76°F
weather icon Clear

Grothe heads to world championships

Zane Grothe, a 2010 graduate of Boulder City High School, will represent Team USA at the world championships in Budapest, Hungary, next month after winning the 400-meter freestyle at the 2017 Phillips 66 National Championships on Friday in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Shaving more than one second off his previous best time, he set a new personal best, winning the race in 3:44.43, out-touching American runner-up Clark Smith, who finished with a time of 3:45.91.

Grothe is now the seventh-fastest American all-time in the event.

“This was probably one of my best races of the season,” he said. “I jumped out to a great start and just kept my pace. I saw Clark at the end try to catch me, but I was able to kick it up at the end and finish strong for the victory.

“I’m probably the only swimmer in the top 10 that hasn’t made it to the Olympics yet, so to know I’m in good company is a great feeling. I’d like to think I could make my way up another spot or two before my career is done.”

When his career is done however is the question. Swimming is a sport that’s geared toward younger athletes and many expected Grothe to retire last July after failing to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Falling short for the third time at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, having competed in 2008 and 2012 at the ages of 16 and 20, respectively, Grothe thought his time might have been up as well.

“After the U.S. Olympic Trials, I took some time away from the sport and really just evaluated how important it was to me,” he said. “Swimming is a young man’s sport because the training is so grueling on your body. When I stepped away to think, I really missed the process, I missed training, the hard work. I missed having fun. I don’t know how much longer I have left, but as long as swimming remains fun for me, I’ll continue to do it.”

Grothe said training and helping mentor the Hoosiers at Indiana University the past two seasons has kept the sport fun for him.

“I love helping the team and giving back,” he said. “I feel a part of the Hoosiers program. I’m not only helping mentor the younger swimmers, but their helping push me toward my next goals. They help keep that fire burning inside me, while I help prepare them to reach their goals as well.”

Crediting Grothe’s efforts with his swim program, Indiana head coach Ray Looze had nothing but praise for his star pupil.

“If I could have five more Zanes, I’d take them in a second,” Looze said. “He shares his knowledge with our guys. He really feels part of our family.”

Grothe will also participate in the 800 freestyle and as part of the 4×200 relay team in Budapest on July 14-30.

Finishing second in the 800 freestyle at the national championships, Grothe’s time was 7:50.97, behind only Smith, who slipped past with a time of 7:50.43. Grothe finished third in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:46.39 behind winner Townley Haas (1:45.03) and Blake Pieroni (1:46.30).

“I couldn’t be happier with how the national championships played out,” Grothe said. “Qualifying in three separate events for worlds is very special for me and takes me to the next stop on my journey. I’ve already gone back and looked at my time splits and think I have some room for improvement. There’s only a week or two for me to really train, but I expect to be at my best when I get to Hungary.”

Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Play ball; sports set to return

Youth sports are back in Nevada for the first time since last March, thanks to Gov. Steve Sisolak’s announcement Oct. 2 that he would be easing restrictions on local recreational sports.

Camp, picnic or bird-watch at bend along river

Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area is at the southern tip of Nevada, along the Colorado River, about 6 miles south of Laughlin. It’s a great place to visit, even for a day trip, as it’s not too far from Boulder City, about 85 miles away.

Easter, Williams win title at state bass championship

Izec Easter and Corey Williams, members of the Boulder City Bass Club, placed first at the 2020 Nevada High School State Championship on Sept. 20 at Cottonwood Cove at Lake Mohave.

Fall colors add to Zion’s scenic views

With cooler autumn temperatures upon us, my thoughts always go to Zion National Park in Utah. Just a few hours’ drive from Boulder City, the park seems worlds away with its majestic red sandstone monoliths, mature deciduous trees and diverse wildlife surrounding the banks of the North Fork of the Virgin River.

Gilliam eyes career with MLB

Establishing his place as one of the top players in Nevada as only a sophomore, Boulder City High School baseball star Jet Gilliam has verbally committed to California State University, Long Beach.

Travel team puts baseball players on college scout’s radar

Jet Gilliam and Seth Graham-Pippen, sophomores at Boulder City High School and future stars of its baseball program, have carved out their own their futures playing this summer with Nevada’s Prep Baseball Report travel team.

Eagles athletes win baseball tourney

The Southern Nevada Eagles 18u team from Boulder City won the Rocky Mountain School of Baseball’s Labor Day tournament in Salt Lake City.

Wupatki provides glimpse into Pueblos’ ancestors

Wupatki National Monument in Arizona is about a 45-minute drive east of Flagstaff. The park boasts 35,000 acres, encompassing roughly 2,500 documented archaeological sites. While you won’t be able to see them all or even be allowed to, it’s worth a trip here to see the highlights, and it’s a good time to go. The elevation of the park is about 4,700 feet so weather forecasts call for average daily highs in the 80s through most of September.

Ely offers cool respite from scorching heat

Sick of the scorching Southern Nevada summer? Ely is a wonderful escape destination this time of year to enjoy outdoor activities and visit historic sites at pleasant temperatures.

Grothe named to national swim team; sets sights on Olympics

Making perhaps one last effort at a life-long dream, Zane Grothe, a 2010 Boulder City High School graduate, was named to the U.S. National Team where he’ll compete for an opportunity at the 2021 Olympic Games.