Wildcats can swim: Fruita captures District 51 Championships

Fruita Monument’s Leah Temple swims to a second-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly Wednesday at the District 51 Championships. The Wildcats won the meet.

The Fruita Monument High School girls swimming team won two of the three relay events and had four individual champions Wednesday to win the District 51 Championships at El Pomar Natatorium.

The Wildcats finished with 435 points. Grand Junction finished second with 395 and Palisade/Central placed third with 328.

Leah Temple won the 50-yard freestyle, Kiaja Thomas took first in the 100 freestyle, Ashley Bond won the 500 freestyle and Kailey Shabelski took first in the 100 breaststroke.

“The girls swam amazing,” Fruita coach Jessica Haley said. “Ashley Bond dropped seven seconds (in the 500 freestyle) and had a phenomenal swim getting that win for us. Danny Mulkey dropped 21 seconds and totally went all-out getting third for us. Becca Arotin took off nine to get sixth. They did great. The relays swam amazing.”

Bond won the 500 freestyle in 6 minutes, 53.47 seconds. Mulkey took third in 7:04.07 and Arotin was sixth in 7:14.66.

Temple won the 50 freestyle in 27.19 seconds, a half-second slower than her best time this season.

“I was disappointed, I didn’t go as fast as I wanted to, but this is when we start to taper,” she said. “I think I can drop the time, I hope.”

Temple, one of six seniors on the team, hopes to qualify for state in the 50 freestyle. The Class 5A state qualifying time is 25.80 seconds.

Grand Junction sophomore Jessica Deters won the 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly.

“I’m really happy,” Deters said. “I’ve been training hard all season and all summer. It’s nice to see the hard work pay off.”

She dropped six seconds off her 200 freestyle time and finished in 2:18.56.

“I swam with two of the girls before, Karolina (Latek) and Kiaja (Thomas), so I kind of knew how they swam their races, so it helped me to know where I could catch them,” Deters said. “I was really nervous going into it, but I knew what I had to do and I could catch them both.”

Deters won the 100 butterfly in 1:08.48.

“That’s more of my race,” she said. “I haven’t really taken time off all year, so I was happy to see I’ve taken time off and beat everybody just for the bragging rights.”

Central junior Teddy Hayes broke two school records (Palisade and Central) to take first in the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke.

“I was really happy how I swam,” she said. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. The last couple of weeks I’ve been pushing hard and getting my turns and dives down.”

Hayes won the 200 IM in 2:35.60.

“That fly kills me every time, so my goal was to stay up with the girls,” she said. “When I finished the middle of my breast(stroke), I saw the girl down the pool from me. I thought, ‘All right, Ted, you’ve got to pick it up.’ The last 100 feet, I don’t think I breathed to the finish.”

Hayes took first in the backstroke in 1:10.41.

Palisade/Central’s 400 freestyle relay team broke a Palisade school record to take first place in 4:27.68. The team consisted of Hayes, Marlina Diaz, Sarah Kem and Karolina Latek.


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