State tough sledding for DHS swim

Brooke Kniffin, 200 medley relay Day 2 participants

The sledding always gets tougher when the best of the best Class 4A has to offer get together.

Durango High School girls swimming sent eight swimmers and an alternate to the state championships Friday and Saturday in Thornton, and the Demons escaped Friday’s preliminaries in a pair of events.

“It’s definitely tough competition up in Denver,” DHS head coach Kathryn Ross said.

Brooke Kniffin again swam a sub-1 minute 100-yard backstroke to finish 13th overall in 59.91 seconds, while the 200-yard medley relay team of Kniffin, Hannah Chapman, Haley Cotgageorge and Annie Mummery moved on to Saturday, eventually finishing 15th with a time of 1 minute, 57.57 seconds. Chapman just missed the finals in the 500 freestyle, ending up as an alternate for the finals.

Despite not cracking the top eight, Ross said she was pleased with the performances put forth by her swimmers.

“It was very tough competition, but I think we held up really well,” Ross said.

Chapman, Cotgageorge, Kniffin and Mummery also swam the 400 freestyle relay, finishing two spots shy of advancing to Saturday’s finals. Chapman also swam the 100 breaststroke, while Kniffin also swam in the 50 free. Mummery swam the 100 and 50 freestyle races, while Cotgageorge also swam the 100 back, a race in which Pueblo South’s Mary Saiz won the state title in record time for Class 4A.

The quartet of Catherine Dellinger, Bryn Joyner, Rydell Stottlemyer and Hailey Warren participated for Durango in the 200 freestyle relay, while Elli Earl traveled with the Demons as an alternate.

Thompson Valley captured its fourth-consecutive state championship as a team with 300 points, topping the 282 of Cheyenne Mountain. Evergreen was third with 266. Broomfield with 153 and Pueblo South with 146 rounded out the top five.

heraldsports@durangoherald.com