Logan Morris helps Montrose win own swim invitational

MONTROSE - The lane lines began drifting together. Many had been yanked from the pool. Yet long after the Montrose Invitational swimming meet was over, there was Logan Morris, still swimming.

She added a long cool-down to the end of back-to-back events Friday: a first-place, state-qualifying 100-yard breaststroke and the anchor leg of Montrose’s winning 400 freestyle relay.

She loves being in the water. She just wanted to feel OK during practice next week.

“And I was cooling down my mind, I guess,” Morris said.

It’s the same mind that not only helped give Montrose a win with 320 points to second place Grand Junction’s 297 — the Tigers nipped Glenwood Springs by half a point — it willed her to a full-ride athletic scholarship to New Mexico State University.

Morris said she signed a national letter of intent in November. Friday, she won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1 minute, 8.12 seconds and dominated the 200 individual medley, taking first place with a time of 2:21.61. The Indians’ 400 freestyle relay, which also included Brooke Gaber, Hope Morris (Logan’s freshman sister) and Mara Gabriel, clocked a 4:11.59 to win by 13 seconds.

That’s when Morris swam her “cool-down.” A 500-yard cool-down.

“I just didn’t want to feel like garbage Monday,” Morris said.

Morris said she had been dreaming of a full-ride scholarship since she was 9 years old.

“I’m still kind of shocked,” she said.

It was a shocking day for most. Many personal-best times plummeted, as maybe they shouldn’t have after Christmas break. Grand Junction’s 200 freestyle relay qualified for state by 0.23 seconds. The Tigers’ team of Marina Silva, Trinity Simmons, Ellen Atkinson and Taylor Kidd swam a 1:47.77.

After the race, Tigers coach Janet Ryan approached Simmons, who swam the second leg.

“I thought you said you couldn’t go 27 (seconds),” Ryan said.

“What did I do?” Simmons asked.

“Twenty-seven,” Ryan said.

Simmons’ right shoulder had been sore, and she did not swim her usual 100-yard events. So, dropping two seconds off her personal-best 50 freestyle split was a surprise.

“I still can’t believe it,” Simmons said.

Believe this: Tigers freshman Hannah Wicks knocked 18 seconds off her top 200 freestyle time. She placed 16th. But only two months ago she was swimming from one end of a pool to another with the aid of coaches. Wicks credited teammates such as Atkinson, the senior captain, for some pointers.

“She helped just get my strokes so that it’s easier to swim, so I can swim longer,” Wicks said.

“It’s really neat to see the drive and passion of the young swimmers, especially Hannah,” said Atkinson, who swam a leg of the Tigers’ winning 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay and placed fifth in the 100 backstroke.

Kidd, meanwhile, won the 200 and 500 freestyles.

Fruita Monument, which took fourth out of six teams with 217 points, was led by Tamera Newland, who won the diving competition with 190 points.

And of course, the Wildcats notched some shockers of their own. Lauren Sullivan dropped 10 seconds off her best 100 freestyle time. Freshman Natalie McConnell shaved five seconds off her top 200 individual medley time.

“I wanted (McConnell) to drop seven seconds,” Fruita coach Jessica Haley said. “She was 14 seconds off a state-qualifying time. I wanted her to get halfway there.”

Haley smiled.

You can never shock enough.


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