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DHS swimmers head to zone

by Chuck Smock

Dual meets haven’t been pleasant experiences for the Douglas swim teams this season.

The undermanned Tigers have had a hard time swimming head-to-head against the much larger squads on their schedule.

This weekend, the Douglas boys and girls will get the chance to prove themselves in a more competitive environment at the Northern Nevada Zone Meet at UNR.

“Throughout the season, we’re always getting whomped in dual meets because we don’t have the numbers,” DHS coach Don Luikart said. “Some teams bring in 60 to 70 swimmers and its hard to compete. At a zone meet, it doesn’t matter how many you have, it’s the quality not the quantity.”

Luikart added that the DHS boys are shooting for a top-eight finish, but could place as high as fifth. The Douglas girls have their eyes on a top-four finish.

The top four individuals and relay teams at the zone meet will qualify for the state meet, May 14-15 in Las Vegas.

On the boys’ side, Luikart expects sophomore Peter Keegan to swim well in the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle at zone.

Senior Bobby Nix will compete in the 50 free and the 500 free. He switched from the 100 free to the 500 free late in the season and surprised himself with a very respectable time of 5 minutes, 38 seconds, Luikart said.

Senior Daniel Haskell will swim the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke, while freshman Daniel Riggs is scheduled to enter the 200 free and 500 free.

Luikart said sophomore Dan Canale, a first-year swimmer, has improved a great deal in 212 months. The coach is hoping Canale will have some pretty good time drops in the 100 breaststroke and 50 free.

Matt Schober will swim the 200 free for Douglas.

The Tigers 200 medley and 200 free relay teams are expecting good showings at zone. Riggs, Haskell, Keegan and Nix will make up the 200 medley team. Canale, Riggs, Nix and Keegan will swim the 200 free relay.

Katie Carlson will give the Douglas girls senior leadership in the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke.

And sophomore Charlene Rigdon real good chance to win the 50 free and the 100 backstroke, Luikart said.

The Tigers are also strong at the distances. Sophomores Ellen Lillegard (200 free and 500 free) and Cassie Patterson (100 butterfly and 500 free) should add points to the Douglas total.

Freshman Konnie Seamons will swim the 200 IM and 100 free, and could sneak into the top four in either event, according to Luikart.

Freshman Betsy Carlson is scheduled to swim the 100 breaststroke and 100 free for the Tigers.

Rigdon, Katie Carlson, Seamons and Patterson will make up Douglas’ 200 free relay and 200 medley relay teams.

Douglas junior Brittany Reichardt, the two-time defending state champion in the 100 breaststroke, has been battling illness all season and won’t compete at the zone meet.