Season Preview: SHS boys’ swimming & diving
FARMER’S KORNER – The theme of the spring will certainly be quality over quantity for the Summit High boys’ swimming and diving squad.With only eight kids on the roster – five of which are swimmers – it’s not like the Tigers have much of a choice.”They’re going to be swimming against themselves this year,” first-year head coach Ryan Van Gundy said. “They have to push themselves, and once they get to that state meet, they just need to let loose and see what they can do.”The Summit swimmers are also getting quite a push from their coach, who feels his team, despite losing five seniors from last year’s squad, is long on talent.”Our coach is killing us, so we’re getting in really good shape really fast,” senior Collin Thomas said. “We’ve only been practicing about three weeks, but we’re already swimming close to what we were at the end of last season.”In fact, Thomas and a couple other Tiger swimmers are already close to earning state-qualifying times even though they’ve had only one meet this season – the D’Evelyn Invitational last Saturday. Summit swims in its first home meet Thursday at the SHS pool, and with some success already this season, Van Gundy is looking for big things from his team.”We’re going to focus on the quality of each swimmer,” he said. “If we got everyone to state, I’d be real happy. We’ve got a shot in all our relays, and getting some of them to qualify individually would be icing on the cake.”Thomas and fellow senior Kyle Brown should be stellar sprinters for Summit, Van Gundy said. Both will swim the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races as well as a handful of other disciplines.Another senior, Daniel Hagy, has a “good” chance of qualifying for state in the grueling 500-yard freestyle, VanGundy said. He’ll also swim the 200 IM.The swim squad is rounded out by freshman Landon Skall and Tanner Sheldon, a junior from Vail Mountain School.Divers Nick Adolph, Garrett Shelton and Kevin Heil will also be counted on to swim some events in addition to their duties on the springboard.With such a small roster, though, Summit doesn’t exactly have a large selection for the relay events, meaning each of the swimmers will be relied heavily on for those events.Brown doesn’t foresee that being much of a problem.”With so few numbers, our strength is definitely that we have a lot of good swimmers,” the senior said. “Collin and I are pretty good sprinters, and Daniel is a good distance swimmer. Overall, we’ve got a pretty good group of swimmers.”And Brown feels that the small roster may actually work in Summit’s favor.”We get a lot more attention from the coach and get a lot of feedback,” he said. “So, we certainly improve a lot faster. … Definitely helps.”Brown said Van Gundy has a lot to do with that.A 2000 SHS grad, Van Gundy’s name is still tagged to a number of school records up on the walls of the Tiger pool. Van Gundy went on to swim at the University of Tampa and in his first season with the Tigers has tried to shake up their training regiment.He feels the kids have responded well and that work ethic will be the reason the small Summit squad should have some big results.”We’re really working hard,” the coach said. “They are a tenacious group of kids.”Summit’s meet on Thursday against Wheat Ridge at 5 p.m.
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