Douglas boys win fifth straight title
A gold medal performance in the 200-yard medley relay put the Douglas High boys out front from the start en route to its fifth straight team title at the Northern 4A Region Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday in Carson City.
Even though that was the only race they won during the meet, the Tigers used overall depth to roll up 381 points to win by 90 points over the runner-up Carson Senators at the Carson Aquatic Facility.
Douglas won an exciting 200 medley relay race as the quartet of Taylor Knowles, Jack Stevenson, Joey Smithen and Justin LoPresto went 1:42.16 to touch-out Bishop Manogue by a slim .08 margin. Less than three-tenths of a second separated the top four teams.
Meanwhile, Baylee Silveira won two individual gold medals to provide a highlight for the Douglas girls, who finished third in the team standings.
Silveira captured the 100 freestyle gold medal with a 52.49 effort that bested defending region champion Alexia Taylor-Arredondo of Spanish Springs (52.75). Silveira returned to the pool and won the 100 backstroke with an impressive 56.73 effort, that was nearly two seconds faster than the runner-up. The sophomore also helped Douglas win the 200 freestyle relay as she combined with Lilyanne Bickmore, Cailey Tollmann and Taylor Sullivan to turn a time of 1:43.02.
The top three finishers in each event qualified to compete again this coming Saturday when the NIAA State Championships are held at the Buchanan Natatorium in Las Vegas.
In another closely contested race, Smithen placed second in the 100 butterfly in 53.66, just three-hundredths behind Reno junior Nathan McAlister. Less than four-tenths separated the top four finishers.
Douglas placed second in the 200 freestyle relay as LoPresto, Connor Taylor, Knowles and Smithen clocked a 1:31.88, just .37 behind Manogue in first-place. Despite coming up short in this race, the Tigers were actually faster than their region gold medal time of 1:32.63 last year.
LoPresto, a freshman, placed third in the 50 freestyle (22.80).
On Wednesday, Alexander Laningham earned his ticket to the state meet with a second-place finish in the diving held at the University of Nevada’s Lombardi Recreation Center. Laningham was the 2017 region diving champion.
The Tigers had other highlights from competitors who missed the state meet cut.
Smithen placed fourth in the 200 individual medley. Freshman Joshua Beam also won the B final.
Jack Stevenson, another freshman, placed fourth in the 500 freestyle and sixth in the 100 breaststroke.
Knowles and Connor Taylor placed fourth and fifth respectively in the 100 backstroke.
Four Tigers won their B finals: Dakota Blaha in the 200 freestyle, freshman Niko Hight in the 500 freestyle, Kade Forbes in the 100 freestyle and Daniel Taylor in the 100 breaststroke. Each of those B main victories was worth nine team points.
The Tigers placed third to qualify for state in all three relays: Kaela Forvilly, Sullivan, Bickmore and Silveira in the 200 medley (1:53.68); Bickmore, Tollmann, Sullivan and Silveira in the 200 freestyle (1:43.02); and Sarah Hyatt, Julia Chappell, Forvilly and Tollmann in the 400 freestyle (3:54.30).
Tollmann placed fifth in both the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle.
Forvilly placed fifth in the backstroke and Chappell won the B final.
Sullivan placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke.
Bickmore placed fifth in the 100 butterfly and Hyatt took sixth in the 100 freestyle.