Inside the friendly confines of El Pomar Natatorium on the campus of Colorado Mesa University, the Grand Junction High School swim team picked up numerous event victories, as well as a school record, in finishing second at the GJHS Invite on Saturday.
The Tigers finished with 409 points, 22 behind Glenwood Springs. Grand Junction could have finished first if not for an early disqualification in the 200-yard medley relay. During the third heat of the event, Nina English dove just a bit too early, resulting in a false start and negating the Tigers' win in the event.
It was a rare mistake from a Grand Junction team that otherwise took advantage of having the home pool.
"I saw some good turns, good starts, good finishes and our technique's coming along," said Grand Junction coach Janet Ryan. "We've still got a lot to work on to refine everything."
The most notable victory in any event for the Tigers came in the 200-yard individual medley. Freshman Sarah Cook, who broke the school record in the 100-yard breaststroke last month, broke another school record, finishing the event in 2 minutes, 12.53 seconds. The previous record was 2:13.58, held by Piper Chamberlain since 1996. Chamberlin is the same former Tiger who held the previous 100-yard breaststroke record Cook broke earlier this season.
Junior Delaney Kidd finished second in the 200 IM, clocking in at 2:19.45.
Cook also won the 500-yard freestyle, finishing in 5:27.11. However, breaking a school record was the highlight of her day.
"I thought that was pretty cool," Cook said. "I knew I was coming close to it, so I pushed myself so I could get it."
Cook wasn't the only Grand Junction freshman to win multiple events. English atoned for her earlier false start with a win in the very next event, the 200 freestyle, finishing in 2:01.36. Later, she nearly set a school record in the 100 freestyle, finishing in 55.63 seconds. The school record is 52.38, held by Shauna Gilmore since 1981.
"I thought I did really good," English said. "I think I could have done better on my 100 free, but I was really happy with my day."
Sarah Gaumer was yet another freshman to win an event for the Tigers. She finished the 100 butterfly in 1:06.73, finishing only 0.43 seconds short of qualifying for state.
The Tigers won the 200 freestyle relay, finishing in 1:43.24, more than three full seconds ahead of second-place Aspen.
Fruita finished third as a team, totaling 301 points. The Wildcats didn't have any winners on the day, but they finished second in the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay, third in the 200 freestyle relay, and Elisa Elsberry finished second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:08.86.