Fruita swimmer more than Fair in the pool and out

Tyler Fair will cap his swimming career at Fruita Monument by competing in several events at the Class 5A state swim meet a week from now, right here in Grand Junction.

Then, it’s off to college — options abound — where it appears bigger things await a young man who “gets it” in the classroom and in life.

That’s why he was one of two Colorado seniors, one boy and one girl, honored recently with a Farmers Insurance Most Valuable Participant Annual Award/Scholarship. The award, which comes with a $1,500 scholarship, is done in partnership with the Colorado High School Activities Association.

To qualify, in addition to participating in athletics, Fair had to have at least a 3.4 grade-point average and complete a community-service project.

He laughed at the GPA standard, as he will graduate Tuesday with a gaudy 4.345.

And for community-service projects he could say, “Which one would you like to learn about?”

Fair, through Fruita Monument’s Spanish Club, helped with a drive to collect clothing and first-aid items for sheepherders who annually come from South America, mostly Peru, and Mexico to tend sheep in Colorado. He also helped put on a dinner called “Help Light the Night,” from which proceeds go to India to buy solar-powered lights to be used in place of kerosene lanterns.

Fires caused by kerosene lighting, Fair said, “are responsible for more deaths each year than malaria in India.”

Fair’s coach on the Wildcats’ swim team, Jessica Haley, said none of what Fair does surprises anyone who knows him.

She referred to Fair as phenomenal, addressing the complete person. She offers similar praise for his swimming ability, as Fair has qualified for state in at least three events: the 200-meter medley relay; the 200 freestyle relay; and the 100 breaststroke. He’s looking to hit state-qualifying times in two other events — the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke — at the Southwestern League meet today and Saturday.

“As a coach, you get a Tyler Fair only every so often,” Haley said. “He’s going to take everything you tell him to do and go above and beyond that.”

Goalie puts team first

Going above and beyond applies to Grand Junction girls soccer goalie Guadalupe Torres this year.

When the Tigers closed their season with a 1-0 win over Central, it marked the fourth straight shutout for Torres, a relative newcomer as a sophomore to minding the net.

Tigers coach Joe Graham said Torres converted from striker to goalie this year at his request. Graham hated to do it because Torres was a good striker. “She’s really fast,” he said. And Torres didn’t want to switch positions, Graham said, but she was the athlete the team needed as the last line of defense, and “she made a big sacrifice for the team.”

Injury halts player’s rise

The Tigers also won their finale without defender Jaryn Gibb, who broke her arm several days earlier in a win over Durango.

That was too bad, Graham said, because “she was really starting to come on as a defender for us.”

Tournament mind-set

Grand Junction senior Sierra Filutze begins play today in the Class 5A state tournament, where Tigers girls tennis coach Carol Elliott won’t count out the senior in any match.

Elevating her game in a tournament has been the rule this year for Filutze, who won a regional title to get to state.

“She’s played very, very strong in tournaments,” Elliott said. “She just gets herself mentally tough.”

Excellence of execution

Audrey Alex scored on a header for Montrose in a recent win over Glenwood Springs and earned a steak dinner from Indians girls soccer coach Jamie Gurule in the process.

It didn’t matter how pretty the play was, he was going to pay up if anyone scored on a header, but Gurule marveled at the perfection of Alex’s execution, how she read the crossing pass from Amanda Thoe, positioned herself and stepped into the ball.

“Everything you coach, teach about a header, it was everything. It was beautiful,” Gurule said.

Now that’s a holiday break

Fruita Monument senior goalkeeper Corey Henricksen will play men’s lacrosse for Concordia University in Milwaukee next year. He’s not exactly looking forward to Wisconsin winters, but he’ll get a rather lengthy break from them. Concordia gives students a six-week winter break around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Another thing he likes is his class schedule this fall.

“I have no classes on Tuesdays. I’m pumped,” Henricksen said. “I hate Tuesdays. It’s the worst day of the week.”

That may sound irrational, but Henricksen can go through each day of the week and explain why it’s better than Tuesday.

Watch your head

Before choosing Concordia, Henricksen considered another Wisconsin school: Beloit College. At 6-foot-6, though, Henricksen discovered Beloit literally was not the right fit for him.

“I had to duck through most of the doors I went through,” he said.


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