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STATE SWIMMING: Boulder City teams, individuals ride winning wave

For Boulder City’s swim program, consistency is the name of the game.

The Eagles, under long-tenured coach Sara Carroll, have developed into one of the state’s top programs.

Just about every year, Boulder City’s boys and girls teams remain at or near the top of their division, and each is regularly sending swimmers to college.

“The kids get used to the tradition and routine,” said Carroll, who has been coaching at Boulder City for 20 years. “A lot of them, I remember when they were born. Some of the kids, I even coached their parents. It’s something that kids want to do because it’s fun and successful. They just have pride.”

The boys and girls teams will be looking to further their legacies by repeating as state champions today in the Division I-A state swim meet, which begins at 8 a.m. at UNLV. The Division I meet starts at 2 p.m.

If all goes according to plan, the boys’ team will capture its fourth consecutive state championship. It would be the girls’ second in a row, though it was the runner-up in 2011 and 2012.

“We’re going to win,” Carroll said. “This year it’s pretty comfortable. We talked about getting All-America times. We’ll be looking to get the best times and to represent our school.”

The Eagles have five seniors who will swim at the next level: Joey Gebhart (Air Force), Adam Peterson (Coast Guard Academy) and Jared Smith (Denver) for the boys, and Cori Molisee (New Mexico State) and Rachael Grothe (Calgary) for the girls.

“That is pretty much a tradition, too,” Carroll said. “We have a ton of kids get scholarships. Starting around 2003, there have been tons. It’s pretty commonplace. Every year, three to six kids swim in college.”

Individually, Gebhart will be looking for his fourth state title. As a sophomore, he won the Class 4A state title in the 100 backstroke, then last year won twice in the Division I-A meet, taking the 100 freestyle and the 100 back.

Smith won the I-A state titles in the 200 and 500 freestyle last season and is expected to repeat.

For the girls, Molisee is seeking another state title after taking the 200 freestyle in last season’s I-A meet. Grothe is the current I-A state titleholder in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.

Junior Alex Hubel is looking to stay perfect at state in the 50 and 100 freestyle. She won I-A titles in both events in her first two years.

Though there is plenty of individual success, Carroll always stresses the importance of teamwork.

“For me, it’s a team thing,” Carroll said. “It’s not just times. It’s attitude, it’s being there for other people and it’s being versatile and cooperative. That’s the kind of the attitude we like to foster.”

The town has backed the school from the start.

“We have a lot of community support for our swim team,” Carroll said. “Probably more so than Vegas because (Boulder City) is such a tight-knit community. The parents, the school, the community, we just feel a lot of love up here.”

Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at aferguson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0430. Follow him on Twitter: @af_ferguson.

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