Geography held many swimmers back from the Colorado Swimming state championships.
With the event held in Fort Collins across two weekends, only five of the team’s 11 qualifiers from the Durango Swim Club competed at state. Personal best times were taken in bunches by those five athletes who were able to attend.
“It was unfortunate for us that Colorado Swimming chose a destination that was so far away and two weekends in a row,” DSC coach Alex Martinek said in an email to The Durango Herald. “However, the team that could come had a great time. We had a lot of success and some swims that weren’t so successful, and that created a lot of learning opportunities for the kids.”
At the 13-and-over championships, Quinn Schmidt competed in the 200-meter backstroke, 200-meter breaststroke and the 800- and 1,500-meter freestyle races. She qualified for the finals in the breaststroke and came close to breaking a record set by Melissa Merryman in 2006. Schmidt finished in 2 minutes, 35.56 seconds, and Merryman’s team record is 2:35.29. Schmidt’s time was good for 23rd in the backstroke and 13th in the 800 freestyle, dropping four seconds from her previous best time.
Abby Bowman and Erin Knight competed in the 12-and-under championships. Knight dropped 11 seconds off her personal best time in the 400-meter freestyle to celebrate her 13th birthday. She finished 30th in the event. Bowman contested the 50- and 400-meter freestyle races. She finished 57th and 49th, respectively, to set new personal best times in both races.
Jayden Craig and Alistair Reese also competed in the 10-and-under category. Craig set personal best times in two of three of her events, with a 43rd-place finish in the 50-meter freestyle. That was three seconds better than her previous mark. Reese dropped time in both of his events. He was 11th in the 50-meter freestyle and nearly broke a team record set by Casey Hamilton in 2011. Reese finished in 34.25, and Hamilton’s record is 33.52.
“I think at big meets like this, especially when you’re dealing with kids, you don’t know how they will handle the pressure,” Martinek said. “Some step up, and some can’t handle it very well. Which is great. Those are the moments where we can teach about character and sportsmanship.”
Durango’s Warner Becher (14), Haley Benjamin (17), Maggie Holcomb (11), Aileen McManus (8), Merin Schmidt (9) and Emmett Stottlemyer (17) all qualified for state but were unable to attend.
Next for the DSC is junior nationals, which will be held in Long Island, New York.