Carson girls win fifth straight in state swimming, diving championships

LAS VEGAS - Julie Hardt set records in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races, and Carson High School's girls team got its fivepeat at the NIAA/U.S. Bank State Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday.

In addition to Hardt's two individual gold medals, Carson got victories in all three relays and another from Kate Hardt in the 100 freestyle, as the Senators cruised to their fifth straight state girls team championship during competition at UNLV.

The Senators rolled up 130 points to easily outdistance Green Valley and Reno for the team title. Green Valley, which won its ninth straight Southern zone title the week before, edged Reno 67-61 for the runner-up trophy.

Carson wound up fourth in the boys team standings with 52 points. Reno survived a strong finish by Silverado to win the team title by a 108-102 margin.

Julie Hardt, a senior who is undefeated in Nevada for her four-year high school career in Nevada, started out by combining with younger sister Kate to give Carson a 1-2 sweep of the 200 freestyle. Julie Hardt posted a meet record time of one minute, 49.63 seconds - beating the old record of 1:50.87 set by Carson's Dana Baum last year - while Kate finished in 1:53.32. Carson's Tara Theilemann also finished fifth in 1:58.11.

Carson also went 1-2 in the 500 freestyle, as Julie Hardt won in 4:52.69 - four seconds faster than the meet record she set last year - and Lauren Costella took second in 4:58.82.

Carson's other individual victory was delivered by Kate Hardt in the 100

Another meet record fell in the girls 100 backstroke when Charlene Rigdon of Douglas won with a 58.04 clocking. Brittany Reichardt won her second state 100 breaststroke title in three years with a 1:05.27 to help Douglas pull out a tie for fifth in the team standings with McQueen, both with 48 points.

Carson freshman Justin Barber turned in a strong performance in the boys 500 freestyle as he placed second in 4:44.32, four seconds faster than his time at the zone meet last week and only four seconds behind Reed standout Scott Kaufman in first-place. Ryan Costella finished fifth in the race for Carson in 4:50.43.

Evan Fischer placed second in the boys 100 breaststroke in 59.65.

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