<i>The Great Outdoors</i>

Miner Photo/ J.C.

AMBERLYN

Swimmers take the plunge at the Kingman Dolphins swim meet Saturday morning at Centennial Park.

The Dolphins' swimmers had a strong meet as four team records were broken and three swimmers qualified for the state meet during the invitational.

The Dolphins and the Bullhead City Barracudas battled for first place, but Kingman won 651 to 624.

Seven teams including: Kingman, Bullhead City, Anthem, Cottonwood, Sedona, Havasu and Needles competed in the 68-event invitational at the Centennial Park pool.

The Dolphins swimmers had an impressive day at the meet, breaking four team records, and three swimmers qualified for the state meet.

"Good things happened to us today," coach Michael Perrine said.

"It was a real good meet for us."

Patrick Webb, 8, broke the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 42.22 seconds.

The previous record was 42.96 seconds set in 1999.

Webb also broke the 100-m freestyle record with a time of 1:35.98.

Nicky Perrine held the previous record of 1:38.66 set in 1996.

Theresa Collins, 18, set a record in the 100-m butterfly with a time of 1:13.70, breaking the previous record of 1:14.61.

The record had stood for almost 20 years, being set by Hilary Young in 1985.

Collins' time in the 100-m qualified her for the senior state meet.

Her times in the 100-m butterfly and 50-m freestyle made the "A" time qualifications.

Collins also broke her own record in the 100-m freestyle with a time of 1:06.33

Shane Hall, 12, was the Dolphins' third state qualifier at the invitational.

Hall won the 50-m backstroke with a time of 41.81 and qualified for the state meet.

The Dolphins also had several swimmers make significant improvements in their times including: Ashley Jaramillo, Hunter Workman, Savanah Weninger, Heather Weninger, Amy Webb, Mariah Moon, Brooke Moore, Tyler Jolle, Rachelle Bullen and John Maccarone.

The Dolphins took first place in 15 of the 68 events and approximately 270 swimmers competed in the invitational.

The Dolphins travel to Needles next Saturday to take on the Needles Sandsharks.Boaters and anglers are finding it tough to launch and then retrieve their watercraft since the removal of the dock at South Cove on Lake Mead last week.

Lowering water levels on the lake are to blame, according to officials at the Lake Mead National Recreational Area.

With the boating and fishing seasons in full swing, recreational users are wondering what they are supposed to do.

Local sportsmen Scott Snay, who says he fishes Lake Mead out of South Cove on a regular basis, wonders if and when the launch and dock facilities were going to be repaired.

"They force us to pay $40 for the annual vehicle and boat permit for Lake Mead, but then we have no dock and very poor launch facilities at South Cove," Snay said.

Fred Proudfoot, an angler and the tournament director for the upcoming Stripe-R-Rama fishing tournament, was also unhappy about the dock and launching situation at South Cove.

Proudfoot said he asked LMNRA officials about the public temporarily using the dock and launch ramp that is currently being used by the commercial rafting companies.

"They told us there was no way we could use those facilities.

They (LMNRA officials) said those are leased by the rafting companies and are considered private property.

Anyone who is caught using those facilities will be cited."

In an interesting twist, all summer anglers have complained about the rafting companies using the public dock and launching facilities early in the morning to retrieve their watercraft.

No citations were issued.

Right now, there is no dock and only one boat can be launched and/or retrieved at South Cove.

Currently, there is no way that disabled anglers can utilize the launch area, especially when the public parking areas are almost a half-mile away from the water's edge.

You can only wonder what is in store for boaters and anglers as the water in Lake Mead continues to drop.

Some at the LMNRA have suggested that anglers go to Temple Bar.

However, launching is also difficult at Temple Bar, which is located about 17 miles west of South Cove.

Plus, there are a lot more people and watercraft traffic.

A LMNRA volunteer at South Cove on Sunday said that the Park Service had considers closing down the South Cove launch area, but public outcry has been so loud that that probably won't happen.

There is another big loser if the launch situation continues to deteriorate.

Mohave County is losing a lot of tourism dollars because of the launch situation at Temple Bar and South Cove.

Owners of large watercraft are now being forced to go to the Nevada side of the lake to launch.

Recently, Mohave County Supervisor Pete Byers wrote a letter to the LMNRA asking them to consider making additional improvements to the launching areas at Temple Bar and South Cove.

To date, nothing has been done with Byers' request.

If the launch ramp at South Cove continues to deteriorate, it will have an adverse affect on the nearby community of Meadview, which sells a lot of gas and groceries to Lake Mead visitors.

A number of Kingman residents have second homes at Meadview and utilize South Cove as it is close by and is not usually crowded.

The end result of the ramp and dock situation at South Cove means it will have a major impact on the county, anglers, boaters and other recreational users.

It's going to be interesting to see how the LMNRA folks at Boulder City will handle this problem at South Cove.