The Boulder City/Henderson Heatwave amateur swim club has dominated Southern Nevada amateur swimming for more than a dozen years.
The Boulder City High School team saw its boys team sweep to its fourth consecutive region and state championships in May, while the girls’ program made it two in row in region and state championships.
The Heatwave senior and national level teams and the two high school programs have been so successful because of the athletes who learn to be champions at a young age in the Heatwave novice division.
The next wave of stars took to the water June 27 as the 7- and 8-year-olds showed that they are willing and able to be the future for the Heatwave and the high schools teams.
“The kids are amazing, and it really is a pleasure to coach the young ones,” coach Linda Estes said. “These are the youngest swimmers in the club and it is rewarding to see their success. The younger they start, the better they can develop and turn into the swimmers of the future.”
In the Heatwave June Age Group Novice Invitational, a few swimmers did well.
In the girls 10-under, 50-yard breaststroke, 9-year-old Tara Higley won the event in a time of 44.44 seconds, to edge second-place 10-year-old Ainsley Rogers (46.9). Yasmine Hourie, age 9, was eighth, Rayna Freiburger, age 9, was 11th, Mary Henderson, age 10, was 14, and Faith Javate, age 10, was 22nd.
In the 10-under, 50-yard freestyle, Freiburger placed second (36.14) and Rogers was third (36.37). Lillian Green, age 9, was sixth and Henderson was eighth. Hourie was 20th and Javate was 23rd.
In the girls 11-over, 50-yard breaststroke, Hannah Lemmel, age 11, was third (42.40) and Valerie Henderson, age 11, was 17th in a field with several teenagers, including two 16-year-olds.
In the 11-over, 50-yard freestyle, Hemmel was sixth (32.81), Valerie Henderson placed 18th and PK Kanaley, age 11, was 19th.
In the girls 8-under, 25-yard breaststroke, Sweden Smith, age 7, placed third with a time of 26.46. Elise Vanier was fifth, Madyson Estus was 17th and Natalie Fecteau was 20th.
In the 8-under, 25-yard freestyle, Smith was fourth (21.08) and Estus was placed fifth (21.62). Fecteau was 14th and Vanier was 16th.
In the boys competition, 6-year-old Leandre Daniels stood out, along with Vincent Freiburger, Seth Woodbury and Troy Higley.
In the boys 8-under, 25-yard breaststroke, Higley, age 7, won first place in 23.24 to edge Freiburger, age 7, who swam 23.81. Coming in third place was Kaden Jennings, age 7, with a time of 26.08. Daniels placed fifth (27.34). Benjamin Hardy, age 7, was ninth, Samson Estus, age 7, was 10th and Bruce Woodbury, age 8, was 12th.
In the boys 8-under, 25-yard freestyle, Freiburger won in 17.62, while Daniels was fourth (22.01) and Jennings was sixth.
In the boys 10-under, 50-yard freestyle, Seth Woodbury, age 10, won in 37.96, followed by Seth Bayer, age 9, in 10th place.
In the boys 10-under, 50-yard breaststroke, Gabriel Ressler-Edwards, age 10, was second in 47.84, Seth Woodbury was third in 48.55, and Bayer was 11th.
In the boys 11-over, 50-yard breaststroke, Joseph Hardy, age 11, was 11th, while Preston Estus, age 13, was 12th. Oliver Priest, age 12, was 13th and Julian Estorga, age 11, was 14th.
In the boys 11-over, 50-yard freestyle, Christopher Herrera, age 15, won in 31.14. Priest placed 12th, Preston Estus was 13th, Estorga was 14th and Hardy was 15th.
In the mixed competition for the 100-yard backstroke, Herrera placed second (1:18.22) as one of three top-four finishers who were older than 14 years old. Tara Higley, 9, was an impressive third (1:21.5) while Troy Higley, at age 7, placed sixth (1:27.22) overall and was the youngest of the top 18 finishers in the event. Ressler-Edwards was ninth, Green was 11th, and Emily Owens, age 16, placed 14th.
The Boulder City/Henderson Heatwave is an amateur swim club with more than 400 swimmers on its roster. It is sanctioned by USA Swimming and is a member of the nationally competitive Southern California Swimming Association.
Heatwave senior group to be tested
The older kids on the Heatwave will compete in a series of national-level swim meets throughout the summer, including the Desert Championships July 19-20. It is a last-chance qualifier for Junior Olympics. It is also the final long-course meet of the season for those not yet qualifying for the Junior Olympics.
The California-Nevada Sectionals is July 23-27 and is the summer championship for national group swimmers. The SoCal Junior Olympics also is July 23-27 and is the final age-group championship meet of the summer.
The USA Swimming Junior Nationals are July 30 to Aug. 3 and is the 18-and-under national championships open to swimmers with qualifying times.