will compete in the Far West Regionals to be held in the East Bay area. Tara Theilemann, who will be among the swimmers at the Far West Regionals, is also competing this week at the Western Zone Regionals in Hawaii.

Costella placed fifth at the U.S. Spring Nationals in the 1,500-meter freestyle and Justin Barber also competed in the spring nationals. Berths in the Goodwill Games, which begin this month in Sydney, Australia, will be at stake at the summer nationals.

But the women's 1,500 is normally not an event that is part of international competition, so Costella will likely have to qualify for the Goodwill Games in the 800 freestyle.

"It's just a matter of time," said Tigershark coach Jim Puleo about the women's 1,500 becoming more prominent on the international level.

"She's a real good miler," Puleo also said about Costella in the 1,500.

While Costella may be considered a long shot to qualify for the Goodwill Games in the 800, Puleo said she shouldn't be counted out.

"She had a real good 800 the other day in practice," Puleo said. "You never know what's going to happen. She may just pop up and have the swim of her life."

In addition, Costella will compete in the 400 individual medley and the U.S. Open Water Championships 5K swim, which will be held Aug. 19 at Millerton Lake near Fresno.

Barber will compete in the 1,500 and the 400 I.M. time trial. "He's doing well," Puleo said. "He's got a great attitude."

Theilemann was Carson's only swimmer to represent this region's all-stars Hawaii. "I'm really happy for her," Puleo said. "I think she'll do well."

Theilemann will compete in the 50, 100, 200, 400 and 800 freestyles and the 200 backstroke in the 15-16 age division. "I think she has potentially a very good 200 in her," Puleo said.

Tara Theilemann, Ryan Theilemann and Ryan Hudson will be among the Tigersharks' older swimmers competing in the Far West Regionals and the Tigersharks will have other younger swimmers in the meet as well.

"Our kids don't back down from anybody," said Puleo about his swimmers. "We just need to get a little bit bigger and stronger."


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