Ogilby defends state swim title in 500 free, 400 relay breaks GSHS record leading Demons to third-place team finish | PostIndependent.com

Ogilby defends state swim title in 500 free, 400 relay breaks GSHS record leading Demons to third-place team finish

The Glenwood Springs High School girls swim team at the 3A state championships, Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center, Thornton, Feb. 10-11, 2023.
Steve Vanderhoof/Courtesy photo

Glenwood Springs junior Amelie Ogilby again outraced the 500-yard freestyle field at the Colorado 3A Swimming and Diving Championships in Thornton on Saturday to defend her title in the event, as the Lady Demons took it up a few notches from last year to claim third place as a team.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the weekend came in the final event of the meet held at Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center, the 400 freestyle relay.

After qualifying in the fourth position in Friday’s preliminaries, Ogilby teamed up with senior Bennett Jones, junior Sophie Price and sophomore Emma Lindstrom to take second place in a Glenwood Springs High School record time of 3:37.25, barely half a second off the winning pace of St. Mary’s Academy.

“We had a great prelim swim, and dropped 2 seconds from our entry time, but the energy in that final was just insane,” Ogilby said on Sunday, reflecting back on the experience. “We had the whole team on the deck, and the stands were going crazy.”

Ogilby gave the Demons a lead on the third leg, but the St. Mary’s swimmer clocked a fast 50 to regain the lead. Lindstrom closed hard on the fading swimmer over the final length, coming up just short of giving the Demons the gold.

“That was really one of the coolest legs I’ve ever seen,” Ogilby said, acknowledge Price and especially Jones, a fellow Colorado Rocky Mountain School student who finally made a return trip to state after rules prevented her from competing last year following her late transfer to the Glenwood team from Aspen.

“My sophomore year was the COVID year, so that was not the normal state experience,” Jones said. “It just felt really good to be back in that environment.”

The close-out 200 relay performance — breaking the former school record set in 2016 — secured third place for the Demons. It was the best team finish ever for the combined Roaring Fork School District team, after a sixth-place showing last year, coach Steve Vanderhoof said.

As expected, Evergreen defended its state title — the Cougars’ fifth straight — finishing with 443 team points, well ahead of runner-up Discovery Canyon with 333 points and Glenwood Springs with 310 points.

The Friday prelims saw Glenwood advance three of its relay teams to the finals, along with several individual swimmers, led by Ogilby, Jones and Lindstrom.

“Our mindset is to finish strong. We’re the little team that could,” Jones told ColoradoPreps.com after the preliminary swims.

And that’s exactly what they did, placing several swimmers in the top 10 and a slew of others in the all-important 11th-20th team points positions.

Ogilby was the top qualifier coming out of the prelims in the 500 free, and proved once again she remains the swimmer to beat in the 3A classification.

With a time of 5:03.80 — 2 seconds off her personal best of 5:01.63 established earlier this season — the CRMS student was still a full 15 seconds ahead of Evergreen freshman Tally Riddle, who touched the wall in 5:18.08 to take second.

Ogilby had hoped to break the state record of 5:01.15, but said she probably went a little too fast in the prelims and didn’t quite have it in her for the finals.

“I went out really fast, and usually have good closing speed but didn’t quite have it this time, but those things are great learning experiences for me,” she said of her intent to come back next season and try for a three-peat and state record.

Glenwood junior Sophie Price was 10th in the 500 in 5:39.63 to earn 13 team points, and senior Macy Wilson was 18th in 6:01.01 to earn three points.

Ogilby also took fourth in the 100 breaststroke, with a time of 1:08.28, and junior Adelyn Newton was 10th in 1:11.96.

Another state record was on the line in the 200 individual medley, where Jones took second in 2:05.16, eclipsing the old state record and bettering her prelim time by more than two seconds, but finishing just behind defending state champion Caitlin Crysel of St. Mary’s, who had a new state record time of 2:04.38.

“It’s pretty intense in a race like that, where you know the other person is just as nervous but also really wants it,” said Jones, who is committed to swim for Division III swimming powerhouse Pomona Pitzer in Southern California.

A pair of third-place event finishes for the Demons came in the 200 medley relay (Ogilby, Jones, Lindstrom and Newton) with a time of 1:52.07, and from Lindstrom in the individual 200 freestyle, in 1:56.77, bettering her prelim time of 1:57.13

Newton also finished 12th in the 200 free in 2:07.69 for nine points, and Wilson was 18th in 2:11.06 for three points.

Other Demon results from state:

200 freestyle relay — (Newton, senior Anna Thornton, senior Samantha Anderson and junior Sadie Hoiland), fifth, 1:44.67

100 butterfly — Jones, fourth, 59.82 

100 freestyle — Lindstrom, fifth, 53.66 

100 backstroke — Price and freshman Penelope White 14th (1:04.99) and 15th (1:05.25), respectively

50 freestyle — Thornton and Hoiland, 12th (25.79) and 13th (26.11), respectively.

Post Independent interim Managing Editor and senior reporter John Stroud can be reached at jstroud@postindependent.com or at 970-384-9160.

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