Summit High School freestyle swimmers, relays post season-best times at conference meet

Members of the Summit High School swim and dive team pose for a photo during a recent practice at Summit High School.
Photo from Jenny Wischmeyer

Time will tell if any girls will be able to swim at the state championship meet, but for now, Summit High School swim and dive coach Jenny Wischmeyer is proud of the performance her team put forth at Saturday’s Western Slope League conference championship meet.

The Tigers were a part of the group of schools who competed at the Colorado Mesa University pool on Saturday, March 6, after half of the schools competed Friday, March 5. Due to novel coronavirus rules, the conference meet was split into two days of action with each school swimming and diving on only one day. That’s a departure from previous years when swimmers and divers competed on Friday to finish in the top 16, with the top 16 athletes in each discipline then advancing to Saturday’s final rounds.

“That’s usually really exciting,” Wischmeyer said, “but we just didn’t have that this year. But it’s OK. I keep reminding myself we’re so lucky to have a conference meet and season. It gave the girls an opportunity to be part of something.”

In the Colorado Mesa pool, Tigers senior Taylor Lee swam her season-best times in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle. Lee’s times of 28.63 seconds and 1:02.48 in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, respectively, earned her 13th place in each discipline.

Wischmeyer said the senior had a great meet overall where she anchored both of the Tigers’ top freestyle relays in the 200- and 400-yard distances. The groups also swam to their season-best times on Saturday.

“She just went all out,” Wischmeyer said of Lee. “She did not leave anything behind. Every single race this season she looked at as a new race, a new opportunity.”

Tigers junior Abby Anderson was another top performer for Summit on Saturday. In her only individual event, Anderson finished one spot ahead of Lee in the 100-yard freestyle, at 1:02.02. It was in the relays where Anderson helped the team the most, leading a group including Lee, Ashley Leidel and Karlyn Frazier to eighth place in the 200-yard freestyle (1:53.06) and that same group to seventh place in the 400-yard freestyle (4:10.61).

Wischmeyer said Anderson’s sacrifice to put team events over individual reflects her leadership skills.

“She wanted to help her team make it to state,” Wischmeyer said. “It takes a lot to give up an individual event for the sake of your team.”

In the diving competition, Wischmeyer said Stephanie Horvath’s seventh place in the 1-meter dive was especially impressive considering it’s the gymnast’s first year in the pool.

Wischmeyer said the team will find out on Monday if any girls will get the chance to swim or dive on Saturday, March 13, at the 3A state final at the Veteran Memorial Aquatics Center in Thornton. That’s because this year only the top 20 individual athletes and relays across the state will qualify for the state meet due to COVID-19 restrictions. By traditional metrics, however, the Tigers would be sending several individuals and relays with their season-best times.

“If you look at the times in terms of (typical) qualifying, we would have had three individuals and three relays,” Wischmeyer said. “We were hovering around 20th and 21st in (the 200 and 400 freestyle) relays, so it will be close.”

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