Trio of Barracudas headed to state meets

Staff Report

As the spring and summer swim season comes to an end, the Team Sopris Barracudas have three swimmers that are taking their talents on to the next level this summer.

Amy Madsen and Adelyn Newton will be competing in Fort Collins this weekend at the 12-and-under State Championship Swim meet. To participate at this meet, each swimmer must meet a minimum time standard for each event that they swim. Only the most elites swimmers in the state qualify to swim at the championship meet.

A swimmer is limited to three events a day, but no more than seven events over the three day competition.

Both Madsen and Newton will swim the maximum allowed seven events.

Newton has been swimming competitively since the age of 5. She currently specializes in breaststroke and mid-distance freestyle. According to Coach Steve Vanderhoof, Newton is one of the top 10-and-under swimmers on the Western Slope. She will be competing in seven events at the championship meet: 50 breaststroke, 100 breaststroke, 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, and 50 backstroke.

Newton is seeded well at the state meet with top 25 times in three of her seven events.

Along with Newton, Madsen had quite the swim season, leading to her qualifying for the state championship meet, as well.

“Amy is the without comparison the best 12-year-old swimmer on the Western Slope,” Vanderhoof said. “During the Western Slope Championships, Madsen dominated every event she swam, winning all nine of her individual races.”

The standout swimmer qualified to swim at the state championship in numerous events, but will swim the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke and 400 individual medley at the meet.

Madsen is well-seeded in her events, particularly in the 100 freestyle as she is seeded first in the Championship meet. In all her other events she is seeded in the top 15.

According to Vanderhoof, there are about 100 girls swimming in each event. Madsen recently broke two team records, a six-year-old team record in the 100 freestyle, which was held by current Division I swimmer Charlie Mechling, and also the record for the 50-yard freestyle which was held by former Glenwood Springs High School state champion LJ Fetzko.

Kristen Davis, 17, the team’s oldest swimmer, will travel to Fresno, California, on August 2 to participate in the Western States Zone competition. The meet consists of qualified elite swimmers mostly from Western states which include Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, Washington, and Oregon. Davis will swim in the 1500 freestyle, 400 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, and the 400 individual medley.

Davis, who is preparing for her college swimming career, is expected to turn in a good performance at the meet.

Outside of the trio of standout swimmers for the Barracudas who will head to the state meet, as well as the Western meet, Team Sopris competed in the Western Slope League championship meet at Colorado Mesa University from July 14-16. At the meet, Team Sopris had 18 competitors and finished in sixth place as a team out of 18 total teams.

For Team Sopris, Maverick Gorla had a great meet in the 13-14 boys division, setting a team record in the 50-meter freestyle while recording a state qualifying time of 27.66 seconds. Gorla placed third in five other events to rap up his time at the meet.

Ellie McPherson added a first-place finish for the Barracudas in the 13-14 girls division, winning the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:27.89, while Quinn McPherson turned in second- and third-place finishes in the 13-14 boys division in the 200 butterfly and the 400 individual medley.

Leah Shafer placed seventh in the 50-meter freestyle of the 11-12 girls division, recording a state qualifying time in the process, while 8-year-old Alexander Condor placed second in four events, setting team records in the 400 freestyle and the 200 individual medley after moving up a level to 10-and-under for the events.

Julia Czajka placed second in the 50-yard freestyle and third in the 25-yard backstroke, while Cale Sollars placed third in the 25-yard backstroke, 50-yard freestyle and 25-yard breaststroke.

Sopris Barracudas is a year around competitive swim team with kids ranging from age 7 through age 18. Practices are held daily at the Glenwood Springs Community Center. Sopris also has a Master’s program and practices Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. More information can be found at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.