Summit swimmers take top spot in home opener | SummitDaily.com

Summit swimmers take top spot in home opener

MIKE MORRIS

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

INFO BOX: Team scoresSummit “A” 402Columbine 315 Dakota Ridge 274Conifer 88

Summit “B”79FARMER’S KORNER – The positive vibes were hard to miss at the Summit High School pool after Saturday’s season-opening meet, where the Tigers notched a solid victory and topped two 5A schools in the process.The performance came as a pleasant surprise to the athletes and their coaches. Given the relative inexperience of the Summit team, Tigers coach Laura Graf was pleased that all of SHS’s many first-time swimmers not only competed, but competed well.”We got more than we expected,” Graf said. “Those are two 5A schools with a lot of girls swimming, and I think by heart and numbers together we took first place, which was really fun.”The Tigers showed particular strength in the sprints and on the diving board, where senior Shauna Neely and sophomore Nicole Luby took the top two spots. Neely’s 195.40 score met the qualifying standard for 4A state competition; she’ll need to hit the mark one more time to guarantee herself a spot.

“This is the first time I’ve even come close to state qualifying, and I threw two new dives today that I’d never thrown in competition before,” Neely said. “I was kind of scared, but it went really well.”Several other SHS athletes took the top spots in their events. Junior Kylie Nilson, a two-time state qualifier, won the 100-yard freestyle in 1:01.93 and the 50-yard free in 27.43. Summit’s 200-yard free relay, comprised of senior Micah Mesko, juniors Nilson and Erin Gray and sophomore Brittany Moore, also outpaced the competition, in 2:02.31.Sophomore Lacie Williams rounded out the group of winning Tigers with a 7:09.29 time in the 500-yard free.”As this was our first meet, it was awesome,” Neely said. “The girls swam so well, and I think it’s incredible that we came out on top against a couple of 5A schools …”Graf said one of the team’s primary goals is to qualify its relay teams to state, particularly the 200-yard medley relay. Juniors Mallory Kaufman, Gray and Nilson and freshman Tessa Lindblade combined to take second in the event Saturday, in 2:13.56. The Tigers’ 400-yard free relay of senior Chelsea Blum, Kaufman, Williams and Lindblade also finished in the runner-up spot (4:38.05).

Assistant Summit coach Jenn Blevins said that strong team chemistry has played a role in the early gelling of the Tigers’ relays. “The girls just seem so close this year,” she said. “They’re really a tight-knit group and they’re always there for each other. It was neat to see it all come together today.”Neely agreed.”We lost quite a few seniors last year, but I don’t think it’s really affected the team that much,” she said.Mike Morris can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13628, or at mmorris@summitdaily.com