Barracudaslook sharp |

Barracudaslook sharp

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson Sierra Grove swims the 400 freestyle event at the 33rd annual Sopris Barracuda Invitational meet Sunday morning. Grove finished in ___ minutes, ___ seconds.

CARBONDALE – Part of the charm of the Sopris Barracuda Invitational swim meet is its laid-back atmosphere.Lawnchairs and tents surround every available square inch around the deck of the John M. Fleet Memorial Pool. That and the constant blare of music gives the annual event the look of a summer pool party.But with more than 300 participants at the three-day, weekend-long meet, which concluded Sunday, there was plenty of serious competition going on. Barracuda swimmers dominated the girls meet. The local swim team won the overall girls team championship with 376 team points, handily defeating second-place Steamboat Springs’ team total of 204.

In the 15-and-above division, the Barracudas girls were razor-sharp.Sopris swimmers won 11 of the 12 contested events held in the division and had three second-place times.Emily McDonald, a sophomore-to-be at Glenwood Springs High School, recorded four individual event victories and helped the Barracudas win the 400-meter medley relay gold medal. In the 200-meter freestyle, McDonald’s winning time of 2 minutes, 17.96 seconds bettered teammate Jennifer Betts’ mark of 2:29.70 by nearly 12 seconds. Later, McDonald nipped Betts at the wall in the 50-meter free with a 29.36 finish.The 15-year-old’s other wins were in the 400-meter freestyle and 200-meter butterfly.Betts, who clocked 30.13 in the 50, won the 200-meter individual medley by beating Elise Fornell of the Aspen Speedos by an arm-length in 2:48.32. Fornell finished in 2:48.06.

Betts and McDonald teamed with Alina Roberts and Claire Noone in the medley relay, where the foursome swam a 5:05.29, 54 seconds ahead runner-up Steamboat Springs.Roberts, who will compete at Colorado State this fall, won the 100- and 200-meter backstroke events. Noone had the Barracuda 15-and-above girls’ other win – with a 3:05.49 mark – in the 200-meter breaststroke.In the younger meets, additional Barracuda girls also had strong performances.Lily Thorson, competing in the 8-and-under division, won three events, posting the fastest times in the 25-meter butterfly, 50-meter free and 100-meter individual medley.Keevyn Scholl earned victories in the 100-meter breast and individual medley with times of 1:44.03 and 1:42.45, respectively.

Keely Roberts, 11, had the Barracudas’ lone winning mark in the 11-12 year-old girls meet, with a 3:12.32 in the 200-meter individual medley.Sierra Grove, an 8th-grader at Glenwood Springs Middle School, took first place among 13-14-year-old girls in the 200-meter back and 400-meter freestyle and had three runner-up marks in other events.The Barracudas finished sixth among 12 teams in the boys overall point standings. Steamboat earned the team title with 265 points, followed by Rangely (215), Gunnison and Aspen (130) and the Grand Junction Dolphins (94).Two team members – Sebastian Key and Jonathan Jay – racked up the most of the squad’s points.Key, 10, a second-year member of the Barracudas, won three individual events and tied with Dustin McGuinness from Gunnison in the 9-10, 100-meter freestyle.Jay, who competes in the 15-and-above division, won the boys 200-meter individual medley plus the 400- and 800-meter freestyles.Jay, who competes in the 15-and-above division, won the boys 200-meter individual medley plus the 400- and 800-meter freestyles.

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