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Peterson well-suited for victory, helps Eagles claim boys crown

Boulder City swimmer Drew Peterson didn’t feel like he was breathing properly on his turns, so he ditched his high-tech, full-body swimsuit for an old-style Speedo at the Sunrise Region meet Saturday at UNLV.

Good decision.

Peterson won the 100-yard freestyle and 200 individual medley, and he anchored the winning 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams to help Boulder City cruise to the championship with 517 points.

Green Valley finished second with 480, and Coronado was third with 389.

“I wanted to (win the title) for the coaches, especially,” Peterson said. “My turnaround was kind of slow, so I took off the suit and went with the old-school Speedo. I just swam to win.”

Peterson took the 100 freestyle in 46.91 seconds — 0.1 seconds off the Sunrise record, which has stood since 1996.

He won the 200 IM in 1:57.29 and helped the 200 freestyle relay finish in 1:28.18 and the 400 freestyle relay in 3:14.93.

In the 400 relay, Peterson started off nearly a length behind Green Valley anchor Sean Smith but quickly caught up with a split time of 45.96 seconds. The Gators finished second in the relay in 3:15.08.

“Drew’s amazing; he’s always been the force on the team that gets everybody energized,” said Boulder City’s Sara Carroll, who was named Sunrise boys coach of the year. “We have a lot of really good guys, but he’s the guy you can always count on. And he’s been like that all four years.

“I’m just happy we could win this one his senior year.”

The Eagles were helped by sophomore Gunner Braden, who won the 50 freestyle in 22.17 and 100 breaststroke in 1:00.06.

Boulder City freshman Joey Gebhart won the 100 backstroke in 54.83.

Green Valley’s Robbie Hommel set two region records, winning the 200 freestyle in 1:36.77 and the 500 freestyle in 4:27.10 en route to Sunrise boys swimmer of the year honors.

The Eagles lost to Green Valley by a half point last year, when the winning edge came from the diving competition.

Boulder City, which has no divers, vowed all year not to let the meet come down to that slight margin again.

“We knew we just had to work harder and come out and go our hardest,” an emotional Peterson said after the meet. “It’s a nice feeling.”

Samantha Harrison won two events and swam on two winning relays to lead Coronado’s girls to the team title with 507 points, edging runner-up Green Valley (500).

Harrison set a Sunrise record in the 200 freestyle with a mark of 1:53.03. She also took the 500 freestyle in 4:58.03 and swam on the winning 200 medley (1:53.85) and 400 free (3:38.10) relays.

The Cougars got a boost from Nicole Mertel, who broke older sister Alix Mertel’s region record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 57.69 seconds. Nicole Mertel also claimed the 50 freestyle in 24.38 and swam on the two winning relay teams.

Sunrise girls swimmer of the year Mallory Harris of Silverado set region records in the 100 butterfly (56.75) and 100 breaststroke (1:04.19).

Green Valley’s Bob Swift was named Sunrise girls coach of the year.

Contact reporter Sean Walker at swalker@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0430.

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