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November 23, 2014

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Small school, big program

Boulder City swimmers build one of the state’s best teams

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Richard Brian / Special to the Home News

Boulder City High freshman Cody Molisee competes in the men’s 200-yard freestyle relay during the 4A Sunset Regional swim meet.

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Boulder City High swimming coach Sara Carroll, left, congratulates Cameron Walker after sweeping first place in the men's 200 freestyle relay during the Sunset Regional swim meet at the Desert Breeze Aquatics Center.

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Boulder City swimmers Michael Satterlee, left, John Lyon, right, and Cameron Walker, celebrate after defeating Green Valley in the men's 200-yard freestyle relay during the 4A Sunset Region swim meet at the Desert Breeze Aquatics Center.

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Boulder City High swimming coach Sara Carroll knows the enrollment figures at her school could be considered a disadvantage.

Competing against 4A classification schools in Las Vegas and Henderson, the 3A Eagles haven't let its smaller student population stop them from having success in the pool.

The school's enrollment of roughly 700 students is one-quarter of the team's they compete against each spring, but Carroll always manages to fill her roster to the maximum when other schools struggle to find swimmers for each event.

The result have been arguably the state's most dominating program the past decade — they haven't lost a dual meet in nine years.

The Eagles' boys captured the Sunrise Regional title on May 16 at Desert Breeze Aquatics Center, using its depth in each race to grab valuable points in scoring 420 points. Green Valley High was second with 381 points. It was Boulder City's first regional title since winning three straight from 2002 to '04.

"We've been able to attract some quality athletes and keep the tradition going," Carroll said.

Boulder City is expected to battle with state-favorite Palo Verde of Las Vegas for the state title May 22 and 23 in Reno. They will have to take a 10-hour bus ride, but Carroll said that hasn't dampened their spirits.

"We always swim horribly in Reno because of the high altitude," Carroll said. "But the kids are so excited to travel up there and compete."

This might be the last season Boulder City competes against the likes of Palo Verde and Green Valley for the state title. The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association last week announced plans to reclassify schools in Southern Nevada and Boulder City would be placed in Division-II with schools like Chaparral, Canyon Springs and Del Sol that struggle at swimming.

"The change would be fine with me. We would win state every year," Carroll said.

Junior Zane Grothe was a double winner for Boulder City in the regional meet, capturing the 500 freestyle in 4 minutes, 30.86 seconds and the 100 butterfly in 50.58 seconds.

Sophomore Drew Peterson had the Eagles' other first place finish, taking the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.26 and placing second in the 200 freestyle in 1:46.74.

Freshman Cody Molisee took second in the 100 freestyle in 49.84 seconds and third in 50 freestyle at 22.61, and senior Mike Satterlee was third in the 100 freestyle at 51.22.

While her top swimmers, like Grothe and Peterson, were again solid, Carroll credited others for finishing in the middle-of-the-pack and earning valuable points.

Matt Lara took fourth in the 200 freestyle in 1:49.94 and teammate Dylan Bunch followed in fifth at 1:54.08, while Mitch Lyon scored with a sixth place finish at 2:15.08 in the 200 individual medley.

Boulder City's girls also placed high at the regional, placing fourth with 227.5 points. Coronado won the region with 498.5 points.

Paige Moravec was fourth in the 200 IM at 2:21.18 and the 100 butterfly at 1:02.78 to pace the Eagles.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected].

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