McDonald brings home two golds from 4A swim meet
FORT COLLINS – When Emily McDonald won the 50-yard freestyle Class 4A state title on Saturday, she was awarded Glenwood’s first-ever swimming gold medal.Three events later, she won its second.Competing in the 100-yard freestyle, her best event, McDonald zipped through the water, leaving all other swimmers in her wake and finishing in 52.21.”Oh my gosh – it’s amazing,” McDonald said after the race. “I haven’t gone that fast all year. It’s amazing.”Her All-American consideration time was more then one and a half seconds faster than anyone else’s.”It’s kinda scary being out there (ahead of everyone else). You feel like you are going to die and everyone is going to catch up with you,” McDonald said.Walking away from the meet with two gold medals, McDonald was walking on a cloud. But the junior said she tried not to think of the medals when she was swimming”I was trying not to think of (getting Glenwood’s first gold medals) because it just adds a whole other layer of pressure. I just try to visualize it and when you get down there I just have to turn off my brain,” McDonald said. “It is a great feeling. It’s the highest of highs.”During the meet, first-year head coach Michelle Brune paced back and forth and swayed nervously as her swimmers competed. “It’s exciting but I get out there and I just cheer. I can’t get out there and swim,” Brune said of the experience. “I was hyperventilating.”mcdonald see page 13mcdonald see page 11After the meet, she walked a little taller, carrying a smile breaming with pride.”Emily was beautiful,” Brune said. “I knew she was capable of it. She turned it on when she needed to turn it on.”McDonald wasn’t the only Demon representing Glenwood in the final rounds of the state tournament as four other Demons racked up points to give Glenwood a fifth-place overall finish as a team.”To score this high takes more than one,” Brune said. “I am very proud of them. Everyone did what they needed to do.”Senior Jennifer Betts and freshman Sierra Grove, the team’s other two individual swimmers, also swam in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events.Grove took 11th in her first-ever state event, while Betts took 16th. After getting their first event out of the way, Betts and Grove swam faster in the 100-yard freestyle. Grove took fourth in her heat with a time of 55.46 while Betts recorded a time of 55.26, a personal best that put her in ninth place and first in her heat.”My first race, I was a little disappointed and I didn’t start how I wanted to,” Betts said. “I was really happy with my second race. Setting my personal record and coming in first in that heat – it’s an amazing feeling.”The Demon 200-yard squad of McDonald, Betts, Grove and Molly Jankovsky pounded out a 1:42.67 time, which handed them the fifth-place spot. The 400-yard squad of McDonald, Betts, Grove and Stacey Miller also took fifth after posting a time of 3:44.83. Glenwood’s freestyle relays boosted the team’s score and helped contribute to the fifth-place finish. Betts, who swims first in both relays, enjoys the challenge of being a part of the relay teams.”I love going first. I always have the pressure of getting my team ahead, and I love it,” Betts said. “You feel like more of a team being in a relay. It pushes you more because you want to do good for your team.”For Betts, who will graduate in the spring and go on to swim for the University of Northern Colorado in college, the state swim meet was her last as a Demon, but Brune believes it is only the start of her swimming career.”Her career is not over,” Brune said. “I’ll be stoked to see how she does at UNC. We’ve been talking about taking field trips up there to see her.”Grove, the youngest Demon at the meet, has a high school career that is just beginning.”I am very proud of her and she did good,” Brune said. “She’s got three more years to go and it’s going to be really fun to see her.”
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.