South Tahoe qualifies 8 swimmers for state meet

Omar Manzano competes in the 500-free at the regional meet.
Provided/Leslie Edmonds

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — After a long day of preliminary qualifying on Friday at the regional meet, South Tahoe sent 11 swimmers to the finals on Saturday at Reno High School and eight athletes made it a step further and will compete this week at the state tournament in Las Vegas.

Madden Casto, Alexi Haven, and Omar Manzano qualified in individual events and will also compete on relay teams that include, for girls, Nichole Whisnant and Kate Hitchcock and for boys, Westin Terpening, Jerry Guebard and Zach Bellairs at the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Northern Region Swimming Trials and Finals.

“This was the fastest overall regional meet that I have seen in the 3A northern region,” said Vikings head coach Will Davenport. “The teams were deep and the competition was fierce.”

The South Tahoe boys tied for third place with North Tahoe with 159 points and finished behind Truckee (398) and Damonte Ranch (243).

Manzano dropped time in the 500-yard freestyle in preliminaries and then had to swim even faster in finals to hold off a hard-charging Truckee swimmer and hang on for fourth by an arms length in the longest individual race.

Manzano, Terpening, Guebard and Bellairs teamed to take third in the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 1:52.32.

The Viking girls swam to fourth place with 184 points and finished behind Truckee (345), Damonte Ranch (330) and North Tahoe (270).

Madden Casto’s third place finish in the 200 free was South Tahoe’s best finish.
Provided/Leslie Edmonds

Casto swam strong in the 200 free on both Friday and Saturday and earned third place which was the highest individual finish for South Tahoe Swimmers.

Haven rebounded from a tough finish in a butterfly event to out touch her competition in the 100 backstroke and place fourth.

The South Tahoe Girls A relay, Nichole Whisnant, Madden Casto, Alexi Haven, Kate Hitchcock, swam strong on Saturday and qualified for the State Meet in the 200 Medley and the 200 Free relays.

Alexi Haven competes in the 100-yard backstroke where she finished fourth and qualified for state.
Provided/Leslie Edmonds

The South Tahoe boys’ and girls’ swim teams overall had a record amount of swimmers (33) compete at the regional meet.

“Overall, I was very pleased with the improvement of all our swimmers throughout the year,” Davenport said. “The regional swim meet showcases the best swimmers in the area swimming their fastest times. All of our swimmers swam personal best times and pushed themselves to their limits. South Tahoe will take eight great swimmers to Las Vegas this weekend to represent their school and town. I am very proud of all their accomplishments and look forward to seeing them compete with the best in the state.”

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