The Durango High School girls swimming team hosted Pagosa Springs on Friday at Fort Lewis College in the team’s lone home meet of the season. The Demons had a swimmer finish first in every event and swam their way to a 219-47 win over the Pirates.
“I’m excited to see their hard work paying off,” said DHS head coach Tom Joyner. “Tonight we were right on target. We swam some best times and some equals.”
The team also honored its 13 seniors, including Alexis Behn Elizabeth Chen, Mia Clevano, Kathryn Edwards, Jocelyn Feir, Hannah Garvey, Lindsey Johnston, Ariana Keuski, Erin Knight, Emy Mattox, Angela McManus, McKenzie Rion and Carter Taylor.
“This group is great,” Joyner said. “I’ve never seen so many girls cry (at a senior night). It just indicated to me how much they care for each other.”
“It was very emotional,” Knight said. “It’s really sad. Exciting, but very sad.”
The coach said eight of the team’s athletes aren’t lifelong swimmers, but thrived on the team anyway.
“I’m super proud of the girls who took a chance on us, had the bravery to try something out of their comfort zone and then to succeed,” Joyner said.
Taylor, who used to play soccer, spent two years on the team, and was glad she was part of it.
“I love this team,” Taylor said. “I found swimming to be a much, much more fun environment. It can be serious, but it’s still fun.”
“This is the best team I’ve been on,” McManus said, pointing to the positivity of its coaches and the team’s family atmosphere. “I can literally talk to anyone about anything,” she said.
The coach said they’ll miss the seniors, but that he hopes the “positive culture they’ve been building is attractive to incoming swimmers.”
In the pool Friday, Maren Clay, McManus, Olivia Becher and Rion knocked over one second off of their 200-medley relay seed time, scoring a first-place finish in 2 minutes, 8.20 seconds.
Joyner is hopeful the relay will be able to qualify for state. So far, Rion has qualified in the 200-yard freestyle, Behn has qualified in diving and both the 200-free relay and the 400-free relay teams have qualified for state.
In the 200 free, Ashley Forrest touched first in 2:40.57.
McManus won the 200 individual medley in 2:28.89. McManus also won the 100 backstroke by over five seconds in 1:08.96.Joyner said she’s on the bubble to qualify for state in two or three events.
In the 50 free, Rion won in 26.67, followed by Emma Ebner in 28.45. Rion also won the 100 free in by over six seconds in 57.68.
Knight won the 100 butterfly by more than seven seconds in 1:10.16, which was 0.42 seconds faster than her seed time. Knight also touched first in the 500 free in 5:44.55. “I love the high I get swimming long-distance races,” Knight said. “In the 500, finishing that is so cool.” She said her big goal is to make the state cut in the 500 free.
In the 200 free relay, McManus, Erin Lawrence, Clay and Rion finished first in 1:50.73.
In the 100 breaststroke, Elyza Baumchen and Olivia Becher were neck and neck, but Baumchen ended up touching first just 0.14 seconds ahead of Becher in 1:23.49.
Knight, Carter, Kathryn Edwards, and Abby Bowman blew their seed time out of the water by over 16 seconds in the 400 free relay. They won in 4:06.89.
Behn, meanwhile, threw moves like a reverse 1½ somersault to place first ahead of teammate Weiming Lambert. She has the No. 7 diving score in Class 4A, 399.45.
The Demons will compete in the Western Slope Conference Champions next Friday and Saturday in Grand Junction. The team will then race at the state meet the following week, Feb 10-... Click here to read full article