Glenwood ladies’ swim team second at West Slope conference finals

Abby Scruton wins 1M diving title

Glenwood Springs swimmer Molly Hancock swims the butterfly at the Western Slope championships Saturday in Grand Junction.
Lori Keathly photo
Sally McDonnell, a member of the Glenwood Springs swim team who is a student at Eagle Valley High School, was recognized as the Western Slope Swimmer of the Year for her dedication and hard work in the pool, along with her academic accomplishments including 4.0 GPA at EVHS.

Glenwood Springs’ 400-yard freestyle relay teams had to hold their positions going into the final event of the 3A/4A Western Slope Girls Swim Championships Saturday to keep a razor-thin lead over Durango and claim second place in the team standings.

They did just that, as the A team of sophomores Amy Madsen and Ellie Macpherson, junior Kylee Smith and senior Haley Diemar took second overall with a time 3:46.11, behind Grand Junction (3:38.43), and 6 seconds ahead of Gunnison.

The B team of seniors Sally McDonnell and Sadie Barth, junior Macy Dehm and sophomore Emma Price rose to the occasion, as well, winning the B final in 4:09.12 to take ninth overall for some needed extra points.

As a result, the Class 3A Glenwood Demons stayed just ahead of 3A Durango in the final team scoring, 394.5 to 394, to earn second place.

Grand Junction, which will compete at the Class 4A level at the state swimming and diving championships next weekend, won the combined class conference title with 425.5 points.

“Grand Junction was just too much in the end,” Glenwood coach Steve Vanderhoof said of the Demons’ hopes to defend their conference title from last year. “They have some very fast girls who scored well. The Grand Junction girls broke four of their own team records with one of the records being over 20 years old.” 

It took some negotiating just for the Glenwood team to leave for the meet on the CMU campus in Grand Junction in time Thursday afternoon with a winter storm settling in. The storm ended up cancelling all of that evening’s after-school activities and the entire school day on Friday.

“We had some great guidance and decisions from GSHS Athletic Director Craig Denney and were able to escape the winter snow storm by leaving town a day early,” Vanderhoof said. “If we would not have left before the school was shut down, we would not have been able to travel to even participate.”

But, it all came together and ended up being a great weekend for the Glenwood Springs swim and dive teams.

Glenwood, Durango and Grand Junction were all well-positioned after Friday’s preliminary events to make a run at the championship, Vanderhoof noted.

The second event final of the day on Saturday, the 200 freestyle, saw Demons swimmers Madsen (1:58.04), Smith (1:59.29) and Diemer (2:06.19) all swim personal best times — claiming take second, third and fifth places.

Glenwood’s four-member dive team also continued to outshine most of the West Slope competition. Junior Abby Scruton was crowned the league’s 1-meter diving champion. Close behind her was fellow junior Libby Claassen in third, and seniors Juliet McGill and Celia Scruton in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Glenwood Springs dive teamer Abby Scruton works on her form in practice last week with coach Lara Claassen at the Glenwood Community Center pool.
John Stroud/Post Independent

Coming out of the diving competition, the Glenwood girls found themselves with an early two-point lead in the team standings.

The Demons continued to swim well, scoring points with a strong finish and personal best time in the 100 butterfly of 1:00.81 by Smith, who took second in the event.

Diemer also had a personal best time and took fourth place in the 500 freestyle (5:38.27). 

After a strong showing in the 200 freestyle, Madsen was back in the pool to race the 100 freestyle. She narrowly out-touched by Grand Junction’s two-time winner, Delaney Kidd, finishing second with a personal-best time of 54.30.

Glenwood added three additional girls to its slate of 3A state qualifiers — Maggie Friemel in the 50 freestyle (27.64), Ella Lindenberg in the 100 breaststroke (1:19.21), and Emma Price in the 200 IM (2:32.94) and 100 backstroke (1:09.54).

The Demons take a total of 14 swimmers and divers to Thornton next weekend for the state 3A championships. Top seeds for the Demons will be:

  • Amy Madsen – 200 freestyle (third), 100 freestyle (fourth)
  • Kylee Smith – 200 freestyle (fourth), 100 butterfly (seventh)  
  • 400 freestyle relay – Madsen, Diemer, MacPherson, Smith (third)
  • 200 medley relay – Madsen, Moon, Smith, MacPherson (ninth) 
  • 1 meter diving – Abby Scruton (third), Juliet McGill (sixth), Libby Claassen (seventh), and Celia Scruton (12th). 
Sally McDonnell, an Eagle Valley High School student who competes for the Glenwood Springs girls, swims the breaststroke leg of the 200 IM at the Western Slope Girls Championships on Saturday.
Lori Keathley photo

Additional qualifiers include:

  • Sally McDonnell  – 200 individual medley, 500 freestyle
  • Haley Diemer – 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle
  • Sophie Moon – 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke
  • Molly Hancock – 100 breaststroke
  • Ellie MacPherson – 100 freestyle, 200 IM
  • 200 medley relay
  • 200 freestyle relay
  • 400 freestyle relay

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