Team Sopris kicks off short-course season at Aspen Yellow Leaf Invite |

Team Sopris kicks off short-course season at Aspen Yellow Leaf Invite

Staff Report
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Contributed photoTeam Sopris swimmers in action at the recent Aspen Yellow Leaf Invite.

Team Sopris Swimming started the fall and winter short-course season with the recent Aspen Yellow Leaf Invitational Swim Meet at the Aspen Recreation Center (ARC). With quite a few new swimmers competing in their first-ever swim meet, head coach Damon Garrison was pleased with the results.

“As the first meet of the season, Aspen always has a lot of first-time swimmers competing, which makes it fun for the kids and their families. It’s a pretty low-key meet for our new swimmers and a good place for them to get their first races under their belts.”

Team Sopris has many new swimmers of all ages this year, thanks in part to the attention Colorado swimming received during the Olympics, and although not all of them attended the Aspen meet, most are looking forward to their first competition.

“Our home meet is Nov. 17-18, so many of our new swimmers will use that as their first meet,” Garrison noted. “It’s always more comfortable to swim in a familiar pool with lots of fans to cheer you on.”

There were plenty of veteran Team Sopris swimmers as well, most of whom were given a new swimmer “buddy” to help navigate the ins and outs of competing in a swim meet.

“We do a lot of peer learning in practice, with our more experienced kids working with the new swimmers,” Garrison continued. “It’s fun for everyone to team up at a meet and help each other out. Aspen is one of the few meets we go to where all age groups swim in the same session, so it works really well.”

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From a performance standpoint, Garrison was generally pleased with how the veteran swimmers competed.

“The first meet of the season is primarily a gauge of how our training is going so far,” he said. “We’ve only been in the water for about a month, so I don’t focus on kids swimming best times, but it’s good to know where the swimmers are starting this season compared to last. We’re looking ahead to a great short course season, with some highly competitive meets on the Front Range, a travel meet to Phoenix in February and Sectionals for qualifying swimmers, in March.

“Our senior group is really taking their competition to the next level, which is exciting for them and very rewarding for me as their coach.”

Information about Team Sopris, including practice schedules, meet schedules, tryout times and more, can be found on the team’s website at