The Palo Verde boys swimming team learned Saturday at UNLV’s Buchanan Natatorium that there is indeed strength in numbers.
The Panthers’ 13 entries proved to be the difference as they won the Class 4A state swimming and diving championships in impressive fashion.
By finishing first or second in seven of the 11 events, Palo Verde defeated three-time defending champion Reno 110-69. Green Valley was third with 66 points, 14 more than fourth-place Boulder City.
“It’s exhilarating,” Panthers coach Bob Nicholson said. “We knew we were in a good position to do well, but our kids stepped it up today. It’s a great feeling to win a state championship.”
On the girls side, senior Jordyn Green led Reno to the title. The Huskies (102) beat Palo Verde by 36 points, and two-time defending champion Coronado was third with 46.
“To win a title and finish second in another is a great accomplishment, especially against this competition,” Nicholson said. “You couldn’t ask for a better evening for Palo Verde.”
The Panthers started strong, winning the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 1:38.41.
Two events later, Palo Verde’s Cody Miller defeated Northern Region Swimmer of the Year Michael Weiss of Reno in the 200 individual medley. Miller (1:54.30) beat Weiss by almost two seconds.
Miller came back to win the 100 breaststroke in a meet record-setting 58.47.
“Every swimmer just swam flawlessly,” Nicholson said.
Several area swimmers won two individual events.
Boulder City’s Zane Grothe won the 200 freestyle (1:41.96) and the 500 freestyle (4:39.04). Coronado’s Martin Vanis won the 50 freestyle (21.41) and the 100 butterfly (51.20).
In the girls division, Sierra Vista’s Helen Yee took the 50 freestyle (24.07) and the 100 freestyle (52.01). Silverado’s Addie Oswald won the 200 freestyle (1:54.46) and the 500 freestyle (5:06.26).
Green was a big reason Reno won the girls crown. She won two individual events and helped win two relays. To cap her big night, Green set a state record in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.24), beating the old mark by more than one second.
Also at Saturday’s meet, the first class in the Southern Nevada Swimming and Diving Coaches Association Hall of Fame was announced. The inductees were Green Valley coach Robert Swift, Boulder City coach Sara Carroll, officials Ron and Vicki Hall and two others for service: Lynda Spann and Marea Yates.