Dyer and Niehoff are all-stars

Swimming 100,000 meters in the pool over a lifetime would be quite a bit. For the Carson Tigersharks' Abby Niehoff and Kevin Dyer, that's a typical week.

And because they've spent so much time in the pool and worked so hard, Niehoff and Dyer have been chosen to represent the Pacific Swimming All-Star Team at the Western Zone Meet to be held Aug. 13-19 in Kearnes, Utah.

Niehoff and Dyer were among the top swimmers from the Pacific Region covering much of Nevada and Northern California to be chosen for the meet. They will swim against top swimmers from across the Western United States, including California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii and Utah.

Niehoff will swim in 13-14 girls while Dyer will compete in 15-16 boys. For both it's their first all-star selection.

Tigershark coach Jim Puleo said it was impressive that Dyer was chosen as a 15-year-old at the bottom end of his age division. Dyer just turned 15 last month, so he's going up against many swimmers who are nearly two years older than him.

"It's kind of weird because I just aged up," said Dyer, who will be a freshman at Carson High, about being chosen. "I expected not to make it this year but next year. It feels pretty cool."

Dyer and Niehoff were chosen based on their performance at last week's Pacific Junior Olympic meet. Niehoff won five events at the meet while Dyer won three.

Niehoff won the 200-meter butterfly and the 100, 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyles. Dyer won the 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyles. Niehoff and Dyer also both took second in the 200 free.

"I think it's kind of cool," said Puleo about the two being chosen. "We're really proud of both of them."

Puleo said Dyer could compete in the 400 and 1,500 freestyles at the Western Zone meet while Niehoff could swim in the 400 and 800 freestyles and the 400 individual medley.

Niehoff admitted, though, that she would prefer to swim in the 200 fly and 400 and 800 freestyles.

"I'd be really surprised," said Niehoff, who will also be a fresman at CHS, if she's chosen to swim the 400 I.M. "I haven't done the 400 I.M. in a long time."

But Niehoff did say it was an honor to be selected for the meet. "It's nice to be chosen for the meet," she said.

Since Dyer and Niehoff are distance swimmers who are used to swimming at altitude, that should give then an advantage at the Western Zone meet, which will be held at altitude in Utah, Puleo said. "I know their going to be a tremendous value to that swim team," Puleo said.

Niehoff agreed. "I think it will be an advantage," she said. "Kevin and I swim at altitude so I think it will be easier for us."

Dyer, though, admitted he wasn't as excited about swimming at altitude. "Over other people maybe," said Dyer on if swimming at altitude gave him an advantage. "I would rather be swimming at sea level because you swim faster. But I guess it will be good."

At the Pacific meet, Dyer got off to a rough start. Although he won the 1,500 free, he was disappointed with his time. "I didn't do too well in that," he said.

But Dyer came back to swim strong in the rest of the meet. "I felt pretty good about that," he said. "I felt great about the rest of the stuff. The 400 was one of the most fun races I've ever had."

Dyer would definitely like to swim in the 1,500 free at the Western Zone meet. "So I can have another chance at that," he said.

Niehoff was also pleased with her effort at the Pacific meet. "I did pretty well," she said. "I felt pretty good in most of my races."

Dyer and Niehoff work out twice a day four to five days a week and typically swim 6,000-7,000 meters at each practice. By the end of the week that adds up to 100,000 meters.


Kiel Costella, who will be a sophomore at Villanova, turned in an excellent performance at the Speedo Nevada-California Sectional Championships at the Clovis West Olympic Complex in Fresno, Calif.

On Thursday, Costella finished the 800 free in eight minutes, 59.02 seconds, beating his best time by eight seconds. He came in seeded 56th and wound up 38th.

Costella almost equaled his best time in the 400 free in his first 400. "He took it out pretty aggressively," Puleo said.

Costella also beat his best time by five seconds in the 400 I.M. on Friday. Costella will swim in the 400 free today and in the 100 fly on the final day of the meet on Sunday.


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