Turner’s title a first for STHS swimmers
History wasn’t on Natalie Turner’s side.
Many outstanding South Tahoe High School swimmers before her had competed in the Nevada state swimming meet and left without winning that elusive championship.
Turner ended that infamous STHS streak on Saturday as she claimed the 200-yard freestyle title with a school-record time of 1 minute, 53.62 seconds in Las Vegas.
“I went in seeded first, so right away I thought I definitely could finish first,” Turner said. “That’s what I tried to think about before my race and while I was warming up.”
The Vikings’ senior won by nearly 2 seconds to complete the historic feat.
There have been many great STHS swimmers before Turner to leave the state meet a few second shy of a championship in Las Vegas. The most recent was Denise Bogard (UC San Diego) in 2000 when she finished runner-up in the 100 breaststroke.
Turner became determined to become the first STHS state swimming champion during offseason competition.
“It was after the club state meet that it was a goal of mine to win a state title,” she said. “Then once it happened, it was “Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe I did it.’ “
She trimmed 1.30 seconds off her winning time from the Northern regionals the previous week in Carson City. Also working in Turner’s favor was her history of success at the state meet. She qualified for state in all four of her seasons, having placed as high as fourth and as low as fifth during her three previous trips to state.
Turner also placed fourth in the 500-yard freestyle (5:10.97). Her solo efforts helped South Tahoe finish 10th in the overall standings with 14 points. Coronado of Henderson won the girls’ state title with 97 points, while Reno ran away with the boys’ championship by 51 points.
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