Griffins’ Kendrick knows there’s still work to be done

Marc Kendrick of the Dist 51 griffins wins the 100 yd backstroke.

Marc Kendrick has simple goals at this point in the boys high school swim season.

“I just want to cut my times down,” the Fruita Monument High School senior said.

Kendrick appeared content, though not overjoyed, by his times in Saturday’s dual meet between the District 51 Griffins and Montrose at Orchard Mesa Community Pool.

“Right now I feel like there’s a lot of improvement I need to do,” he said.

District 51 outscored Montrose 109-56. In all, five different Griffins won individual titles and the team swept the three relays.

Kendrick took an unusually long break from swimming prior to the start of the season.

His family moved to Grand Junction from Napa Valley, Calif., in June. New to the area, he didn’t join any swim club during the offseason.

“The move threw me off,” he said of the hiatus from his normal training regimen.

Most high school students wouldn’t be fond of leaving the comfort of their surroundings to move to a new school prior to their senior year, but Kendrick has made the most of the adjustment.

“It’s been a good move, better than I thought,” he said. “It’s just nice to know a different group. I feel welcomed.”

Kendrick, whose strengths are the 100-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke, won the backstroke in Saturday’s dual in a time of 1 minute, 8 seconds. He finished nearly three seconds ahead of teammate Andy Hoeckel.

He also swam the first leg of the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams as well as the freestyle leg on the third-place 200 medley relay team.

The Griffins’ Sam Leonhart was the only winner of two individual events in the dual, taking the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly. Leonhart also swam on two of the winning relays.

The Griffins were missing nine swimmers for various reasons. Coach Dale Leonhart traditionally doesn’t give the team spring break off.

As he did last year, Leonhart set a workout theme for the week of the Tenacious 10, a set of swimming and weight workouts designed to increased strength and stamina.

“It showed,” he said. “There was a lot more skill level this week than last.”


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