Epic swim: Major youth swim meet hosted in GJ
More than 900 of the best youth swimmers in Colorado will be competing Friday through Sunday in Grand Junction.
Maverick Aquatics and Colorado Swimming are hosting the Long Course State Championships at Colorado Mesa University’s El Pomar Natatorium and Lincoln Park’s Moyer Pool. Long course means the pool length is 50 meters, rather than 25 meters.
Swimmers had to qualify for the meet, which is sanctioned by USA Swimming, and 955 of them will be diving into the local pools in four age divisions for boys and girls: 10-and-under; 11-12; 13-14; and senior (15-and-over).
Swimmers on approximately 50 teams from around the state will be competing, including eight members of Maverick Aquatics, the Grand Valley club team. The representation is an improvement over the previous few years when the team managed only two or three state qualifiers, Maverick Aquatics coach Ed Stehlin said.
Maverick Aquatics actually qualified nine swimmers, but one won’t compete because of a schedule conflict.
Taking to the pool for Maverick Aquatics in the 11-12 girls division will be Jordyn Beem, Chloe Dalton, Sophia Mayer and Delaney Kidd. The quartet will swim the 200 medley relay.
Meanwhile, Beem will be busy in individual events, swimming the 50 backstroke, 100 backstroke, 50 butterfly, 50 breaststroke and 100 breaststroke, according to Stehlin. Dalton also will swim an individual event, the 50 butterfly.
Taylor Kidd will be a freestyle swimming machine in the girls senior division, competing in the 50, 100, 200, 400 and 1,500 freestyles. She’ll also swim the 100 butterfly. Stehlin said her times rank in the top eight in each race, but seedings mean little at a meet like this.
“She’s still going to have to swim her best in prelims to make the finals,” he said.
The Maverick Aquatics boys at state are Tyler Sweet in the 13-14 division, where he’ll swim the 100 butterfly, and two senior division swimmers: Shane Haberkorn in the 1,500 freestyle and Brock Curry in the 50 freestyle.
Preliminaries each day will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the top 16 qualifiers will swim in the finals, which start at 5 p.m.
Swimmers 13 and over will swim preliminaries at Moyer Pool, then swim in the finals at El Pomar Natatorium, which is renowned for producing fast times. Stehlin said that could lead to substantial improvements in times from prelims to finals, but he added Moyer Pool will mentally challenge some of the swimmers.
“It will be interesting how it affects them psychologically,” he said.