District 51’s Fair edges Montrose’s Barnosky in 200-yard IM final
The swimmers at the Southwestern League swim championships Saturday were pushing each other in every race.
Nowhere was that more obvious than early in the meet at the El Pomar Natatorium, when District 51 swimmer Tyler Fair edged Montrose’s Micheal Barnosky in the 200-yard individual medley final.
Fair finished in 2:07.32, just ahead of Barnosky at 2:07.91.
“Everyone is coming to win,” Fair said. “We’ve really had to step up our game.”
The Griffins’ freshman finished first in the preliminary race Friday in 2:10.44, but trailed Barnosky for a majority of Saturday’s final.
“I knew he’d be coming pretty fast during the breaststroke because that’s his strength,” Fair said. “In the freestyle, we made the last turn and I saw that he was a little ahead of me, so I had to kick it into gear.”
Fair has qualified for this weekend’s state tournament in the 200 IM, and has shaved five seconds off of his time in only a few weeks.
“I went 2:12 a couple weeks ago, so it’s quite an improvement,” Fair said. “It shows how Coach (Dale Leonhart) has been peaking us and prepping us for state.”
The quick times didn’t stop with fair. The Griffins’ Nick Neste turned in a personal best in the 50-yard freestyle. Neste qualified for state in the race Friday. hitting the state mark exactly at 23.20, then shaved more time off in the finals Saturday, winning in 22:85.
“I looked up at the times when I finished and everyone seemed to cut some time,” Neste said. “It feels good and I’m hoping it can allow me to cut off some more time at state.”
Saturday also featured the diving portion of the SWL championships. Kyle Rogers of Montrose won the title. District 51’s Adam Vogel finished fourth with a 329.80.
Vogel, a senior, qualified for state during the first meet of the season, so he’s been working on steadily improving.
“I’ve been able to perfect a lot of my dives that I was screwing up,” said Vogel, in only his second year of competitive diving. “I think I’ve progressed pretty well all year.”
Other top swims from Saturday included the Griffins’ Cyrus Pearo winning the 100-yard butterfly in 55.03 and the 500-yard freestyle in 5:14.92. District 51’s Tyler Walton finished first in the 100 free in 48.70.
The Griffins also took home the team title for the third straight year, scoring 381 points to edge Montrose, which finished with 340.
“It’s always good to realize the goal, but the value is the process,” Leonhart said. “This is something that the coaches have talked about all year long so the guys are at a mental and physical peak.”
The state swim meet is May 21-22 in Fort Collins.