Knutson happy with effort, bummed about finishes at 4A state swim meet

FORT COLLINS — Lars Knutson admitted his emotions were rolling all over the place Saturday afternoon.

The Montrose senior was happy with his performance, but he also was disappointed with his final results at the Class 4A state swimming and diving championships at Edora Pool Ice Center.

Swimming can be that way.

He placed fourth in the 50-yard freestyle, despite posting a personal-best time of 21.43 seconds, and he took second in the 100 freestyle, again with a great effort of 46.79. In both cases, Forrest Beesley of Estes Park won the race, successfully defending his crown in both events from 2013.

“I mean, I’m happy. I’m happy I did so well, but I’m sad, because I really, really wanted to win,” Knutson said. “I’m also sad the season is over. I’m a little disappointed, but I’m happy because I finished the season pretty well.”

Knutson’s time in the 100 free was slower than the one he posted one week ago, but that time still wouldn’t have beaten Beesley who was selected the swimmer of the year.

“I’m bummed because I didn’t go as fast as I did at districts,” said Knutson, who also helped the Indians’ 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays place in the top eight. “I felt like I could have gone faster than that, but it just didn’t come together.”

What did come together, he said, was the team. It was a mix of experience and youth, and on the final day of the season the Indians posted some of their best efforts.

Fellow senior Clay Zentmeyer took seventh in the 200 free, then improved two spots in the 100 butterfly to take 10th. Connor King was 15th in the 500 free, a jump of one spot from the preliminaries, and Korban Christianson was 13th in the 100 breaststroke, an improvement of three places from Friday’s session.

“It wasn’t a perfect meet for us, but very, very well done,” Montrose coach Silas Almgren said. “This season has been outstanding because these guys like to be together, and because they like each other so much, they’ve really achieved a lot more.”

The best relay showing came at the end as the 400 freestyle group of Knutson, Zentmeyer, J.D. TenNapel and Daniel Hurford placed fifth. King replaced TenNapel on the 200 medley, which placed seventh, and the 200 free group with TenNapel, King, Hurford and Christianson placed 13th.

It was a group, Knutson said, that made a season to remember, finishing 10th in the team race with 127 points. Air Academy won the team title with 240 points.

“We have all sorts of hi-jinx, but we really bonded closely as a team,” said Knutson, who will swim at the Air Force Academy next year. “It’s a close-knit team, as good of a team as you could ask for. We really did well this season. Everybody did well.”


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