Panthers seeking sweep

Palo Verde’s swimming team isn’t just looking to retain its boys title as the Sunset Regional meet begins with preliminary heats today.

The Panthers are thinking sweep.

“We’re very optimistic, actually, that things are going to go our way, barring all unforeseen problems that may occur at the pool,” Palo Verde coach Bob Nicholson said. “We’re looking forward to trying to get our girls title back. We lost it to Bishop Gorman for two years, so we’d like to come back in and get a sweep if we can.”

Today’s trials begin at 4 p.m. at UNLV’s Buchanan Natatorium. Saturday’s Sunset finals are set for 9 a.m.

Nicholson expects a difficult girls meet with Palo Verde, Gorman, Cimarron-Memorial and Centennial vying for the title.

“It’s going to be very close on the girls side,” Nicholson said. “It’s going to be close all the way around.”

Things aren’t expected to be as close on the boys side, where the Panthers are expected to retain their title.

“We’re pretty darn comfortable there,” Nicholson said.

The Sunrise Regional trials are 4 p.m. Friday at Buchanan, with the finals scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday.

Defending girls state champion Coronado looks to be in good shape. That is if the Cougars aren’t looking ahead to next week’s state meet in Reno.

“There is that title that they’d like to defend, but if they don’t have their head where they need to be, then it will be hard to do that,” Coronado coach Brenda Tomtan-Brayman said.

Still, Tomtan-Brayman feels good about her team’s chances.

“We have a strong group of girls, and as I say, if they just keep their heads in the pool and on their own swimming, we should do fine. We’d love to win, but there’s those challenging girls on the other teams that are definitely pushing us around.”

Tomtan-Brayman expects a very close boys meet, with Green Valley pushing the Cougars for the top spot.

“That one’s going to be much tougher and much more down to the last couple events to see where they’re sitting,” she said. “That one’s going to be way close.”

The top two finishers from each event in each regional advance to state. The South’s fifth state qualifier will be determined by comparing the third-place times from the two regionals.

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