Seniors hope to make a splash in last home meet |

Seniors hope to make a splash in last home meet

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson The Glenwood Baraccudas will be hosting a swim meet this Saturday at the Glenwood Springs Community Center.

Glad and sad.Those are the emotions some of the Glenwood Springs girls swim team seniors share going into Saturday’s quad meet at the Community Center pool.What makes the seniors the happiest, said four-year veteran Jennifer Betts, is the opportunity to perform in front a large group of friends and family. “That’s the best thing about a home meet – the people,” she said. “There are a lot of good sports teams to watch here, and this gives (the community) the chance to see how well we swim and how successful we are.”Stacey Miller, also in the middle of her fourth year of swimming for Glenwood, said the experience “is still new to us,” since it will be only the second home meet in the swim program’s history.In the same breath, Miller, whose goal is to qualify for next month’s Class 4A state meet in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle, admitted the toughest part about Saturday is the realization that it’s the last time she’ll compete at home as a member of the high school team.

Splash: see page 14″It is sad when you think about it,” Miller said. The sad part for Molly Jankovsky is when she reflects on soon-to-occur breakup between herself and her teammates at the conclusion of the high school season.”We’ve developed friendships because most of us have been swimming together (with the Sopris Barracudas) since we were 6 and 7 years old,” she said. “Its been a lot of fun.”Jankovsky and the other members of the Demons hope to add to the fun with season-best times in front of an expected large group of fans, friends and family.”Certain pools are faster. I’ve been at pools where there are good swimmers, but no fast times,” Betts said. “The gutters and the way the waters run here make our pool fast.”

Knowledge of the pool helps too, said Miller. “We’re used to the walls, how to turn and the environment. It’s a good pool and it shows how good you are.”Glenwood, under new head coach Michelle Brun, continues to build on its reputation as one of the best prep aquatic teams on the Western Slope.To date, the Demons have qualified for next month’s Class 4A state meet in Fort Collins in seven individual events, along with the 200- and 400-yard free relays. That’s good, but, not good enough for Betts to rest on her laurels for three weeks.”I want to make (Saturday) my personal best,” she said.That might take some doing. Betts, a member of the Demons 200 and 400 free relays teams, currently holds the second (1 minute, 43.96 seconds) and third best (3:48.96) marks in 4A, according to the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Web site.

Individually, Betts is among the state’s top 15 freestylers in the 50 and 100.The team’s underclassmen are equally talented.Junior Emily McDonald holds the season’s fastest mark in the same events. In the 50, McDonald timed in at 24.70. Her 100 mark of 53.10 is the only sub-54 second time in 4A. Coal Ridge High freshman Sierra Grove – a teammate of Betts, Miller and McDonald during the summer club season with the Sopris Barracudas – qualified for state in the 50 and 200 free and is among the state’s top 20 swimmers in both events.Sophomore Ali Schaiberger is Glenwood’s top long-distance swimmer. Her best mark – 5:52.46 has earned her a spot at the state’s 500-yard freestyle prelims.Still, the best part of high school swimming to Jankovsky is the team aspect.”We’ve developed a certain bond between each other and we’re always growing together. I think that’s the best part of it. We all want the team to do well and for all of us to improve.”

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