Swimmers using Western Slope long course meet to prep for state

Maverick Aquatics’ Madison Hollingworth takes a breath Saturday during the girls 9-10 200-meter freestyle race at the Western Slope League long course championships at El Pomar Natatorium.

It’s all about being fast at this point of the club swimming season.

With the long course state championships in Denver one week away, this weekend’s Western Slope League long course championships allows swimmers to jockey for position.

“This weekend I’m trying to take time off,” Maverick Aquatics swimmer Taylor Kidd said Saturday. “Next week is fast and really competitive.”

Kidd, 14, has been to a state championship meet 12 times during her six years of club swimming between long course and short course championships. This year, Kidd has qualified in 11 events, including the 50-meter freestyle, the 100 butterfly, 200 backstroke and 1,500 freestyle.

Kidd, who’s entering her freshman year at Grand Junction High School, said she’s also shooting to qualify for the Western Zone meet on Aug 9. in Clovis, Calif.

The future meets aside, Kidd had a strong Saturday, finishing second in 200 freestyle in 2 minutes, 20.98 seconds and taking second in the 100 backstroke in 1:14.72.

Kidd also finished second in the 1,500 freestyle in 19:41.60.

Including Kidd, Maverick Aquatics currently has six kids with state qualifying swims. Travis Newland, 12, has eight cuts; Tyler Fair, 16, has six; Carlos Matthews, 15, has four; Logan Young, 14, has three and Sam Jordan, 13, has one.

Jordan has qualified in the 800 freestyle and is making his second trip back to the state meet.

“I went when I was in the 11-12 group and they are a lot of fun,” Jordan said. “Everyone is fast so you have to race hard.”

Once at the state meet, swimmers can participate in a total of seven events and no more than three each day.

The prelims for ages 12 and under are at the University of Denver and the prelims for 14 and over are at Carmody Pool in Lakewood.

Carmody Pool is also the site of the finals.

Maverick Aquatics assistant coach Dale Leonhart said Carmody Pool won’t produce times as fast as El Pomar.

“The Carmody Pool is nowhere near as fast as (El Pomar),” Leonhart said. “I know because I coached there 19 years before I came here.”

Other top individual swims from Saturday included Zach Milner finishing first for the Montrose Marlins in the 200 freestyle in 2:26.14.

Maverick Aquatics had solid individual swims from Young and Matthews, who finished second and third, respectively in the 1,500 freestyle. Young finished in 18:46.45 and Matthews finished in 18:55.54.

Newland finished first in the 200 individual medley in 2:55.86.


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