Demons deliver more state times at Grand Junction swim meet
The self-funded swimming Demons’ trip to Colorado Mesa University’s El Pomar Natatorium on a blustery Saturday was fruitful.
The meet began with the Demons looking to take down the 200-yard medley relay state cut that narrowly escaped their grasp earlier this season.
Sebastian Joly, Jack Cassidy, Max Bryant and Jon Birzon showed the state-qualifying time of 1 minute, 57 seconds no mercy this time around. The teammates crushed the time, swimming 1:54.24 for second place.
Co-captain Bryant, a sophomore at Aspen High School, wasted no time in an exciting race in the 200 individual medley, getting his second state time of the day.
Grand Junction’s Tyler Fair gave Bryant a run for his money, leading most of the race. The sophomore came from behind in the final 50 to bring home the gold in a time of 2:03.34.
The other co-captain, Eagle Valley’s Cassidy, who had previously gone five for five in state-qualifying attempts, looked to keep the streak alive in the 50 free.
The sophomore, a distance swimmer, had a tough task at hand to keep his run hopping. The 24.78 wasn’t quite the 23.9 needed for the state-qualifying time, but was good enough for a third-place finish.
Glenwood’s Stefan Buxman has been battling all year to break the 30-second mark, even matching the 30 flat mark. The freshman needed a longer fingernail, coming in at 30.07. He managed to score 13 points for the Demons anyway.
Cassidy was back in the pool after a short rest looking to start a new streak in the 100 fly. His second-place finish in a tight race was big, yet his time of 1:01.79 was .29 shy of the state cut.
Glenwood sophomore Patrick Gucwa joined Buxman in the 100 free, where both swimmers swam season-best times, with Gucwa cracking the top 10 in ninth and Buxman just outside in 11th.
The 500 free featured Aspen’s Bryant and Colorado Rocky Mountain School’s Birzon. Bryant swam away from the field and cruised to a win in a state-qualifying time of 5:06.23, starting a streak of his own.
The freshman Birzon, swimming in his first 500 free, paced himself and managed to bring home the bronze in the process.
Vail Christian sophomore Joly fell behind the top three finishers of the 100 back early and couldn’t find the next gear to propel himself back into the mix, finishing fourth. Gucwa dropped two seconds off his previous season-best time to finish seventh.
Cassidy, Buxman, Gucwa and Bryant closed out the meet with a third place finish in the 400 free relay.
The Demons will be traveling to Montrose next weekend for their next challenge of the season.
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After experiencing online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, some Garfield Re-2 students don’t necessarily want to go back to traditional, in-person learning practices next year.