Swimming with a purpose: Fruita Monument junior Temple focused on state-qualifying time

Leah Temple did better than she expected.

The Fruita Monument High School junior moved closer to a state-qualifying time in the 50-yard freestyle Friday night and cut three seconds off her 100 butterfly time at the end of several weeks of training.

Temple won the 50 freestyle in 26.85 seconds and took first in the 100 butterfly in 1:13.21 to lead the Wildcats to a 115-97 victory over Gunnison and a 153-52 victory over Palisade/Central at Orchard Mesa Pool. Gunnison defeated Palisade/Central 128.5-64.5.

“I had a lot of fun today,” Temple said. “I had my fastest 50 today. On the relay, I got it down even farther.”

Temple is less than one second from qualifying for the Class 5A state championships. The state qualifying time is 26.00 seconds.

“If I don’t make it this year, I definitely want to make it next year,” Temple said. “I think I’ll work a little harder over the summer. It’s all about the dedication.”

Temple was on the first-place 200 medley relay team with Teddi Larson, Eleise Hinton and Jessica Fischer.

Fischer took first place in the 500 freestyle in 5:45.57 and Madison Kohls took first in the 100 breaststroke in 1:26.02.

“I was aiming for a 5:42, but I’m just glad I got last year’s time,” Fischer said. “I’ve never been good at sprinting. I’ve always had good times with distance and it’s my favorite.”

The 500 freestyle state qualifying time is 5:35.00.

Fruita’s Megan Dornkamp took second in the 500 (7:00.34) and Ashley Bond finished third (7:07.06), both personal records.

“The girls swam well today,” Fruita coach Jessica Haley said. “We’ve had a tough three weeks of practice and they’re definitely feeling it in their muscles. Our 500 freestylers did amazing. They’re probably our best core group.

“Megan Dornkamp has been working really hard to get a seven flat. That was a thrill for the team and for her. Jessica Fischer did really well. She’s still trying for that state time, so we’ll see with some rest what she can put together for us. Her 200 free was fantastic.”

Palisade/Central had a successful meet. The Wardogs were originally scheduled to compete at Montezuma-Cortez, but the meet was canceled because of inclement weather.

“We had 36 swims and 21 of them were best times,” Palisade/Central coach Steve Weir said. “I would say we had our best meet we’ve have all year. We had girls swim events they never swam before, so they made progress in that.”

Teddy Hayes swam for the first time in nearly two weeks after sitting out with illness and injuries and posted a personal best in the 200 freestyle. Kalli River-Mann, Courtney Wear and Mercedees Benavidez posted season-best times in all of their events as well.


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