Dolphins swimmer cuts time in 200 free
By KENT MINCER
Gains of a couple of seconds on a swimmer’s time at this point in the season are not unexpected.
After all, club teams are usually catering their workouts so that swimmers peak at this time of year.
Taylor Kidd hasn’t made incremental improvements in her times at this weekend’s Western Slope League Championships. Her gains have come in huge chunks.
Take her first final in Saturday afternoon’s session at Lincoln Park-Moyer Pool.
The 12-year-old Grand Junction Dolphins swimmer, with the second-seeded time in the 200-meter freestyle, shattered her personal-best time by 71/2 seconds.
“I wasn’t sure what my time was,” she said when she touched the wall. She looked up at the scoreboard, then had to check with her lane timer to be sure she saw it correctly.
Kidd finished in 2 minutes, 30.72 seconds, one second and three quarters ahead of Charlie Mechling of the Sopris Barracudas, who had the fastest time of the season in the division heading into the race.
“It was a good swim,” Dolphins head coach Dale Leonhart said.
Some extra practice on one of the little things on Thursday helped.
“During setup (of the pool) on Thursday night, we practiced starts,” Kidd said. “That helped a lot.”
Dolphins assistant coach Terri Hermes, who has worked primarily with the 12-and-under swimmers this season, said that was part of the reason for Kidd’s success.
“It’s a matter of getting all the right parts of a race together,” Hermes said.
In Friday’s finals, Kidd took about four seconds off her best time in the 200 backstroke and six seconds off her personal record in the 400 individual medley.
She prefers long-course races.
“There’s not as many flip turns,” she said.
Ironically, that was where she gained some ground on Mechling in the 200 freestyle. Trailing by a head after the first 100 meters, Kidd caught up with her by the last flip turn, then poured it on in the final 50-meter stretch.
“Normally in long races I tend to pull it out at the end,” Kidd said.
“She did everything she could to pull away from that (last) wall,” Hermes said.
Kidd has some options in next week’s state club championships in Fort Collins, having qualified in numerous events. She can only swim in three, however.
“Right now I’m leaning toward the 200 back(stroke) and maybe the 100 (butter)fly,” she said.
By adding the 200 freestyle to that list, that would give her three diverse events and an opportunity to show her overall ability to swim different strokes well.
Today’s final session of the Western Slope League Championships begins with preliminaries at 8:15 a.m. Finals start at 1:45 p.m.