Glenwood swimmers shine at state
With a spectacular sirens-and-lights display, the Glenwood Springs Police Department escorted the self-funded Glenwood Springs High School girls swim team bus to eastbound Interstate 70 for the beginning of the 4A state championship weekend.
Five juniors and a freshman made the trip to Thornton’s Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center to represent Glenwood Springs and its swimming tradition at the Friday-Saturday state meet.
Friday evening’s preliminaries began with the 200-yard medley relay team of junior Kierra Kalakewich, freshman Hannah Peterson and junior captains Hannah Grumley and Ashley Roper taking the stage.
The quartet made some noise. Coming into the race seeded 18th, the lady Demons knew they had to leave it all in the pool, which they did. The team knocked off more than two and a half seconds to finally break the two-minute mark in a time of 1 minute, 59.19 seconds and take the 14th seed going into Saturday’s consolation finals.
Coal Ridge’s Roper was immediately back in the pool for the 200 freestyle. She apparently used her previous swim as a warmup, because she dropped a little more than three seconds to swim her season-best – 2:03.98 – and finish 19th.
Junior Lily Thorsen wasted no time flushing three seconds from her seed time to claim the second alternate spot of 18th in the 200 free. The difference between the 14th-place time of 2:01.83 and Thorsen’s best time of 2:02.83 was a mere second.
The 200 individual medley yet again left a Demon swimmer on the outside looking in. Grumley swam her best time ever of 2:20.90 to finish in the 20th position.
The junior was nominated captain for many reasons, one being her competitive nature in the water.
The near-miss in the 200 IM bonus swim did not discourage her; in fact, it fueled Grumley’s fire. She attacked early in the 100 butterfly and held on to take the final spot in Saturday’s consolations in a best time of 1:03.10.
Glenwood’s silent assassin, Thorsen, took to the pool again in swimming’s marathon – the 500 free. The junior did everything she could, including a personal best of 5:31.44, to crack the top 16. It was a 500 that was more like a 50-yard dash, with the top two ladies breaking five minutes and the victor smashing the previous 4A state record. Thorsen finished 19th.
In the 200 free relay prelims, Peterson, Roper, Kalakewich and Thorsen finished 17th, clocking a time of 1:48.33 to take first alternate honors for the finals.
Glenwood’s 400 relay team had a strong prelim showing, nabbing eighth to make Saturday’s championship finals. The group timed in at 3:48.28.
Saturday’s finals treated Glenwood’s swimmers well, particularly the 400 freestyle relay quartet of Roper, Rebecca Carcaterra, Thorsen and Grumley. The foursome touched in at 3:47.65 to claim eighth place.
All told, the Demons’ 400 relayers knocked nearly eight seconds off their seed time of 3:55.53 – no small feat.
“I figured they had like maybe a two-second drop in them,” Glenwood coach Mark Bauer said. “They dropped seven seconds! I had like four coaches come up to me and go, ‘Wow!'”
Also in finals competition, the Demons’ 200-medley relay knocked even more off their prelim time, swimming to 10th place in 1:56.79.
Grumley took 15th in Saturday’s 100 fly final, touching in at 1:02.33.
As a team, Glenwood finished the two-day meet in a tie for Moffat County in 16th place. The Demons scored 38 points.
“The girls swam really, really well,” Bauer said.
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