New look greets area swimmers at weekend Barracuda Invitational
Post Independent Staff
There’s a new look to the Sopris Barracuda Invitational swim meet this year.
For the first time in its history, the annual youth club team meet will take place indoors and in Glenwood Springs.
The first event of the two-day, 11-team meet is scheduled for 8 a.m. Friday at the Community Center’s pool. The meet concludes at 2 p.m. and follows the same schedule on Sunday.
“I’m excited about it,” said veteran Barracudas swimmer Jennifer Betts of the switch.
“This is a fast pool,” she said of the Community Center. “We made all of our best times here during the high school season. Its nice to know this pool has helped make us faster.”
Staying at home is also a plus, Betts added.
“Other people get to come here instead of us. So it’s exciting to have a meet here.”
Emily McDonald, another longtime Barracudas swimmer, agrees this weekend’s meet will be fun and should produce some fast times. But she admitted that this year’s meet has a different feel than from previous years when the event was held at Carbondale’s outdoor pool.
“The atmosphere will be entirely different,” she said. “There’s not a lot of deck space (at the Community Center Pool), and there’s not a real good place to go outside. I think its going to be more stressful.”
Some of the stress swimmers feel is the focus of club swimming.
“Summer is all about you,” McDonald said. Your working on yourself and your times. In high school swimming, you’re working for the team. In the summer, its you going for it for yourself.”
To that effect, McDonald’s goals include making to the national meet in the 100-meter freestyle.
“I’m about a second off (from qualifying) in the 100 free,” she said. McDonald also will focus on butterfly and individual medley events this summer.
Betts, who won three individual events last weekend in a meet in Grand Junction, hopes to qualify for both the Junior Olympic and sectional meets later this summer in the 100 freestyle.
“I feel pretty good. I’m getting into shape and I’m getting there,” she said. “I’m looking at doing the same events every week, but, I’ll probably still swim in lots of different events, because there’s so many options.”
Participants include the Rifle Stingrays, along with clubs from Grand Junction, Delta, Aspen, Meeker, Rangely, Steamboat, Craig, Gunnison and Montrose.
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