Short and sweet: Matthews wins boys 200-yard butterfly at El Pomar Natatorium
The first half of the swimming season is coming to a close for Western Slope swimmers.
Saturday at El Pomar Natatorium marked the first day of the Western Slope Winter Short Course Championships.
The club swimming season stretches from September to August, with the first half on the 25-yard short course, and the second half on the 50-yard long course.
“Short course is really where you have a lot of the little things like working on the walls, starts, finishes,” Grand Junction Dolphins coach Terri Hermes said. “(In the short course) you have to be quick, you have to be small, and you have to be tight on all those things.”
The Dolphins have 53 swimmers in this weekend’s event, which wraps up today with the first events starting at 8:45 a.m.
“Once the long course (season) starts you have to have endurance to last,” Hermes said. “But here it’s getting off those walls.”
The Dolphins’ Carlos Matthews finished first in the boys 200-yard butterfly in 2:05.09. With the short course season ending, he’s preparing for his next season to begin. Matthews, a freshman at Fruita Monument High School, is beginning his first season of high school swimming in a week.
“I’m nervous because it’s the first time I’ll be swimming with other high school guys, but I’m also excited,” Matthews said.
Matthews also competed in the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke.
“There are still some areas where I can do better,” Matthews said. “I’ve been trying to drop seconds on both my back and breaststrokes.”
There are eight teams from the Western Slope competing this weekend including the Montrose Marlins, Team Sopris from Glenwood Springs, Durango and Aspen.
Shane Haberkorn, 13, swims for the Grand Valley Wave. Haberkorn attends Fruita Middle School, and has been swimming for three years.
Saturday, Haberkorn finished 10th out of 23 swimmers in the boys 13-14 200-yard individual medley in 2:52.17.
“Backstroke is my best stroke,” Haberkorn said. “It comes the most natural.”
Other first-day results included the Dolphins’ Taylor Kidd winning the girls 13-14 100 free in 57.98, and Montrose’s Daniel Hurford winning the boys 11-12 50 back in 31.92.
The Wave’s Gavin Tomps won the boys 8-under 25-yard backstroke in 21.80, and the Dolphins’ Jordyn Beem finished fourth in 42.99 in the girls 9-10 50 fly.
There are 18 boys and girls events scheduled today with the 10-and-under age group beginning at 8:45 a.m. The 11-and-older events start at 11 a.m.
Today is the final opportunity to qualify for the Silver State meet next weekend at the University of Denver, and the Colorado State 14-and-under meet March 4-6 in Fort Collins.
“Everyone is looking to get events or add events,” Hermes said. “That’s a big incentive.”