Team Sopris, a local club swim team for kids ages 5 and up, traveled to Montrose Nov. 3-4 to compete in the Montrose Marlins Fall Open Swim Meet.
The meet format was an unusual short-course meters event, which the team rarely sees.
"We train in short-course meters at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, but rarely compete in that format," said Team Sopris head coach Damon Garrison. "It makes it a little difficult to judge times and performances since many of our swimmers' seed times were more than a few years old.
"The benefit for us is to overtrain in meters and compete in yards, which is more typical, especially during short course season," continued Garrison. "The Montrose pool can be configured for yards or meters, so it was interesting they chose to swim meters this year."
While the senior swimmers enjoyed swimming shorter sprint events, such as the 50-meter breaststroke, 50-meter fly, 50-meter backstroke and 100-meter individual medley, Garrison and the team has their sights set on their upcoming home meet Nov. 17-18.
"The swimmers love to compete at home, in their own pool, in front of all their fans," Garrison noted. "It's amazing - the community support we receive and the number of volunteers it takes to pull of a meet like ours."
Meet director Brenda Grumley estimates that at least 130 swimmers and their families will travel to Team Sopris' Deep Freeze Invitational, with the bulk of those families staying in local hotels and eating at local restaurants over the two-day event.
"The economic impact of our home meets is pretty significant, especially at a time of year when with the city isn't normally very busy," Grumley said. "Last year, between the swimmers, their families, coaches and officials, we had approximately 500 out-of-town attendees. That doesn't even include the Team Sopris members, their families and our volunteers."
Also on the team's horizon is the annual Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run on Thanksgiving Day. This year, Team Sopris and the Glenwood Springs High School boys and girls swim teams are hosting the event and will be the primary beneficiaries of money raised.
Steve Vanderhoof is coordinating the event and hopes for a great turnout to support the club team and the self-funded high school teams.
"It's a very popular event and we're really excited about the new course," Vanderhoof said. "We hope people will take advantage of pre-race registration and turn out to support the local swim teams."
The race will start and finish at the Glenwood Springs Community Center on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22. Pre-registration is available now at Independence Run and Hike and from high school and Team Sopris team members.
Pre-registration is $7, with race-day registration $10. Race-day registration begins at 9 a.m., and the race start is at 10 a.m.
"Plenty of time to get a good workout in before you feast on turkey and all the trimmings and park yourself in front of the TV for the rest of the day," Vanderhoof pointed out.
Information about Team Sopris, including practice schedules, meet schedules, tryout times and more, can be found on the team's website at www.teamsopris.org.