South Tahoe swimmers eye moving on to state |

South Tahoe swimmers eye moving on to state

Chad Sellmer, Tribune staff writer

Jim GrantNatalie Turner warms up prior to practice on Thursday at the Rec Center

The South Tahoe High School swim team is looking toward its upcoming season with an eye on repeating last year’s appearance at the state meet in the boys’ relay event and maybe even winning the state title this year.

STHS coach Dale Bogard, returning for her sixth season as head coach, said with a solid core of upperclassmen returning, as well as an infusion of some talented freshmen, this could be the team’s year to challenge the league’s bigger schools.

“In the last few years we’ve been in the (Nevada 4A) High Desert League and we’ve moved up and up,” Bogard said. “Last year, we ended up in fourth place out of eight teams. It is really hard to compete against the big teams down in Reno and Carson, but we’re giving them a run for their money.”

In team scoring, South Tahoe is hampered by a lack of facilities to train at the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Center.

“One of the big things is we don’t have diving because our pool is not deep enough, so (other teams) have divers that score against us,” she said, adding that the team makes up for its deficiencies by focusing even more on the events it can compete in. “It used to be those big teams didn’t care so much about South Tahoe, but now they know I really strategize and we are a contender.”

The swim team also won the Sportsmanship Award from the league last year, which will be presented to the team at the recreation center on March 15.

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“I think that means more to me than state because it means the kids are behaving and that’s really important to me that they are representing South Lake Tahoe with class,” she said.

Some returning seniors are Jordan Sharpe, Brittany Sharpe, Tiffany Carter, Karen Grant, Kelly Humphreys, Vanessa Porfiri, Caitlin Robinson and Sierra Shipley.

Bogard said some freshmen to watch this year are Timmy Powers, Bailey Flood and Natalie Turner.

“I think you’re going to hear from them after the first meet,” Bogard said. “They are looking good in the pool. They know their strokes and they’re fast.”

Returning female swimmers who advanced to regionals last year are Robinson, Jorie Turner, Melissa Anstett, Ashley Bratton, Grant, Carter, Lindsey Best and Porfiri and for the boys it’s Zack Powers, Ansel Robinson, Jason Schmedes, Erik Gallanty, Andrew Contreras, Travis Travis, Sharpe and Steven Grant.

Powers, Robinson and Schmedes also advanced to state last year as part of the boys’ relay team.

“Last year was the first time we sent a boys’ relay team to state since I’ve been doing records and that was fantastic,” Bogard said. “Also, Zack Powers got into the finals in two events down there (UNLV) — the 200-meter individual medley and 100 breaststroke — and he broke every (South Tahoe) record last year. Of course the freshman Timmy Powers is going to be looking to break his brother’s records.”

Bogard thinks this might be the best year for South Tahoe to advance to state in several events since the meet might be downsized next year.

“This year, they’re still keeping it with the top five go to state,” she said. “Next year, unfortunately they’re talking about downsizing state in every sport. I think we have a good shot at it and I tell you, we have an opening on this team (for boys’ relay) and I have all the boys shooting for that.”

Bogard’s team members are also confident.

“I think we have a good team this year and we’ll be really strong,” said Sharpe, now in his second year of swimming freestyle and backstroke. “The competition is tough, but I think we’ll make it to regionals.”

Junior Melissa Anstett, who has been swimming since the sixth grade, hopes to make regionals this year in the backstroke.

“Last year, I broke a lot of my best times and made it to regionals,” Anstett said. “I think we have some big competition because we’re such a small team in an upper division, but the team is pretty strong this year and we’ll probably do better than last year. A lot of fast people graduated, but we have a lot of freshmen who are moving up fast.”

Ann Bratton is the team’s assistant coach, in her fourth season. Other assistants are Carol Chaplin, Katerine Boeger, Jackie Taylor, Paul Amato (weight training), Derek Beller and Walter Morris (nutrition information).

2003 Schedule:

3/8 at Carson 10:30 a.m.

3/15 Galena 9:30 a.m.

3/22 Reno 9:30 a.m.

3/29 McQueen at UNR 2 p.m.

4/12 Reed at UNR 10:30 a.m.

4/18 Douglas 3 p.m.

5/3 Lowry at UNR 2 p.m.

5/5 End season at UNR 4 p.m.

5/9 No. Regional Trials TBA

5/10 No. Reg. Finals TBA

5/16 State Tr. No. Pool TBA

5/17 State Fin. No. Pool TBA