Fast times at South Tahoe High |

Fast times at South Tahoe High

Matt O'Neill

Depth and experience are the key words for South Tahoe swimming in 2001.

The Vikings are returning a group of experienced swimmers who know all four strokes according to coach Dale Bogard.

“This is the fastest team I’ve had in a while,” the xxxx year coach said.”All the swimmers have come back in shape as well.”

Although the girls’ team lost all-leaguers Kristi Collins and Denise Bogard, the Vikings still return a big group of swimmers, including senior Jessica Tinlin, sophomore Lisa Anton (both state qualifiers); as well as sophomores Brittany Barth, Tiffany Carter, Samantha Crosson, and Caitlin Robinson, all of whom were zone qualifiers.

“It’s going to be hard without them, but we have some talented freshman who will step up for us,” Tinlin said.

If the fast times from the early practices are any signal of how the Vikings will to this season, then South Tahoe is in for a superb season.

“We’ve had the best times ever from most of the swimmers here,” junior Jeff Koeck said. “We have a lot better swimmers this year. We’re going to have a killer team.”

Koeck leads a smaller group of boys, but they’re equally as deep as the girls.

Joining the Keock, a zone qualifier, are sophomore Scott Vallejo and senior Jordan Hardy, Luke Gallanty, Mikey Ledesma and Jo Jo Miller.

“All the sophomores have one season under their belts this year, so they all know what to expect,” Bogard said.

While the relays were the strong point for the girls a year ago – South Tahoe sent two relay teams to state – the boys are hoping to join them this season.

“It’s pretty early to tell about the relays,” Koeck said. “But I think we still should be good.

“We can send a lot of swimmers to zone this season.”

One thing the Vikings can count on is camaraderie. This year’s team is very close, and Tinlin believes that will be a benefit to the Vikings.

“We’re going to do very well this year because we have very dedicated swimmers,” the senior said. “When I was a freshman, we had a close team and were successful; this year, it’s the same thing.”

This season, however, South Tahoe may have its work cut out. Last season, the Vikings were able to sneak up a few teams, but this year, the Vikes won’t be an unknown.

“Last year, a lot of schools didn’t expect us to be as good as we were. We kind of caught them by surprise,” Bogard said. “This will be the second year that all three coaches have begun to work toward the season in December, that should pay off for us.”

Bogard is joined on the staff by assistants Andy Veris and Ann Bratton and the team opens the season Saturday at 9 a.m. against Reno at the city of South Lake Tahoe Parks & Recreation Pool.

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