Friends reunite at Dolphin Invitational

Taylor Kidd swims the 400 free 12 and under at LP

It’s reunion time this week for Taylor Kidd and Brianna Alford.

The two developed a close friendship when they joined the same swim club in Phoenix.

Two years ago, Kidd moved to Grand Junction. That didn’t put a damper on the 12-year-olds’ friendship.

Alford picked this week to travel to Grand Junction to spend an extended weekend with her friend. While here, she’s the lone entry representing her Mesa, Ariz., swim club in the Dolphin Invitational swim meet at Lincoln Park-Moyer Pool.

After adapting to the expectations of her swim club in Phoenix, Kidd had to adjust to a different training regimen when she joined the Dolphins last year.

“It was hard for a little bit,” she said.

Her Dolphins teammates accepted her quickly into the fold, which made for a smoother transition to her new team.

Last year Kidd came close to earning qualifying times for the Far Western meet but came up just short.

“I want to make state cuts in as many events as I can,” she said.

Beyond that, qualifying times for the Far Western or Zone meets are an added bonus.

Her strongest stroke is the butterfly.

“It was just one of those strokes that I learned very quickly,” she said.

She finished second Saturday in the 200-meter butterfly.

Actually, her best events this summer have been in the backstroke, where she’s posted state-qualifying times in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter distances.

“The state cuts (in Colorado) are harder than the Phoenix state cuts,” Kidd said.

The Dolphin Invitational has been a good meet for Alford as well. She won the 100-meter backstroke in Friday’s finals (Kidd was third) and was third in the 50 backstroke (Kidd took fourth).

“I feel like I’ve got to live up to my expectations,” she said of being the only member of her swim club competing this weekend.

Fortunately, “All of Taylor’s friends have been really nice,” she said.

Alford said her coach is considering bringing a more complete team from Mesa to next year’s Dolphin Invitational. In the meantime, she and Kidd and just having fun getting to spend the week together again.

Much of Friday evening’s finals schedule was wiped out by the early-evening rain and hail storm, putting the rest of the weekend schedule in make-up mode.

Today’s finals, originally scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., have been moved up to 4 p.m. to accommodate travel for out-of-town teams.


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