Truckee swimming: Girls dominate regional championship meet | SierraSun.com

Truckee swimming: Girls dominate regional championship meet

Special to the Sun

By now, the Truckee girls are accustomed to blowing their regional competition out of the pool.

The Truckee girls swim team easily cruised to its fourth consecutive Northern Division I-A regional title in Carson City this past Friday and Saturday, posting a winning score of 373 points to runner-up Fallon's 232.

Ten Wolverines made qualifying times for the regional meet and seven advanced to the finals, which included the top eight teams from the prelims. The seven Truckee girls who advanced to regionals all swam in the top three places, often being out touched by their own teammates.

The top four finishers in each event advanced to the state championships, which will be held this Saturday, May 21, on the campus of UNLV.

The highlights for the Truckee girls meet were numerous, as they raced to first-place finishes in nine of 11 events and swept 1-2 and 1-2-3 in several races.

The meet started with the 200 medley relay, and Truckee's power-packed group of seniors — Niki Kates, Brittney Straw, Ingrid Suter and Kyla Burrill — won by a 14-second margin over second place. The relay team holds the school record, which they hope to break at the state meet this weekend.

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The 200 freestyle kept the momentum for the team with a 1-2 finish by Megan Burrill and Anna Kates. The 200 individual medley gave the Wolverines their first 1-2-3 sweep with Straw, Niki Kates and Grace Bronstone, while Kyla Burrill placed third in the 50 free behind Kate Rye from Incline.

One of the closest races for the Wolverines is always the 100 fly as Suter and Megan Burrill continually battle for first. At regionals, Suter out-touched Burrill by four-tenths of a second. Kyla Burrill then placed second in the 100 free, again behind Rye.  

Anna Kates had a star performance in the 500 free, finishing 21 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. The 200 free relay also swam to a first-place finish with Kates, Bronstone, Burrill and Kates.  

Niki Kates raced a personal best to win the 100 backstoke by 11 seconds. The 100 breaststroke gave Truckee another 1-2-3 sweep by Straw, Suter and Bronstone. The final event secured the first-place pattern when the 400 free relay of Megan Burrill, Bronstone, Suter and Straw won by nearly a minute.

South Tahoe finished third behind Truckee and Fallon, tallying 212 points, while Incline was fourth with 190 points and Lowry fifth with 175 points.

The Truckee girls figure to face some tough competition from Southern Division I-A power Boulder City at the state meet.

"Our girls will be tapered and ready for the challenge," said Truckee coach Jody Burrill.

Truckee boys on the rise

Meanwhile, the Truckee boys are experiencing a youth movement — and it showed with their third-place finish at the regional championships.

Made up of mostly freshman and sophomores and one junior, the seven Truckee boys who qualified for the regional championship swam smart races and achieved personal-best results.  

The 200 medley relay was no exception, as Cooper DeRyk, Logan Kasten, Gavin Olsen and Evan Opsal placed second with a personal best.  

Opsal, a freshman who was seeded 11th in the 200 free for prelims, swam a personal best to qualify in the finals and then swam another personal best in the finals to qualify for state with a fourth-place finish. Opsal repeated his performance in the 500 free, where he was not a favorite and raced his best to advance to the state meet.  

Kasten, who is on his second swim season, raced all personal bests, placing second in both the 200 IM and the 100 breast to advance to state.

Another second-year swimmer, Spencer Thomas, gave it his all in the 100 backstroke finals and finished seventh to score valuable points for his team.

All eyes and cheers were on DeRyk in the 50 free and 100 free. He placed first in both events, setting a school record in the 100 with a time of 47.71.  

The boys 200 free relay was spectacular, swimming to a first-place finish behind the effforts of Olsen, Kasten, Thomas and DeRyk.  

The Truckee coaches were on the edge of their seat with the boys 400 free relay, which was made up of relatively new swimmers JP Eikam, Noah Warren, Thomas and Opsal. They did not disappoint. All swam personal bests to qualify for state with a third-place finish.

Truckee's boys finished third with 252 points. South Tahoe claimed the win with 272 points and Lowry was second with 268.50.

"One more swimmer qualifying in the region finals and we could have placed first," coach Burrill said. "This is remarkable given how young and small the boys swim team is this year. 

"The entire team was supportive of each other the entire meet and all swam personal bests, and that is what counts most. We are looking forward to state meet at UNLV."