CARSON CITY – With the last five Class 4A state championship trophies sitting in the school’s trophy case, Palo Verde coach Brent Gonzalez said his team felt the target on their backs entering Saturday’s state swimming championships at the Carson Aquatic Facility.
Now it’s six straight titles, and the target is bigger.
Led by senior Tyler Edlefsen, Palo Verde scored 91 points to hold off second-place Coronado, which scored 84.
Edlefsen won two events and swam a strong relay leg to have a hand in 36 of the Panthers’ 91 points.
“We knew it would be close with Coronado and we knew they want to beat us,” Gonzalez said. “We did what we had to do to beat them and make sure they can’t knock us down yet.”
Edlefsen, Trajan Houston, Thomas Miller and Joseph Gutierrez, won the 200-yard medley relay in 1 minute, 37.75 seconds, beating Coronado by half a second and taking a lead they maintained through every event.
Edlefsen followed that up with wins in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:49.98 and the 100 breaststroke in 57.40.
Palo Verde needed at least a second-place finish in the final event, the 400 freestyle relay, to clinch the title.
Ren Prescott, Brooks Blackert, Devin Bauman and Gutierrez held off Coronado for second to secure the crown.
“All the boys stepped up and did well, and that last relay did what they had to do,” Gonzalez said.
Boulder City came up short in its attempt to start another championship streak.
Truckee won its second consecutive 3A championship with 135 points, to 127 for Boulder City, which had won seven consecutive championships until finishing second last year.
“I expected us to be second, but I’m still very proud of our young guys,” Boulder City coach Sara Carroll said. “We only have two club swimmers on the boys team, and I’m very proud of them make to make state. They came up with some real good times.”
Truckee coach Jody Burrill said beating Boulder City is just as big a deal as ending their streak was last year.
“It’s really thrilling because all of our kids had to do their best,” Burrill said. “We need them bring that out of us.”
AJ Pouch was a four-event champion for the Eagles, winning the 200 individual medley in 1:50.42 and the 100 breaststroke in 55.63 and as part of two relays.
In the 200 freestyle relay, Elias Woodbury, Ladd Cox, Chandler Larson and Pouch came in first in 1:34.31. Martin Thompson, Ethan Porter, Joseph Purdy and Pouch won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:19.30.
Purdy also won the 500 freestyle in 4:47.92.