Ready to go: Griffins set for state swim meet
The nine members of the District 51 swim team are physically prepared for this weekend’s Class 5A state championships at Edora Pool and Ice Center in Fort Collins.
But for all the miles in the pool they’ve put in training for this moment, is it ever possible to be mentally prepared?
“It’s kind of terrifying,” said Cyrus Pearo, who’s swimming in three events. “It’s intimidating because at our conference meet last weekend we kicked butt, we won 70 or 80 percent of the events.
“At state you are lucky just to make top 16, so you are the little fish in the big pond over there.”
Pearo knows he can’t walk into the meet and expect it to be easy, but the Griffins have put in the work in the pool to get them ready.
“This is the climax of your training,” Pearo said. “It’s not just the training for these past four months but the training you put in all year, it’s the pinnacle of the season.”
Pearo is swimming the 100-yard butterfly, the 500 freestyle and is a member of the 200 medley relay team. His strength is the butterfly and swimming a 55.03 seconds at last weekend’s Southwestern League Championships at the El Pomar Natatorium.
Pearo, a junior, made the state meet as a freshman and finished 24th in the butterfly in 55.99.
“I think I have a shot in the 100 fly,” Pearo said. “I had a knee surgery last year so I’m getting close to the times I had as a freshman.”
Pearo said he doesn’t have high expectations for the 500 free because it’s a new race for him.
“This is the first time I’ve ever tried the 500, so I’m going to go for it,” Pearo said. “I’ve never gone to state before for it, so I’m excited.”
The Griffins’ most tenured swimmer at the state meet is junior Tyler Walton. He’s swimming the 100 and 200 free in addition to being on all three relays. Walton finished ninth in the 100 free last season in 48.87.
This year, Walton capped his season by swimming a 48.70 at the SWL meet.
Freshman Tyler Fair qualified in two events, the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke, and is on the Griffins’ 400 freestyle relay.
“I’m expecting to see a lot of talent (at state),” Fair said. “Hopefully I can do my best.”
Nick Neste is swimming the 50 free and is on two relays, and Taylor Fisher is swimming the breaststroke in the medley relay in addition to the 200 free relay. Seniors Brett Scott and Ian Smith are going to state as alternates.
“The excitement of the meet is huge,” Griffins swimming coach Dale Leonhart said. “This year it’s a very deep, very tough meet, and for us to do any top-16 swims will take much faster performances than we’ve had all season.”
District 51 also qualified two divers, Kyle Mahoney and Adam Vogel. Both are seniors in their first state meet.
Montrose should be among the contenders at the Class 4A meet at Mountain View High School.