Depth helps Glenwood sweep pair of swimming duals with Fruita, Aspen
Sierra Grove wasn’t too sure about swimming the 500-yard freestyle, but she agreed to it without question.
Although the Glenwood Springs High School senior has swam the event numerous times with her club team, she has never competed in the event in high school — until Saturday.
Grove, who has signed a letter of intent with the University of Idaho, not only swam the 500, she easily took first place with a Class 4A state-qualifying time to lead the Demons to dual victories over Fruita Monument and Aspen at Orchard Mesa Pool.
Glenwood Springs cruised to a 130.5-64.5 victory over Aspen and hung on to a 108-106 win over Fruita Monument. The Wildcats defeated Aspen 131-68.
“I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, especially in a dual,” Glenwood Springs coach Michelle Brune said. “(The Wildcats) have such a big team. I knew we had our big guns, but sometimes that’s not enough. Our depth swam well and that helped.”
Fruita Monument coach Jessica Haley wasn’t disappointed with the narrow loss and was pleased with the Wildcats since the team is in the midst of intense training.
“I expected a close dual (with Glenwood Springs), but I knew we’d be tired,” she said. “We’ve had some hard practices. Our swims were what I expected. I like the fact we had a close meet.”
The first-year coach has 34 swimmers on the team, providing enough depth to be competitive in duals.
“We’re lucky we have a pool (at the high school),” Haley said. “We can switch girls around in different events. It’s healthy for them and it builds camaraderie.”
Fruita freshman Emily Nightingale led the way for the Wildcats, winning the 200 freestyle and placing second in the 100 freestyle.
“It makes me nervous to swim against seniors and older people,” she said. “I don’t want them to think I think I’m all that. I want to be normal with everybody.”
Glenwood Springs won five of the nine individual events and all three relay events.
Grove and Keevyn Scholl each won two events and led the three relay teams to wins.
Grove, who placed seventh in state in the 50 and 100 freestyles last year, will likely be swimming in several events this season.
“I’m going to swim in more events besides the freestyle,” Grove said. “We have a new assistant coach (Damon Garrison) and he wants me to swim more stuff. He put me in the 500. I’m really bad at pacing, but I’ll work on it.
“I swam it quite a bit in the summer. I got really tired towards the end.”
In addition to her 500 freestyle win in 5 minutes, 46.13 seconds, Grove won the 50 freestyle in 25.70 seconds.
“I’d like to get in 24 (seconds) for my 50 (freestyle),” Grove said. “It would be nice to take time off of that.”
Scholl qualified for state with her win in the 100 breaststroke. She won the 200 individual medley as well.
Glenwood’s Clara Thorsen won the 100 butterfly, Aspen’s Ali Kerr took first in the 100 freestyle and Shannon Peirce won the 100 backstroke.