Prep swimming: Glenwood hoping for favorable numbers at regional
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Steve Vanderhoof and his Glenwood Springs High School girls swimming team will be playing a numbers game of sorts on Saturday.
The Demons, coming off a second-place finish to Durango in the Demon Invitational swim meet on Jan. 24, kept close track of the numbers the first-place finishers put up in their home meet at the Glenwood Springs Community Center pool. The tipping point turned out to be Durango’s divers, who swept the top three places while Glenwood — which has no divers — had no finishers.
That made a big difference for Durango finishing atop the team standing in that six-team meet. Glenwood, however, hopes that a more-saturated meet field will make a difference in the scoring when it competes in the 14-team Western Slope Championships regional meet at the El Pomar Natatorium in Grand Junction on Saturday.
“That’s definitely what we’re hoping,” Vanderhoof, the first-year Glenwood coach, said. “If you look at the entrants, Durango has one real good swimmer [Anne Mummery in the 100-yard backstroke], and the rest of their top finishers are in the middle of the pack.
“We’re hoping that will take some of the points away they scored against us,” the coach continued. “Where those points go, though, is up in the air. We’ll have to see how our girls swim.”
A good performance is a definite possibility for Glenwood, which enters the meet with the top times in two individual events and a pair of relays. Durango’s X-factor, however, is their three divers in Elise Tidwell, Sarah Lawton and Caroline Tidwell, who could score much-needed points for their team to prevail against a Glenwood team that doesn’t have divers.
Glenwood, however, isn’t worried. After all, they’ve been here before.
“This year, a lot of our girls are very similar to the girls we had two years ago,” said Hannah Peterson, a senior who was a sophomore on the Glenwood team that wound up beating Durango in the team standings by one point to win the regional team title. “I think we have a chance, and I think it’s a good chance.”
Peterson is the lead leg on Glenwood’s 400 and 200 freestyle relay teams, both of which are seeded first in the regional meet. Also seeded first are Kendall Vanderhoof in the 100 freestyle (54.43 seconds) and Jessica Tuttle in the 500 freestyle (5:15.67). In all, Glenwood has a swimmer seeded in the top eight in each event.
Glenwood hopes that its X-factor, however, will be its athletes who are on the brink of posting state-qualifying times.
“We’re still trying to get more girls to bust out those state cuts,” Peterson said. “We’re trying to score as many points a we can at this meet, and those girls will play a factor in that.”
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In a fraction of a second I went from a full sprint to skidding across the ground — pea-sized gravel gashing my knees and elbows, turning them into strawberry crisp.