Depth could equal repeat

After winning last year’s girls state swimming title, Coronado coach Brenda Tomtan-Brayman has struggled to keep her team from looking ahead to successfully defending the crown at this year’s state meet.

Finally, the time to focus on state is here.

“Not that they haven’t been focused on it the whole year,” Tomtan-Brayman said.

The Cougars have more qualifiers than any other team and appear to be the favorites. The state meet is Saturday at Lombardi Recreation Center in Reno. The diving finals are scheduled for 10 a.m., with the swimming events beginning at 1 p.m.

Coronado has 14 qualifiers, three more than Reno, which probably will provide the stiffest competition for the Cougars.

Coronado has the top seed in the 200-yard medley relay, and Katie Black is favored in the 200 freestyle. The Cougars also have three No. 2 seeds and three No. 3 seeds.

“As long as they do what they did at the regional, we should do well,” Tomtan-Brayman said. “There’s always that fear of going up there and not doing so well. But I’ve worked with the girls, and whatever happens, just to know that we did our best and be proud of our accomplishments.”

All nine of the Coronado swimmers who competed at last year’s state meet will compete Saturday. Tomtan-Brayman hopes that meet experience is a positive.

“It’s a good thing, but it could also definitely not run in our favor if the girls don’t focus on this year,” Tomtan-Brayman said. “Last year is last year, and this year is new competition.”

The three relays could be the key to the meet, because they count for double points. Coronado has the first or second seeds in all three.

While Coronado vies for the girls team title, other area swimmers have a chance to star individually. Silverado’s Addie Oswald is favored in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle, and Boulder City’s Alexis Grothe has the top seed in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

Bishop Gorman’s Ciera Courtney has the top seed in the diving competition, and Sierra Vista has the No. 1 seed in the 200 freestyle relay.

On the boys side, area teams will have a tough time catching Reno. The Huskies have 14 swimmers, nearly double their nearest competitors.

Palo Verde and Centennial figure to battle it out for second place. The Panthers have eight qualifiers and Centennial six.

Like Reno, Centennial is favored in three events. Kyle Farbridge-Currie (100 butterfly) and James Butler (100 backstroke) have No. 1 seeds individually, and the Bulldogs had the top regional mark in the 400 freestyle relay.

Coronado’s Martin Vanis has the top seed in the 100 and 200 freestyles, Boulder City’s Zane Grothe is favored in the 500 freestyle, and Durango’s Corban Fleming had the top regional time in the 100 breaststroke.

Palo Verde has the top seed in the 200 medley relay, while Boulder City has the No. 1 seed in the 200 freestyle relay.

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