Swim and dive team impressive in first home meet
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
FARMER’S KORNER – After his team’s home opener Thursday, senior Daniel Hagy summed up exactly why he thinks his Tiger swimming and diving squad will surprise a lot of opponents this spring.
“What we lack in numbers, we make up for in strength and dedication,” Hagy said.
Although Thursday’s meet against Wheat Ridge will technically go down as a loss, the eight-man Tiger team certainly demonstrated Hagy’s point.
The Tigers had six events in which they finished either first or second, and Hagy gave Summit an individual win in the 500-yard freestyle.
“I think for our first actual competitive meet, swimming the distances and the strokes, I think we actually did really well,” Hagy said.
His coach agreed.
“This was the first (meet) where they did their full schedule,” head coach Ryan Van Gundy said. “So, this was really their first meet, and they did a good job. They need some endurance training, though, some harder practices.”
Summit started the meet with an impressive 200-yard medley relay. With Collin Thomas, Landon Skall, Hagy and Kyle Brown combining for the race, the Tigers finished second, nearly closing the gap on the winning Wheat Ridge squad.
Thomas then finished third in the 200 free, and Hagy was second in the 200 IM.
In the 50 free, the Tigers had three kids in the top-eight, including a pair of divers. Brown was third in the race, then Kevin Heil and Nick Adolph were sixth and eighth, respectively.
“Those two will definitely be 50-freestylers this year,” Van Gundy said of Adolph and Heil. “They don’t know it yet, but they are.”
The divers then got their chance on the spring board, and Heil, Adolph and Garrett Shelton finished 2-3-4 in the event for the Tigers.
“They completely exceeded my expectations for a first meet,” SHS diving coach Joe Baldwin said. “They put in a lot of time and effort during practice, and it really showed that they can do well this season. It’s only the first meet, and they should just get better and better as the season goes on.”
Thomas finished second in the 100 free, and after Hagy won the 500 by more than 14 seconds, the Tigers narrowly finished second in the 400 free relay.
After the meet, Van Gundy admitted that having a small roster does make it a bit tough for the Tigers in dual competitions.
“They don’t get much time to rest in between events,” he said. “They’ll do a relay and then swim in the next event. It gets tiring for them.”
Van Gundy’s solution? More training.
“One thing I was really impressed with is we’ve been really working the fundamentals of swimming in practice and they used them as they were racing. If the fundamentals come out in a race, it just shows they’ve really been practicing them,” the coach said. “So when we taper (toward the end of the season), if they do those things right, that’s where we beat everyone else.”
And he didn’t waste much time after Thursday’s meet before getting his team some more work. Before they left the SHS pool, he had every kid swim another 300 yards.
“He’s a stickler,” Hagy said of his coach. “I think it’s good. It’s going to make us better.”
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