Four seniors and a sophomore lead Viking swim team to zone
To shave, or not to shave.
That’s perhaps the biggest question facing the nine swimmers from South Tahoe High’s boys team going to regionals on Friday and Saturday.
“If you’re really serious about doing well, you have to shave,” said senior Jeff Koeck, South Tahoe’s co-captain along with senior Lisa Anton. Koeck, as of Tuesday, wore a rusty brown goatee. He hasn’t decided if it will come off for regionals.
If you ask sophomore Travis Travis, who was beating the girls off with a stick after shaving to achieve regional qualifying times against Reed last Friday, he’ll tell you shaving can definitely help — with a lot of things.
But the decision to shave is minuscule compared with the decision of which events to enter in regionals this Friday and Saturday at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Swimmers can only enter two individual events and two relays. The team can only enter up to four swimmers in each event.
That’s where the strategy comes into play, varsity coach Dale Bogard said, and that’s when swimmers have to make some tough choices.
For swimmers like Koeck and and sophomore Zack Powers, the decision can result in entering events that aren’t necessarily your best stroke if the competition in the rest of the league is that tough.
Koeck will swim in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke.
Powers will swim the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly, his favorite events.
He also holds South Tahoe records for those events after last Friday.
Powers continued his unprecendented pace by finishing the 100 butterfly at 1 minute, 2.31 seconds. He beat the old school record set in 1999 by Ryan Theilaman at 1:03.91 by more than 1 1/2 seconds.
He could have competed at other events in which he broke records this year, say the 100, 200 or 500 freestyle.
Senior Lisa Anton will focus on the same events she has competed in all season, the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke.
Travis’ decision to swim the 100-yard butterfly and 100 breaststroke, was a no-brainer.
“I only qualified in two events, so it wasn’t tough,” he said after practice on Tuesday.
For the rest of the 18 individual swimmers going to regionals, the most since Bogard first started coaching the team five years ago, the decision took place after discussing the situation with the coaching staff.
The outcomes, however, were individual decisions.
As a whole, the team concluded its season on Friday at the Recreation Center against Reed.
South Tahoe’s boys team won 139D63, finishing out the season in fourth place in the eight-team High Desert 4A League. The girls were defeated 195-107, completing their season at fifth place in league.
“That’s really good,” Bogard said. “For the amount of pool time we have, that’s great.”
Carson, Lowry and Galena took the top three boys spots in league, while Reno, McQueen, Galena and Reed took the top four spots for the girls’ teams.
Trials for regionals will take place starting at 1 p.m. on Friday. Finals will be on Saturday.
Only the top five individuals or relay teams will advance to state meet May 17-18 at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
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