Swim team earns third at West Slope meet
In swimming, it takes talent, not numbers, for a team to be successful.
The Sopris Barracuda swim club of Glenwood Springs proved that point by finishing third among 17 participating teams at last weekend’s West Slope Championships, held at the Orchard Mesa Municipal Pool in Grand Junction.
“That was a great finish,” said Barracuda coach Howard Jay of the team’s final position in the point standings.
Taking only 34 participating swimmers, “the least amount we’ve had at the West Slope meet in a long time,” Jay said, the Barracudas amassed 1,419.5 points, well ahead of the fourth-place Gunnison Stingrays.
The Grand Junction Dolphins won the meet with 2,702 points, followed by the Montrose Marlins, which totaled 1,729.5 points.
On Saturday and Sunday, the latter two days of the meet, Emily McDonald dominated the girls 13-14 year-old division.
The Glenwood Springs resident concluded the meet with eight gold medals.
McDonald’s gold medals included individual wins in the 100-meter freestyle, butterfly, and backstroke.
McDonald also won the 200-meter backstroke, freestyle and individual medley and helped the Barracudas to victories in the 400-meter freestyle and medley relays.
She teamed with Claire Noone and sisters Nora and Vashti Chandler in the free relay. The foursome won the event in 4 minutes, 36.84 seconds.
The Barracuda girls defeated the Aspen Speedos by 37 seconds to win the division’s medley relay gold medal. Molly Jankovsky joined McDonald, Noone and Vashti Chandler to win the race in 5:14.72, compared to Aspen’s time of 5:51.72.
Vashti Chandler also amassed a cache of medals last weekend. The 14-year-old earned four individual silver medals and two relay golds.
At the same time, fellow Barracuda Sierra Grove was controling the 11-12 girls division.
The 11-year-old concluded the meet with six medals. Grove earned gold medals in the 100-meter backstroke, freestyle and 200 individual medley. She also had a silver medal in the 200 free and two relay bronze medals.
Jonathan Jay, the coach’s son, had the best meet among the Sopris boys.
Swimming in the 13-14 year-old division, Jay picked up two silver medals.
Later, competing in the senior division with older brother, Steven and his father, they earned third-place medals in the 400-meter free and medley relays.
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