The flu bug hit Olympians and Durango Swim Club members alike.
Teale Kitson and Robert Stafford both took ill before the Western Section Championships last weekend in Federal Way, Wash., yet both finished in the top half of their fields in their events.
"Illness hit us hard," Durango Swim Club coach John Gadbois said in a news release. "Teale Kitson and Robert Stafford didn't make any excuses and raced as best they could.
"Our guys got to watch a couple of Olympians with gold medals compete, although they were struggling with the flu, as well."
Gadbois said Olympians Megan Jendrick and Margaret Hoelzer also swam at the meet. Both own Olympic gold medals and were one-time world record holders.
There were about 1,100 swimmers at this year's championships.
"This meet was much larger and much faster and deeper than in any previous year," Gadbois said.
Both swimmers competed in the 200-yard backstroke.
"Robert swam well ... his best time by a couple of seconds and moved up about 40 places from where he was seeded," Gadbois said. "It was another good swim for Robert at this meet.
"Unfortunately, Teale picked up a cold over the weekend and is struggling to breathe. He's unable to take deep breaths, and that makes it a challenge to swim at this level."
Kitson, regardless, swam the second fastest time of his life.
Kitson finished 75th out of "about" 150 swimmers, Gadbois said, and Stafford finished two spots back in 77th place.
Stafford, a senior co-captain on the Durango High School boys swimming team, and Kitson, a junior on the DHS team, both competed in the 200-yard freestyle, as well.
"By the end of the prelims (Sunday) you could see a bit of life returning to Teale, but he's still coughing and struggling to breathe," Gadbois said. "I was proud of the fact that both guys raced while here, without regard to their place or time."
The DHS swim team, with Kitson and Stafford in tow, will compete at the Montrose Invitational this Friday and Saturday.