Team Sopris racks up wins at MAValanche Open |

Team Sopris racks up wins at MAValanche Open

Contributed PhotoLJ Fetzko, 13, took second place in the 200-yard breaststroke at the MAValanche Invitational Swim Meet in Grand Junction.

Team Sopris Swimming racked up numerous top-three finishes and wound up in second place, just seven points behind host team Maverick Aquatics and ahead of Montrose, Aspen, Durango and all other teams at the Mavericks Aquatics MAValanche Invitational Swim Meet at Colorado Mesa University. The prelims/finals meet was held Jan. 19-21. “This was a great meet for our entire team,” said head coach Damon Garrison. “Our swimmers did great and for many of them, this was their first prelims/finals meet and their first opportunity to swim in a finals session.” Several swimmers had what Garrison calls “break-through swims,” including LJ Fetzko (200 free, 100 butterfly); Jessica Tuttle (500 free, 400 IM); Stefan Buxman (50 free); Will Berkheimer, Shea Newton, David Hecksel, Thane Newton, Kendall Vanderhoof, Paris Carey, Zoe Lyon and Lauren Murphy, to name just a few. “I was excited to see so many of our swimmers really dominate at this meet. We did not rest for the meet and to come out and just excel against other Western Slope swimmers was very rewarding. In a prelims race, you are swimming to place and make it back to swim at night. In finals, you are racing to win, which is what we did all weekend. Our boys started strong and stayed consistent throughout the meet. The trio of Will Berkheimer, Shea Newton and David Hecksel went 1, 2, 3 (not always in that order) in nearly every 9-10 boys event. The girls started out a little slow but really turned it on the last two days. Eight-year-old Paris Carey won every one of her events. We placed in the top three in every stroke and every age group except 11-12 boys only because we didn’t have any at the meet. It was probably the most balanced meet we’ve ever had.” Top three finishes for Team Sopris include: 9-10 Boys 100-yard backstroke1. Will Berkheimer2. Shea Newton3. David Hecksel11-12 Girls 100-yard backstroke1. Zoe Lyon13-14 Boys 100-yard backstroke2. Zeb Thorsen8&Under Girls 50-yard butterfly1. Paris Carey9-10 Boys 50-yard butterfly1. David Hecksel2. Shea Newton3. Thane Newton11-12 Girls 50-yard butterfly3. Lauren Murphy9-10 Boys 200-yard freestyle1. Will Berkheimer 13-14 Girls 200-yard freestyle1. LJ Fetzko13-14 Boys 200-yard freestyle3. Phillip Hecksel11-12 Girls 100-yard breaststroke3. Zoe Lyon13-14 Girls 100-yard breaststroke2. LJ Fetzko13-14 Boys 100-yard breaststroke1. Zeb Thorsen15&Over Boys 100-yard breaststroke3. Jack Cassidy 9-10 Boys 200-yard individual medley1. Will Berkheimer2. David Hecksel 13-14 Girls 200-yard individual medley2. LJ Fetzko13-14 Boys 200-yard individual medley2. Zeb Thorsen 15&Over Boys 200-yard individual medley2. Jack Cassidy 9-10 Boys 50-yard backstroke 1. David Hecksel11-12 Girls 50-yard backstroke1. Zoe Lyon2. Lauren Murphy13-14 Girls 200-yard butterfly1. Jessica Tuttle 13-14 Boys 200-yard butterfly2. Zeb Thorsen8&Under Girls 100-yard freestyle1. Paris Carey 9-10 Boys 100-yard freestyle1. Will Berkheimer2. Shea Newton3. David Hecksel13-14 Girls 100-yard freestyle2. Jessica Tuttle 3. LJ Fetzko 13-14 Boys 100-yard freestyle2. Zeb Thorsen3. Phillip Hecksel 13-14 Girls 200-yard breaststroke2. LJ Fetzko3. Kendall Vanderhoof13-14 Boys 200-yard breaststroke2. Zeb Thorsen3. James McMahon15&Over Girls 200-yard breaststroke3. Lily Thorsen 15&O Boys 200-yard breaststroke1. Jack Cassidy 8&Under Girls 100-yard breaststroke1. Paris Carey9-10 Boys 100-yard breaststroke1. David Hecksel2. Shea Newton3. Will Berkheimer13-14 Girls 500-yard freestyle1. Jessica Tuttle3. LJ Fetzko15&Over Boys 500-yard freestyle3. Jack Cassidy8&Under Girls 50-yard freestyle1. Paris Carey 9-10 Boys 50-yard freestyle 1. David Hecksel2. Shea Newton3. Thane Newton 13-14 Girls 50-yard freestyle 2. LJ Fetzko3. Jessica Tuttle 9-10 Boys 100-yard butterfly1. Shea Newton 13-14 Girls 100-yard butterfly1. Jessica Tuttle2. LJ Fetzko3. Kendall Vanderhoof 11-12 Girls 200-yard backstroke3. Zoe Lyon 13-14 Girls 200-yard backstroke 3. James McMahon 15&Over Boys 200-yard backstroke1. Jack Cassidy 8&Under Girls 50-yard breaststroke 1. Paris Carey 9-10 Girls 50-yard breaststroke 1. Sarah Murphy9-10 Boys 50-yard breaststroke 1. David Hecksel2. Shea Newton11-12 Girls 50-yard breaststroke 1. Lauren Murphy 13-14 Girls 400-yard individual medley1. Jessica Tuttle3. LJ Fetzko 13-14 Boys 400-yard individual medley 1. Zeb Thorsen 15&Over Boys 400-yard individual medley2. Jack Cassidy Information about Team Sopris, including practice schedules, meet schedules, tryout times and more can be found on the team’s website at

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