Durango High School girls swim and dive team strong in state preliminaries

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 8:10 PM

Durango showed up in a big way to open the Colorado High School Activities Association Girls Class 3A State Championships for swimming and diving.

Three Durango High School divers made it out of the preliminaries of 1-meter diving to advance to the semifinals. Kylie Behn, a junior, scored 279.30 to stand in second place after the semifinals. She is only 0.55 points behind Discovery Canyon sophomore Rachel Alexander going into Saturday’s finals at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton. Behind Behn, Durango also has Ruby Epstein in fifth place with 270.40 points going into the finals.

Sadie McAliney, a DHS senior, finished 16th with 226.05 points.

Durango also saw a new school record go down Thursday. DHS senior Mira Joyner finished the 100-yard butterfly in 1 minute, 1.65 seconds to qualify for the A finals. She improved upon her seed time by 1½ seconds. St. Mary’s sophomore Caitlin Cairns had the top preliminary time of 56.77 seconds.

Joyner also qualified for the A final in the 100-yard breaststroke. She finished eighth in 1:12.48, which was faster than her seed time. She will chase Pueblo County’s Amanda Blickensderfer, who had the top prelim time of 1:05.88.

Durango’s Mina Willemin, a sophomore, qualified for the B final of the 200-yard freestyle. She swam in 2:04.35. D’Evelyn senior Abbey Selin had the fastest prelim swim of 1:56.91. Durango senior Jocelyn Earl will be the second alternate for the B final, as she finished the prelim in 2:08.10.

Willemin will be in the A final for the 100-yard freestyle, as she had the eighth-fastest prelim time at 56.97 seconds. She will chase race favorite Aly Gallagher, a Colorado Academy junior who posted a 53.67 in prelims.

Durango sophomore Saylor Stottlemyer will race in the B final of the 500-yard freestyle. She had the 11th-best prelim time of 5:45.98. The top time came from Selin, who swam in 5:09.15. Stottlemyer’s time was six seconds faster than her regional performance only a week ago.

Durango’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of Earl, Joyner, Stottlemyer and Willemin also qualified for Friday’s A final with a time of 3:54.98. That was the sixth-best time of the prelims, as Longmont had the top time of 3:46.08.

Durango’s 200 medley relay team will be the second alternate for the B final.