The Boulder City boys and girls swim teams won in convincing and expected fashion Saturday sweeping every swimming event en route to duel Division 1-A Southern Regional titles at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Natatorium.
The girls won their first regional title with 506 points, beating out second-place Faith Lutheran (331) and third-place Clark (270). The boys took the title scoring 575 points, besting second-place Clark (286) and third-place Faith Lutheran (230).
The girls were led by sophomore Alex Hubel, junior Rachael Grothe and freshman Rebecca Lelles, who each won two individual events. Hubel, who was named the division’s Swimmer of the Year, won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.96 seconds and the 100 freestyle in 50.27. Grothe won the 100 butterfly in 59.43 and the 100 backstroke in 1:04.15 and Lelles won the 200 individual medley in 2:14.21 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.15.
The closest race of the day was between Boulder City’s Grothe and Aubrey Klouse, who ended up tying each other in the 100 backstroke, further demonstrating how dominant the Eagles were in the pool.
Girls’ single-event winners included Klouse’s first-place tie in the 100 backstroke in 1:04.15; senior Megan Purdy, who won the 500 freestyle in 4:57.84, and junior Cori Molisee, who won the 200 freestyle in 1:51.66.
The girls also won the 200 medley relay in 1:52.53 and the 400 freestyle relay in 3:40.11.
On the boys side the Eagles were led by two-event winners senior Jeremy Estes, junior Joey Gebhart and junior Jared Smith, who was honored as the boys’ division Swimmer of the Year. Estes won the 50 freestyle in 21.08 and the 100 butterfly in 50.44; Gebhart won the 100 freestyle in 46.68 and the 100 backstroke in 50.74; and Smith won the 200 freestyle in 1:40.24 and the 500 freestyle in 4:32.31.
In addition to the double winners the boys also saw sophomore Sam Sauerbrei win the 200 individual medley in 1:58.72 and senior Gunner Braden win the 100 breaststroke in 58.94.
The boys also won the 200 medley relay in 1:34.98 and the 400 freestyle medley relay in 3:12.63.
Coach Lara Carroll said she knew all along both teams would dominate regionals but she was happy to see the whole team finish their season strong.
“I was just really happy there were so many time-drops (from prelims),” she said. “Some from our state qualifiers, some from those that barely made state or didn’t even qualify, but they had a great meet at the end of the season.”
With the girls taking their first regional title and the boys nabbing their seventh and third in a row, Carroll sees a bright future for both swim teams.
“I’m very happy because the girls never got to be a regional champ and the guys have, so I think this is the start of something we’re going to keep doing,” she said.
Although it was the second time Hubel won Swimmer of the Year, it didn’t make winning the award any less enjoyable.
“It is very cool,” she said. “Because it is sophomore year, it is crazy; it is a really cool experience.”
Being on a team where a lot of the attention is on other swimmers, the Swimmer of the Year award caught Smith off guard.
“It was pretty cool, I wasn’t expecting it; I didn’t really know they had it really,” Smith said of his award.
Coach Carroll explained that Hubel and Smith were worthy of their awards and still have potential to get even better.
“I’m so glad. They both work really, really hard and they got a lot of potential, so it’s awesome,” Carroll said
Looking toward state the general consensus is that similar results will unfold up north, as a clean sweep is also expected.
“It’s (state finals) probably going to be about the same (result) but it’s going to be really fun because we have such a great team. I’m really looking forward to the team aspect, but we will be at the top again,” Hubel said.
Carroll is as confident as she has been all season about her squad. When she was asked if she had any worries about state she said, “Nah, not really, I think we’re pretty comfortable about that state thing.”
The state championships will be held Saturday at the Carson Aquatic Facility in Carson City.
The boys won the past two state championships against bigger schools such as Coronado, Green Valley and Bishop Gorman before realignment this year. The girls were runner-up to Bishop Gorman last year.
The boys team defeated this year’s Division 1 Sunset champion Palo Verde and Sunset champion Green Valley in dual matches this season.