The Durango Swim Club members reached new heights at last week’s Western Slope Championships.
Durango’s girls posted three of the five high point awards in their age groups. Aileen McManus scored more points than any other competitor in the meet’s 8-and-under group. Quinn Schmidt, 14, did the same in the 13-14 group and Haley Benjamin, 15, did the same for the 15-and-over swimmers.
McManus came away victorious in the 25-yard breaststroke and the 100-yard individual medley. She also placed second in the 25-yard butterfly and 25-yard freestyle which led to a meet-high 74 points in her class. Quinn Schmidt finished with 144 points and destroyed the team record in the 200-meter breaststroke by three seconds with a time of 3 minutes, 2.62 seconds. The previous record of 3:05.17 was set by Kayla McCarthy all the way back in 2006. Schmidt is headed to Fort Collins for the July 28 CSI Long Course State Championships.
Benjamin won four of nine events en route to a whopping 162-point overall performance. She is headed to Long Island, New York Aug. 7-12 to compete at Junior Nationals in four events.
Durango brought twenty swimmers to the Western Slope Championships and the team finished fifth out of 17 teams after taking seventh last year. Olivia Bechers (10), Heidi Clay (10), Maren Clay (12), Evie Powell (10) and Denny Woods (9) all scored points for the team in their first championship meets.
“The team is doing really well,” Durango Swim Club head coach Alex Martinek said. “We have 10 swimmers qualified for State this year. Last year we only had 2. Those are huge improvements for the team.”
The 10 Durango Swim Club state qualifiers are Warner Becher, Haley Benjamin, Abby Bowman, Jayden Craig, Maggie Holcomb, Erin Knight, Ali Reese, Merin Schmidt, Quinn Schmidt, and Emmett Stottlemeyer.
The 13-and-over state meet is this weekend and the 12-and-under competition is next weekend.