Demons head to state meet with high hopes |

Demons head to state meet with high hopes

Joelle Milholm
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Two years after Emily McDonald earned state titles in the 50 and 100 freestyle, becoming the first medalist in GSHS swimming history, five Demons will be taking to the water at the Class 4A state meet Friday and Saturday in Fort Collins eager to add to the school’s collection.

Despite having just four swimmers and one diver, Glenwood Springs will have at least one swimmer in eight of the 12 events at the meet.

Outside of junior star swimmer Sierra Grove, who is ranked No. 4 in the 50 free and No. 5 in the 100 free, freshman Keevyn Scholl is the next highest ranking Demon scheduled to compete at the state meet. Scholl will be testing the field in the 100 breast ” her best stroke and one she has been competing in since she was 8 years old, with the Sopris Barracudas. She is ranked 22nd in the event and admitted she wasn’t counting on going to state her first year in high school.

“It just kinda happened and it was really surprising, my mom was crying,” she said at practice on Wednesday morning.

Scholl, along with her swimming teammates, will hit the waters at Edora Pool and Ice Center on Friday at 3:30 p.m. for prelims and all will be gunning for top-16 places to reach Saturday’s final.

“I am really excited about Keevyn,” said Glenwood head coach Michelle Brune. “If she has a really great swim, she could make it to finals and that would be really cool.”

Scholl’s goal is to make the finals, but no matter what happens, is pleased with the success she’s found in her first year.

“I am a freshman and I am in the bottom half, so making finals would be great,” said Scholl, whose best time is 1:13.10 this year. “That would be another two seconds (to take off), though, and that’s a lot of time in swimming. I am just happy to be here and be going.”

Glenwood senior Ali Schaiberger will be handling the distance swims for Glenwood, as she has qualified for the 200 and 500 freestyle competitions. Schaiberger is ranked 30th in the 200 with a time of 2:08.13 and 35th in the 500 with a 5:48.32 mark. While she’s a little higher in the 200, Schaiberger feels she can do better in the 500 because there are more opportunities to cut down time.

“I think I like the 500 better just because I stand a better chance in it. There are some really, really fast times in the 200, and in the 500 I think I could possibly get a good ranking in,” she said. “And there is a possibility I might just swim the 500 at state, I might not swim the 200.”

Schaiberger, Grove and Scholl will also be joining forces with Anna Wiltse to compete in the 200 and 400 free relay events. The Demons are ranked 24th in the 200 (1:50.11) and 26th in the 400 (4:02.94) and have a shot at making the finals in both. Especially when you factor in the motivation that swimming as part of a team brings.

“I feel faster because you are part of a team and you don’t want to let anybody down and there is a lot more excitement than when you are individual,” Wiltse said.

Jessica Betts will be rounding out the Demons at state as the senior will be competing in the one-meter diving event. Betts, who finished 14th at state last year, qualified for the big meet last weekend by scoring a 341.15 in the league championship meet last weekend in Montrose.

Although Betts is ranked 24th of all the divers, she may have an edge that will help her move up.

“She has been working with a sports psychologist. It seems to be helping her. It is such a psychological sport to dive and you have to have skills, too,” Brune said of Betts. “She has got such gorgeous form, so a lot of it is just making sure her brain knows what it’s doing.”

The diving prelims will take place Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m., while the finals are scheduled as the fifth event of the swimming and diving finals set to begin at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

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