REGION SWIMMING: Grizzlies' Wolf hopes to finish prep career with kick

Dylan Wolf has a lot to look forward to in his swimming career.

The Spring Valley High senior has signed with UNLV and plans to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in June at Omaha, Neb.

But before Wolf sets out on his bright future, he wants to finish his high school career strong. And finishing strong is something Wolf does well.

“I think I can finish races a lot better this year than I have in the past,” he said.

Wolf will lead the Grizzlies into the Sunset Region meet, which begins Thursday with preliminaries at Municipal Pool. Sunrise Region preliminaries will be held Thursday at Heritage Park.

Diving finals in both regions are scheduled for Friday at UNLV, also the site of Saturday’s swimming finals.

For Wolf, one more postseason means the opportunity to end his prep career in style.

“It’d be great. I’m hoping to win both my events,” he said.

Wolf won Sunset Region titles last year in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 butterfly, eventually finishing second in the state in both events.

Wolf, however, said he plans on competing in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke this postseason.

“I’ve been training more for the 200 freestyle than the 200 IM this year,” Wolf said. “I’ve never done the 100 back and I’ve done the 100 fly the first three years, so I wanted to do something different.”

It’s a sign of versatility for Wolf, who has qualified for the 200-meter butterfly at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. After the high school season, he hopes to qualify in the 200-meter freestyle as well.

Wolf said his postseason goals include going under 1 minute, 40 seconds in the 200-yard free and under 51 seconds in the 100 backstroke.

Spring Valley coach Jean Rees said Wolf is a leader for the program’s younger swimmers.

“They enjoy having (Wolf) on the team. They’re very impressed by his swimming,” Rees said. “A lot of the kids are new, and he’s been swimming since he was 6 or so, so it gives them something to look forward to, to work hard.”

Spring Valley’s chances for a team title took a hit with a recent knee injury suffered by senior Brett Beck, who had been a standout on the Grizzlies’ 200 free relay. Rees said it looked unlikely that Beck could compete at the region meet.

The Grizzlies will be counting on freshman Jay Yang and sophomore Nicholas Cabalo, although Rees said it hasn’t been decided what two individual events each would swim.

The top eight athletes from preliminaries will compete in the region finals.

The top two individual finishers from swimming finals, the top two divers and the top two relay teams per event clinch spots in the state meet May 19 at UNLV.

The fifth seed to state from Southern Nevada will be determined by comparing times of the third-place finishers from the Sunset and Sunrise regions.