May 19, 2018 - 9:48 pm
Updated May 19, 2018 - 9:59 pm
Green Valley’s girls swimming team was on the verge of taking down a dynasty in the Class 4A state championships Saturday at UNLV, but the Gators had a nervous moment during the final race.
But the Gators’ 400-yard freestyle relay team of Liz Clinch, Rain Gavino, Lauren Olson and Valerie Kitchens held off Palo Verde to win the race and clinch the state title.
Palo Verde closed to second and made things uneasy for Green Valley as Kitchens dived into the pool to swim the anchor leg.
“I know the (Palo Verde) swimmer is really fast. I kept looking over and made sure I was beating her,” said Kitchens, who completed her leg in a race-best 51.94 seconds. “I was just trying to give everything I had because it was the last event and we were really close to winning state.”
Green Valley finished in 3:34.05, 0.33 seconds faster than Palo Verde.
The Gators finished with 94 points to defeat the three-time defending state champion Panthers, who finished with 74.
Kitchens also won the 200 individual medley in 2:05.80. Clinch won the 100 butterfly (55.69) and 100 backstroke (56.78) and also swam on the winning 200 medley relay. Gavino won the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.56.
“Coming here we just had such positive attitudes,” Clinch said. “We were ready to race and give it everything we had.”
Coronado’s Pilar Cohen won the 50 freestyle (23.67) and 100 freestyle (52.0) and swam on the winning 200 freestyle relay.
Astrid Villeda of Rancho won the 200 freestyle (1:53.65) and 500 freestyle (5:01.62).
Bishop Gorman’s Olivia Gordon scored 501.25 points to take first in diving.
In the 4A boys meet, Palo Verde won seven races and racked up 126 points to win its sixth consecutive title. It was the ninth championship for the Panthers, moving them past Reno for most in Nevada history.
“Basically since we came home last year, they said we’re not going to lose state,” Panthers coach Brent Gonzalez said. “They went through the season, they were focused and they were going to do well. ”
Green Valley was second with 83 points and Coronado third with 55.
Palo Verde’s Dylan Sweikert edged Valley’s Alexander Johannessen by 0.1 seconds to win the 100 freestyle in 47.43. It was Sweikert’s third state title in the event, which tied him with Jordan Smith of Reno as the only three-time state champions in the event.
Palo Verde’s Tyler Edlefsen pulled out a narrow win in the 200 individual medley in 1:50.40, and Ahmed Mohamed and Edlefsen finished 1-2 in the 100 breaststroke for Palo Verde, with Mohamed winning in 57.73. David Miller won the 100 butterfly in 49.91 for the Panthers.
Coronado’s Timothy Newton became the first three-time state champion in boys diving, finishing with 506.75 points.
Legacy’s McKay Mickelson won the 100 backstroke in 51.4.