Demon swimmers aim higher in `02 |

Demon swimmers aim higher in `02

Phil Sandoval

Last year, Glenwood Springs joined the state’s elite circle of Class 4A prep girls swim teams.

The challenge facing the Demons in 2002-03 is, said head coach Lynn Cassidy, “is staying on top.”

And Glenwood, according to Cassidy, has the talent to surpass the fourth-place team finish they obtained at last year’s 4A state championship meet in Fort Collins along with repeating as Western Slope regional champions.

The team’s success, along with being the only area school to field a girls swim team, enhances Glenwood’s talent pool.

Cassidy has 25 swimmers practicing four days a week at the Hot Springs Pool.

Dive coach Patty Schaffner’s numbers are up from last year. She has a team of five divers, where most teams are lucky to have one.

“We’re just as strong (as last year) if not stronger,” said Cassidy, who enters her fourth year at Glenwood. “The pressure’s there to succeed…now we have to keep it at that level.”

Three returning state medalists will assist the Demons in maintaining that pinnacle.

As a freshman, Rachel Rey established herself as one of Colorado’s best freestylers, regardless of classification.

She earned two state medals at the championship meet – both in freestyle events – along with three gold medals at the Western Slope regional meet.

Rey prepared herself for this year by swimming for the Grand Junction Dolphins swim club this summer, where she had repeated success.

Swimming for the first time in the girls’ senior division, consisting of 15-to-18 year-olds, Rey qualified in nine events at the state long-course championships.

Of the events Rey participated in, she clocked her best time, a 1 minute, 4.55 second, eighth-place finish in the 200-meter freestyle.

As a high school swimmer, Cassidy said, Rey “could go anywhere,” so far as what events she’ll swim this year.

The coach added Rey will see “lots of relay time,” and could be used in the butterfly along with swimming in any of the freestyle events, ranging from the 100 to the 1600 meters.

Alina Roberts, a junior at Aspen High School, will swim in different events throughout the year as well, Cassidy said.

Prior to this year Roberts swam in the shorter individual freestyle races – the 50 and 100 meters along with the sprint relay events.

Roberts earned two state medals last year – a fourth in the 50 free, and a fifth-place time in the 100 backstroke.

But, Cassidy said that, “Alina’s ready to try something new.”

That could translate into Roberts swimming in the butterfly and the backstroke this year.

Amy Ackerman, the Demons’ other state medalist, heads the diver squad.

The senior finished fifth at state last year, and is accompanied by regional champ, Kelly Hauskins, a junior, and two additional returning lettermen in senior Amanda Smiley and junior Celeste Cashel.

The fifth member of the team, freshman Allie Wine, is a first-year diver.

Other returning swimmers Cassidy’s counting on this year include the McReynolds sisters, Ella, a senior backstroker and Michelle, a junior, slated to swim in the 200 and 500-meter freestyle.

Senior Tess Jankovsky gives the Demons added depth in the sprints and the 200 free relay.

Junior Audrey Schaiberger, who finished 13th in the butterfly at last year’s state meet, will swim in that event and the individual medley, Cassidy said.

Rifle High students Lindsay Snyder returns for her junior year. She will be joined by fellow RHS students Sally Vanteylingen and Kate Long.

Glenwood’s roster also includes one Roaring Fork High student, Lacy Delost, a junior.

The four other area high school students, and Roberts swim for Glenwood because their schools do not field a swim team.

The Demons also have three talented freshmen in Jennifer Betts, Staci Miller and Jankovsky’s younger sister Molly joining the team. All three swimmers have plenty of competitive experience behind them, after spending a number of years swimming for the Sopris Barracuda swim team.

“They are very versatile, can do anything in the pool, and can be used anywhere,” Cassidy said of the freshmen.

The Demons open the 2002-03 season on Dec. 7 at the Summit Invitational.

Due to a lack of an indoor pool in Glenwood Springs, the team’s entire schedule are held at indoor facilities in three different counties.

The closest venue to Glenwood Springs where the Demon swimmers are scheduled to participate will be at the Orchard Mesa Municipal Pool in Southwest Grand Junction on Jan. 31.

Glenwood is also scheduled to swim in two meets at the Bill Huddles Recreation Center’s pool in Delta.

Those meets will be held on Jan. 11 and Feb. 8. The Demons also travel twice to Montrose.

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