Demon swimmers notch third straight regional title
Post Independent Staff
GRAND JUNCTION ” When it comes to girls swimming, Glenwood Springs High School still has the golden touch.
It was tougher for the Demons to win their third consecutive Western Regional team championship than the past two years, but the goal was accomplished nonetheless.
Glenwood had to wait until the team points were added in from the meet’s last event to retain its title. The Demons won the meet with 297 team points, barely edging runnerup Grand Junction’s 283 points.
And each member on the Demons’ roster had a role in earning the 2003-04 regional title.
Prior to 400 relay, Glenwood, the pre-meet favorites, were 11 points back of the Class 5A Tigers.
Grand Junction’s 1-2 finish in the 100-yard breaststroke knocked the Demons, who held the lead for the majority of Saturday’s finals, into second place until both 400 relay teams came to the rescue.
The No. 1 team’s lead swimmers ” Bridget Jankovsky and Jennifer Betts ” gave Glenwood a slight lead over Durango. The back-half of the relay team ” Alina Roberts and Emily McDonald secured the win by beating their opponents by a body length to the wall.
Together, Glenwood’s No. 1 relay team came in at 3 minutes, 47.22 seconds, well ahead of Southwestern League Durango’s 3:53.31 runnerup mark.
But, earning first place alone wouldn’t earn the Demons a title. They needed and got help from the No. 2 relay team.
Michelle McReynolds, Molly Jankovsky, Stacey Miller and Cori Barnes clocked a 4:04.20 to earn fourth place and the 22 team points that put Glenwood over the top.
“It was a great meet,” first-year Glenwood coach Theresa Mattingly said. “That’s the way I like them.”
McDonald and Roberts also had some individual golden moments on Saturday.
The two Demons set Orchard Mesa Pool girls’ records during Friday’s preliminaries in separate events then shattered them at Saturday’s finals.
McDonald won the 100 and 200 freestyles. At Friday’s preliminaries, the freshman broke Carrie Nixon of Montrose’s eight year-old 100-free record of 55.25, with a 54.59 finish. On Saturday, McDonald trimmed the mark to 53.45.
“It felt great,” said McDonald, who admitted the first 50 yards of the race “was scary.”
“I thought I had to go harder,” McDonald explained. “I wasn’t thinking about setting a record or having the best time. I wanted to do it for the team.”
Earlier, in the 200 final, McDonald bettered Fruita Monument’s Paula Languor’s pool-best 1:58.67 time by .22 seconds.
Roberts said winning for the team helped her record her season-best time in the 100-yard backstroke.
“There was a lot of pressure,” she said. “But I thought, ‘This is for the team, let’s do it for them,'”
That pushed the Aspen High senior to a 1:01.02 mark, more than .6 tenths of a second faster than the pool record Roberts set in Friday’s prelims. Roberts also won the 50 freestyle in 24.93 seconds.
Kelly Hauskins accumulated 469.05 points to win the dive competition. Teammate Allie Wine, who earned fourth place, qualified for next week’s state meet in Loveland by scoring 329.60 points in her 11-dive total.
Overall, Glenwood won six events, finished second in four more, and had three third-place finishes. Grand Junction won four events, took second in the 200 free relay and had two third-place marks.
The next challenge for the Demons is this week’s Class 4A state meet, which begins Friday at Mountain View High School, where Glenwood hopes to set some state medal times.
“We’re not going to let the Front Range swimmers bother us,” said coach Patty Schaffner. “Competing at the Jeffco meet helped us and we feel we belong there.”
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