Keeping it real(istic): Demons set high goals despite the loss of a key swimmer
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Kendall Vanderhoof wasn’t at all impressed with her time in the 500-yard freestyle on Friday — even though it looked impressive at first glance.
The Glenwood Springs High School junior posted a winning time of 5 minutes, 30.58 seconds. It not only shattered the Class 4A state-qualifying standard of 5:46.00, but it also bettered the Class 5A state standard of 5:32.00.
Plus, word from over at the scorer’s table as the four-team Demon Invitational swim meet was coming to a close was that Vanderhoof’s time was nine seconds better than her previous best in the event. It turned out that wasn’t true, though.
“Actually, I was 20 seconds slower,” she said after the meet. “Maybe that was my best high school time, but my best time was in club swimming.
“And,” she added, “it was at sea level. I know I wouldn’t be able to do that up here.”
Regardless, Vanderhoof was the top performer of the day for Glenwood, which hosted Fruita Monument, Palisade and Moffat County in its season opener at the Glenwood Springs Community center pool. She also posted a winning time of 2:02.96 in the 200 freestyle, which beat the Class 5A state standard by more than a second.
Vanderhoof wasn’t alone in performing well for Glenwood. Hannah Peterson mat the 4A state-qualifying standard with a winning time of 26.17 in the 50 freestyle, then qualified for the 4A meet in the 100 backstroke in 1:04.82.
Glenwood finished second in the meet to Fruita, which finished with 440 team points. The Demons were next at 320, with Moffat County (230) and Palisade (157) following. Glenwood was also without Jessica Tuttle, who like Vanderhoof qualified for the 4A State Championships last year but was attending another school function on Friday.
For the long term, however, the Demons will be without sophomore L.J. Fetzko for the entire season. Fetzko, a seventh-place finisher in the 200 freestyle last year and a key member of the team’s relay squads, will miss the season following surgery to remove a bursa sack from her right shoulder. So with Fetzko out, Glenwood had to readjust its goals for the season even though the Demons are still keeping their standards high.
“We were hoping that we could get into finals and even place well in finals at state,” said Vanderhoof, who was part of a 400 freestyle relay team that finished ninth in the state meet a year ago. “Now we’re hoping that we can get into finals or get into [the consolation final]. It’ll be tough, but I think we can do it.”
Also finishing high for Glenwood was Kristen Davis, who took third in the 200 free in 2:18.50. Zoe Lyon was third in the 100 free in 1:03.74, and Hannah Stinson finished second in the 100 butterfly in 1:11.31. Stinson and Davis were second (6:07.09) and third (6:23.58), respectively, in the 500 free, and Lyon took second behind Peterson in the 100 backstroke. Taking second in the 400 freestyle was Glenwood’s team of Mikayla Axtell, Peterson, Grace Matthews and Stinson in 4:34.46.
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