By GANNON HANEVOLD
Moapa Valley Progress
The NIAA Regional Swimming meets were held last week in two days of tough competition. Opportunities were open both for individual spots and relay team spots in the upcoming state tournament.
Members of the Moapa Valley High School Swim teams competed in the Regionals. And while no Moapa Valley individuals would find themselves with an invite to the state tournament, the Pirates were dominant in some of the relay events. With many of them on the bubble, each and every one of the six relays, three boys and three girls teams, earned a spot at state.
On the individual side, Camille Hardy came up just shy of a top eight finish in the preliminaries in the 100 yard breaststroke,. She missed the mark by just over two seconds.
Sam Jolley would take ninth in the 200 yard freestyle, five seconds from making it to the top heat. In the same event, Tyler Holmes would shave three seconds off his preliminary time in the finals, but narrowly missed the cut by just over a second.
Hannah Schulthies finished in tenth in the 100 yard backstroke. Sara Mills would take tenth in the 200 yard freestyle, as Mills shed three seconds between her preliminary and finals time. Jaci Holmes would be two hundredths of a second shy of a spot in the top eight in the 50 yard freestyle. Zane Lamping reached the finals for his 100 yard fly but finished two spots from a trip to state.
The highlight of the week came from Moapa’s relays. The girls 200 yard medley team of Hanna Schulthies, Camille Hardy, Jaci Holmes, and Alexis Sawyer took the fifth spot with a 2:25.83 time. The boys relay of the same event also claimed fifth, with a team made up of Tyler Holmes, Chase LaCroix, Zane Lamping, and Nathaniel Thompson, all seniors.
The girls 200 free relay of Holmes, Schulthies, Sawyer, and Emma Walker, would take fifth.
Perhaps the most impressive finish came courtesy of the boys 200 free relay, who took third with a time of 1:41.21.
The girls 400 free relay took fourth while the boys team in that event would take third, just two seconds from the second place spot for the region.
Because of the success of the Pirate relay teams MVHS head coach Erinn Thompson was honored at the regional meet with a plaque for this year’s Division 3A Coach of the Year.
“I give all credit to my swimmers because they are the ones that make me look good,” Thompson said. “I feel it’s a huge honor. Tracy Riggins started this program twelve years ago, and for ten years I’ve been the head coach. I’m grateful we’ve been able to do this. I love the sport.”
“I’m grateful to be recognized by some of the other coaches that I respect and who I’ve learned from,” Thompson added.
Thompson praise her team this season, saying, “It’s a good group of kids that I have this year, those that made regionals or state, and those that didn’t are all just great kids. Every year they impress me more.
Specifically, she added a specific accolade to her group of seniors who will be leaving the team after next week’s meet. The group featured Nathaniel Thompson, Zane Lamping, Ryan Foster, Tanner Johnson, Tyler Holmes, Chase LaCroix, Alexis Sawyer, and Hailee Heiselbetz.
“All these kids are extraordinary as far as their personalities and their willingness to work hard and dedicate themselves and I think that translates,” Thompson said.
The Pirates are hoping that it translates specifically to a spot on the podium for any or all of the relays competing this weekend at the state championship meet in Las Vegas.