Mesa’s Hagerstrom enjoying time on Dolphins

Sarah Hagerstrom of the Grand Junction Dolphins swims the 800-meter freestyle Thursday during the opening race of this weekend’s Dolphin Invitational swim meet at the Lincoln Park-Moyer pool.

For the previous six years, Sarah Hagerstrom had spent her summers in the pool, swimming
for what some consider the most storied swim club in the country.

This summer, she wanted a change.

“I don’t know, it was time to do something new,” the Mesa State College junior said.

That something new includes a little less time in the pool, a little more time in the classroom and even a little free time to enjoy summer activities.

Hagerstrom has cut back her summer workouts this year while training with the Grand Junction Dolphins.

She had some choices to make this spring.

“Me and three other (Mesa State) swimmers got a house to live in,” she said of the coming school-year plans. “We started our lease in May.”

That was part of her rationale for sticking around.

In addition, she’s taking a couple of summer school classes.

Hagerstrom grew up in Mission Viejo, Calif., a legendary community among swimming circles.

“I started as a freshman (in high school),” she said of getting a relatively late start in year-round training.

“My freshman year, I swam three practices a day,” she said. “That changed when I joined the Matadors.”

The Matadors are the most sought-after swim club in Mission Viejo.

“Since coming to Mesa, my training’s changed,” she said.

In California, distance was the emphasis. Hagerstrom would put in 7,000 to 8,000 yards a day in practice.

“Here we do around 5,000,” she said.

That works well for her, especially this summer, when she wanted a bit of a mental break.

“Dale (Leonhart, the Dolphins coach) is pushing me on breast (stroke),” she said. “It helps your freestyle if you do every stroke. It makes you stronger in everything.”

Hagerstrom focuses on the distance races and the butterfly at Mesa, but she’s spending her time with the Dolphins working on individual medley.

“I don’t want to overdo it,” she said. “You burn out in swimming. I just want to have fun (and) stay in some kind of shape.”

She hopes her change in regimen will allow her to return to fall practice refreshed.

Hagerstrom was one of seven Dolphins competing in Thursday night’s opening event of the four-day Dolphin Invitational meet, the 800-meter freestyle.

She finished fifth. Pueblo Swim Club’s Katie Wedel won the girls event with a time of 10 minutes, 25.22 seconds,


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