Cross-country trip leaves Mesa swimming team fatigued

Mesa State College’s Sarah Hagerstrom swims the butterfly at Saturday’s swim meet at Orchard Mesa pool.



A little bit of jet lag and altitude change may have cost the Mesa State College women’s swimming team.

Two days after returning from their training trip in Florida, the Mavericks fell Saturday to Alaska-Fairbanks 161-150 at Orchard Mesa Pool.

The Nanooks won 12 of the 14 events, including the 400-meter medley relay thanks to two Mesa State teams being disqualified. Both finished ahead of Alaska-Fairbanks.

“We dominated the medley relay,” Mesa State coach Brian Pearson said. “We beat them by two body lengths. To have it taken away from us is bittersweet. It’s better to have it happen now than in the (RMAC) championships. We need to learn from these things. This is a wake-up call for us to have some adversity right now. It prepares us for the championships.

“We’re all jazzed we started off great and found out we didn’t touch (the wall) in the medley relay. We redeemed ourselves in the 400 freestyle, but we couldn’t make up for it. Once you dig a hole, it’s tough.”

Mesa State sophomore Sarah Hagerstrom won the 400 freestyle in 4:56.44 and teammate Gina Panacci took second in the Mavericks’ best event of the day.

“It was nice to have competition from across the country,” Hagerstrom said. “It’s good to see how we’re doing competitively against the rest of the nation. I think we’ll learn a lot from this meet. The disqualifications are good to get out of the way. We are fairly young.”

Hagerstrom placed third in the 200 freestyle and second in the 200 butterfly.

“The first two events I struggled,” Hagerstrom said. “There was one 100 in between my 200 free and 200 fly.”

Mesa State sophomore Megan Takakura won the 100 freestyle in 1:04.03. She was fourth in the 200 freestyle and third in the 50 freestyle.

“This meet was harder than I expected,” Takakura said. “We’re tired from training. The coaches worked us hard. It’s different oxygen at sea level.”

Although Mesa State returned Thursday, the Mavs didn’t take Friday off. The Mavericks had a normal practice and will continue training for a couple more weeks.

They begin to taper next month for the RMAC Championships on Feb. 19 in San Antonio, Texas.

The Mavs’ final meet before the RMAC Championships is next weekend at the Colorado College Classic.

“Physically we’re in better shape than we’ve ever been,” Pearson. “Physically, I think we’re a top-15 team, but emotionally and mentally we’re eighth-graders. We’re making little mistakes like touches. We’re not preparing ourselves for races. We’re dazed.”


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