What does it take to be the State’s best swim team? Ask Las Vegas’ Sandpipers of Nevada, who just won the top title this past weekend in Carson City. They might say that having their resident pool at Desert Breeze would have been nice, but that didn't stifle their success. The team was without their regular practice location since December due to the facility's renovation, which sent over 300 swimmers traveling to various locations across the valley to practice until the day before the state championships.
“Our swimmers have worked hard day and night for this victory at different pools,” says Ron Aitken, Head Coach for Sandpipers. “We are a strong group with dedicated swimmers, supported by families, that know how to come together, even during the most trying times," says Aitken. “This win is a testament of that, and we intend to keep the legacy alive for a long time.”
The swim team competed this past weekend in Carson City among other Nevada teams and reigned by totaling 7,516.5 points to defend their title for the second year in a row. In addition to winning numerous first place finishes, individuals and relay teams broke State records, and the team’s combined efforts brought home the largest number of high point finishers.
"The Sandpipers swim team is one of the gems of Las Vegas," says Elisa Gould, whose 9-year-old twin sons, Gavin and Caleb, swim for the team. "We're proud of our achievements and happy to be part of the community."
Individual high point scores were achieved by Hannah Roth and Sawyer Grimes, 10, Dylan Gravely, 9, and Joshua Bengson, 12, among a number of other team swimmers. Of the 133 representing Sandpipers, swimmers of all age groups in every event placed in top spots.
“Being a part of this team means a lot to our family, because of all the close family relationships we have formed," says Earl Fisk, a Southern California/Nevada State swimming official, whose son Mike Fisk, 13, took the number four spot in his age group in the 200 yard breastroke. "As an official, I cannot always step off duty to cheer for Mike, so it touches my heart that there is never a shortage of swimmers and parents at both ends of the pool cheering him and every other member of our team on.” Fisk continues, “Our community should know that not only does one of the top swimming teams in the U.S. resides right here in Las Vegas, but that it is also one of the most fun and supportive teams.”
Sandpipers has been churning out swimmers of all levels, from novice to Olympic potentials since 1968. So far, two Olympic contenders, Olivia Barker, 17, and Hannon Daigler, 18, have qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials, which takes place this June in Omaha, NE.