4A STATE: Braden, relays help Eagles boys repeat for title

Gunner Braden felt he wasn’t swimming to his potential at last week’s Sunrise Region championships.

The Boulder City junior more than made up for it Saturday.

Braden led the Eagles to a sweep of the relays, and Dylan Bunch added two individual wins to help Boulder City roll to its second-straight Class 4A state boys swimming title with 108 points. Green Valley was second with 80, followed by Coronado (72) and Palo Verde (70).

“We all had a mindset all week that we needed to start winning early,” Braden said. “The records were within our reach. Last week, we didn’t swim our best times, and we knew that. So we just stepped it up a notch. We just wanted to win, and we went out and did it.”

Braden anchored the 200 freestyle relay to a win in 1:25.83, topping the state mark (1:26.40) held by Boulder City’s 2003 state title squad — many of whom are assistant coaches to this year’s team. His team’s winning time of 1:34.51 in the 200 medley relay broke the record (1:36.55) held by the Eagles’ 2004 title team.

Braden also swam second on the 400 freestyle relay team, which won in 3:10.04.

“I think (Braden) just felt bad about how he did last week, and his whole frame of mind was a lot more chipper, a lot more confident,” Boulder City coach Sara Carroll said. “I had (former Boulder City standout) Drew Peterson working with him, and I think he’s been really good the last couple of days in practice. He was ready to go. We needed it.

“All of them did such a good job.”

Bunch, a Denver signee, won the 200 freestyle in 1:42.12 and took the 500 freestyle in 4:31.07.

Boulder City sophomore Joey Gebhart added a win in the 100 backstroke in 52.26.

“He pulled through in the backstroke,” Carroll said of Gebhart. “It was close. But he’s only a sophomore, so look out.”

Thomas Meek won the 50 freestyle in 21.24 to pace Green Valley.

Coronado’s Jacob Luna won the 200 individual medley in 1:50.63, and the 200 butterfly in a state-record 48.72.

The Cougars edged Palo Verde for third place after brothers Brayden and T.C. Greenwald took the top two spots, respectively, in the diving competition.

Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Meet
Boulder City 108, Green Valley 80, Coronado 72, Palo Verde 70, McQueen 46, Bishop Gorman 31, Truckee 27, Douglas 21, Spring Valley 17, Galena 16, Reed 15, Reno 11, Virgin Valley 6, Canyon Springs 5 Silverado 5, Foothill 5, Carson 4, Bishop Manogue 3, Spanish Springs 3, Centennial 3, Clark 3, Valley 2, South Tahoe 1, Shadow Ridge 1.
200 medley relay–Boulder City, 1:34.51; Green Valley, 1:36.05; Coronado, 1:36.95. 200 free–Bunch, BC, 1:42.12; Wolf, SpV, 1:42.37; McCrillis, McQ, 1:43.43. 200 IM–Luna, Cor, 1:50.63; Smith, GV, 1:55.89; Straw, Tru, 1:56.53. 50 free–Meek, GV, 21.24; Molisee, BC, 21.64; Scalise, Rd, 21.67. Diving–B. Greenwald, Cor, 408.95; T. Greenwald, Cor, 406.40; Vent, VV, 344.80. 100 fly–Luna, Cor, 48.72; Bartoli, McQ, 51.62; Mortenson, Palo, 52.44. 100 free–McCrillis, McQ, 46.92; Meek, GV, 46.93; Gebhart, BC, 47.31. 500 free–Bunch, BC, 4:32.07; Sinclair, BG, 4:36.67; Henley, Palo, 4:38.10. 200 free relay–Boulder City, 1:25.83; Green Valley, 1:26.67; Palo Verde, 1:29.81. 100 backstroke–Gebhart, BC, 52.26; Wolf, SpV, 52.38; Bartoli, McQ, 52.46. 100 breaststroke–Scalise, Rd, 57.51; Straw, Tru, 58.50; Nossen, Cor, 58.54. 400 free relay–Boulder City, 3:10.04; Green Valley, 3:12.52; Coronado, 3:12.66.