Demon swimmers chase state medals
Glenwood Springs High School swimmers will begin their quest for state medals today with the opening of the annual 4A State Swimming and Diving Championships in Fort Collins.
The three-day state swimming championships will open with preliminaries today and will continue on Friday and Saturday at the EPIC Center in Fort Collins, the traditional venue for the state meet.
All five members of the GSHS boys swim team have qualified to participate in the state championships.
Steve Jay and Chris Rey will compete in individual races. They will be joined by Greg Jacob, Jeong-Kwan Kim and Will Van Teylingen for a couple of relays at the state meet.
Van Teylingen, a senior, is a student at Rifle High School and swims for the Demons because his school does not field a swim team.
Likewise, Jeong-Kwan Kim swims for the Demons because his school, Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale, does not field a team. He is a junior.
The local swimmers advanced to state by meeting qualifying standards earlier this season and by their finishes last weekend in the Western Slope Regionals, held a the Orchard Mesa Pool in Grand Junction.
Jay, a junior at GSHS, qualified for state in three events – the 200 individual medley, the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle. At the state meet, he will swim in the 200 IM and the 500 free.
Rey, also a junior at GSHS, qualified for state in four events – the 50 freestyle, the 100 freestyle, the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle.
According to coach Mark Williams, Rey will swim in the 100 free and the 200 free at state.
The Demon relay teams will compete in the 200 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay.
And according to Williams, the Demons will head to state with the momentum of a strong performance last weekend at the Western Slope Regionals.
“Overall, the (Regional) meet was a great stepping stone to the state meet in Fort Collins, where all the guys have high goals on the state stage,” Williams said.
He said last weekend’s meet was marked by personal-best performances by almost every swimmer on the Demon team.
The meet also marked the first time that the GSHS swim team placed two swimmers in first-place positions atop the podium with Regional championship swims from both Jay and Rey.
“The meet was also the last Western Slope meet for Will Van Teylingen, who is the team’s lone senior,” Williams said.
He also is only the second four-year letterman in swimming at GSHS.
He swam a personal-best in the 100 breaststroke to place fourth at Regionals.
Montrose won the team title at last week’s Regional event, totaling 358 points.
The combined District 51 team representing Grand Junction, Fruita Monument, Central and Palisade, finished second with 287 points.
Durango was third with 265 and Moffat County was fourth with 230.
The small contingent of five swimmers representing the Demons finished fifth as a team, ahead of both Delta and Montezuma-Cortez.
Rey last weekend won the 200 freestyle title at the Western Slope meet, exceeding the state-qualifying time.
Jay’s Regional title came in the 500 freestyle, where he also posted a personal-best and a state-qualifying time.
Jay added a fourth in the 200 IM.
Rey also finished third in the 100 freestyle.
The Demon 400 freestyle relay team of Jay, Greg Jacob, Van Teylingen and Rey, was fourth at the Regional meet, again beating the state-qualifying mark.
The Demon 200 freestyle relay team of Rey, Jeong-Kwan Kim, Jacob and Jay was fifth last weekend.
Van Teylingen also picked up points with a seventh in the 50 free.
Jacob also added an 11th for the Demons in the 100 free and Jeong-Kwan Kim was 13th in the 100 breaststroke.
Events at the state meet will begin this afternoon with swimming prelims at 4 p.m.
Warmups are set to start at 2:30 p.m.
Events continue Friday with morning prelims at 9 a.m.
Swimming finals are set for Saturday afternoon.
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