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Depleted Demon swimmers show their talent

Phil SandovalGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Depth. It’s an important yet overlooked part of high school swimming.To be successful a team has to be deep.Despite having a smaller roster to draw from than in recent years, Glenwood Springs has continued to dominate the Western Slope.Until Saturday.With one member absent, combined with an early departure by Ali Schaiberger and Emily McDonald’s lingering shoulder problems, the Demons finished third behind Grand Junction and Gunnison in a six-team meet Saturday.Does the loss bother head coach Michelle Brune much?Not really.”Everybody was coming through today. It was kind of nice to see,” Brune said. “We only lost by 13 points, and that was without Emily swimming her individuals, which is pretty impressive. So it was good to see the girls perform well.”Rather, the 270 team points Glenwood totaled showed how talented the Demons are.Sierra Grove won the 100 freestyle in 56.76 seconds. The Coal Ridge High School sophomore also took second in the 50 free.McDonald, limiting herself to two events, helped the Demons record a victory in the medley relay.Schaiberger, before departing, coasted past Christa Funk for second place in the 200-yard freestyle.Jessica Betts, who was attempting some new dives, took second in the one-meter event by amassing 171.25 points.The chain of events also set the stage for Claire Noone to have a big day.And the Colorado Rocky Mountain School senior took advantage of grabbing the spotlight.In the medley relay, Noone put Glenwood in position to win by making up a half-lap lead in her portion of the event. “That medley relay was fantastic; it set a tone,” Brune said of Demons’ win. “Number one, Emily might be injured, but she’s still there as a swimmer. And number two, it showed that everyone else could pull in for her.”Noone said the effort she displayed in the relay was team-oriented.”Relays are different because you’re swimming for the team, not for yourself,” she said. “There’s a different energy that surrounds the whole thing. There’s a reserve that’s there. You can’t get that kind of push in individual events.”Later, with Grand Junction gaining momentum, Noone earned some much-needed third-place points when she outreached Kaitlin Gerson of Aspen in the last lap of the individual medley. Noone concluded the meet by taking second place in the breaststroke. “Claire is an impressive breaststroker, especially when she sees competition,” Brune said. “All of a sudden her stroke gets longer and gets stronger. That’s great, I like to see that.”Now Glenwood can focus on next Saturday’s home meet with Gunnison and Aspen. “Just having the girls at home is nice because we’ve been such a traveling team,” Brune said. “Finally we’ve got a home meet where the girls’ friends and family can see them.”


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