SHS swimmers bound for Epic Pool
FARMER’S KORNER – Does an athlete need to be a year-round swimmer to win a 4A state championship in Colorado?Many oddsmakers and historians would likely answer in the affirmative, but some, especially those familiar with Summit High’s Tom Sawyer, might not think so.Sawyer, a junior who will represent the Tigers in four events Friday at Epic Pool in Fort Collins, will be up against a host of teenage boys who are on the verge of growing gills on account of the extensive time they spend in the water. But it doesn’t seem to bother him.”I choose not to swim year-round,” Sawyer said prior to Wednesday’s practice at Farmer’s Korner. “I have the option to do that, so I don’t’ think I can be mad or anything like that. You just take what you’ve got and do the best you can.”Sawyer, who took sixth in the 200-yard individual medley and seventh in the 100 butterfly at last year’s state meet as the fastest sophomore in both events, will be making his third trip to the state meet, so he knows what the atmosphere will be like.”It’s obviously a bigger meet,” Sawyer said. “So I think you get a little bit more nervous, but that can be a good thing if you use it right. Nerves make you fast to an extent, but you can’t be too nervous.”Shane Meister, Summit’s lone senior, is another Tiger familiar with the state meet setting. Meister took a moment on Wednesday to describe his recollections of last year’s postseason. “Everyone has worked their tails off to get there,” said Meister, who will swim on the 400-free relay team and maybe the 200 medley relay team. “Everyone is dead serious about what’s going on there. It’s still a lot of fun, but every race is intense.”Sawyer and Meister will be joined in Fort Collins by Raphael Joly (200 IM, 100 backstroke, 400 free relay, 200 medley relay), Justin Skall (200 medley relay and 400 free relay) and Zach Michieli (might swim in the 200 medley relay).Joly shows up late for practice on a fairly regular basis, but eyeballs light up rather than roll when he arrives at the natatorium, and for a good reason – Joly lives in Avon.The junior, who attends Battle Mountain High, once competed under the Glenwood Springs banner, but when the Demons program shrank, he opted for an eastern commute to practice.Joly doesn’t seem surprised by his presence in the postseason.”Mentally, I wanted to qualify for state the whole season,” he said. “If you’re putting your mind to it, you’ve got it.”Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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