Prep swimming: Demons seeing a youth movement |

Prep swimming: Demons seeing a youth movement

Jon Mitchell
Glenwood Springs High School sophomore Jessica Tuttle swims to a victory in the 500-yard freestyle during the Demon Invitational swim meet Saturday at the Glenwood Springs Community Center swimming pool.
Jon Mitchell / |


Saturday at the Glenwood Springs Community Center

TEAM SCORES — 1. Durango 397; 2. Glenwood Springs 277; 3. Gunnison 254; 4. Summit 166.5; 5. Montezuma-Cortez 162.5; 6. Palisade/Central 103.


200-YARD MEDLEY RELAY — 1. Durango (Warren, Earl, Mummery, Kniffin), 2:02.50; 2. Gunnison, 2:08.31; 3. Glenwood Springs, 2:12.41; 4. Summit, 2:25.01.

200 FREESTYLE — 1. Jessica Tuttle, GS, 2:03.92; 2. Elina Smith, Gun, 2:18.82; 3. Bryn Joyner, Dur, 2:20.63; 4. Elana Cope, MC, 2:25.07.

200 IM — 1. Bailey Duran, MC, 2:41.61; 2. Haley Warren, Dur, 2:44.44; 3. Megan Hogfeldt, Sum, 2:47.21; 4. Ellie Penney, Gun, 2:49.40.

50 FREESTYLE — 1. Brooke Kniffin, Dur, 25.54; 2. L.J. Fetzko, GS, 26.06; 3. Kendall Vanderhoof, GS, 26.52; 4. Isabel Young, Gun, 27.08.

DIVING — Sarah Lawton, Dur, 156.52; 2. Elise Tidwell, Dur, 146.25; 3. Caroline Tidwell, Dur, 141.75; 4. Tessa Gunnin, Sum, 139.50.

100 BUTTERFLY — 1. Hannah Peterson, GS, 1:06.29; 2. Lexi Barber,Gun, 1:26.76; 3. Jennifer Schady, Dur, 1:26.82; 4. Christina Montgomery, Sum, 1:27.57.

100 FREESTYLE — 1. Annie Mummery, Dur, 56.97; 2. Kendall Vanderhoof, GS, 57.20; 3. Isabel Young, Gun, 1:00.67; 4. Hannah Stinson, GS, 1:00.85.

500 FREESTYLE — 1. Jessica Tuttle, GS, 5:30.31; 2. Bailey Duran, MC, 6:11.88; 3. Elli Earl, Dur, 6:11.94; 4. Karolina Latek, P/C, 6:22.65.

200 FREESTYLE RELAY — 1. Glenwood Springs (Stinson, Fetzko, Tuttle, Vanderhoof), 1:48.86; 2. Durango, 1:54.64; 3. Gunnison, 1:57.64; 4. Montezuma-Cortez, 1:59.54.

100 BACKSTROKE — 1. Brooke Kniffni, Dur, 1:02.86; 2. Annie Mummery, Dur, 1:04.60; 3. Hannah Peterson, GS, 1:05.21; 4. Elina Smith, Gun, 1:11.06.

100 BREASTSTROKE — 1. L.J. Fetzko, GS, 1:14.07; 2. Elli Earl, Dur, 1:20.43; 3. Ali Smith, Gun, 1:23.64; 4. Kyra Newhouse, P/C, 1:26.19.

400 FREESTYLE RELAY — 1. Glenwood Springs (Peterson, Tuttle, Vanderhoof, Fetzko), 3:55.56; 2. Durango A, 4:00.09; 3. Montezuma-Cortez, 4:28.64; 4. Durango B, 4:31.78.

GLENWOOD SPRNGS — Top marks don’t seem to be a big deal for three members of the Glenwood Springs High School girls swimming team — even if they are all underclassmen.

“You would think that just because someone is older that they would be faster,” said Glenwood junior Hannah Peterson, who swims in a pair of relays with those three underclassmen. “That’s not the case with them. It’s nice when someone comes in and looks at them as just a freshman or sophomore before they blow everybody away.”

Those three underclassmen — sophomores Kendall Vanderhoof and Jessica Tuttle, and freshman L.J. Fetzko — have raised some eyebrows at the high school meets they’ve competed in. Each of them have posted state-qualifying times in not only the relay events they’ve raced in, but individual events as well.

It was evident how much of an impact the underclassmen are having for Glenwood at Saturday’s Demon Invitational swim meet at the Glenwood Springs Community Center pool. Tuttle won two events, Fetzko won one event and was second in another, and Vanderhoof netted second- and third-place finishes.

Peterson came away with the most convincing individual victory, posting a Class 4A state-qualifying time of 1 minute, 6.29 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly to win the event by more than 20 seconds. But the lion’s share of the points accumulated by the Demons came from those three underclassmen, each of whom do club swimming with Team Sopris and view the high school swim season as an extra chance to get training in.

“When these girls do club swimming, they’re swimming against some of the best in the country,” first-year Glenwood coach Danny Gall said. “So when it comes to these high school meets, it’s more fun for them.”

Durango finished atop the points standings of the six-team meet with a score of 397. Glenwood was second with 277, with Gunnison (254) and Summit (166.5) following.

Tuttle, who was a state qualifier as a freshman, won the 200 freestyle easily in 2:03.92. Her victory in the 500 freestyle was even more convincing, with her winning time of 5:30.31 beating second-place Bailey Duran of Montezuma-Cortez by more than 41 seconds.

Fetzko won the 100 breaststroke in 1:14.07, but she met the Class 4A state qualifying standard for the first time with her second-place time of 26.06 in the 50 freestyle. Vanderhoof wasn’t far behind, finishing third in 26.52.

The four put together their best collective performance of the day, however, when the meet ended with the 400 freestyle relay. Peterson led off the relay for Glenwood and fell a body length behind Durango lead swimmer Brooke Kniffin, who won the 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle earlier in the day. Tuttle swam the second leg and gave the Demons the lead at the start of her fourth and final length of the pool, and Vanderhoof and Fetzko built on it enough for the Demons to win by nearly 5 seconds in 3:55.56.

“We’re all in swim club together, so we see each other almost every day and we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Vanderhoof said. “It’s a lot of fun beating everyone because it brings confidence, and then that confidence spreads.”

The level of competition for high school, however, is much higher at schools on Colorado’s Front Range. It’s not unheard of, however, for the Western Slope to have success at the state-meet level. In 2003, not only did Glenwood’s girls swimming team finish fifth in the Class 4A state meet standings, but Montrose swimmer Andrea Weisner won a pair of individual state championships.

The Demons, though, are more focused on winning a second consecutive title in next month’s Western Slope Championships, scheduled to be held Feb. 7 and 8 at the El Pomar Natatorium in Grand Junction.

“All of us knew there’s a huge level over there, but we’re enjoying the level that we’re at right now,” Tuttle said. “Our focus is getting through this season and going for another regional title. From there, we’ll see what happens.”

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