Summit High School swim and dive team concludes season at the Colorado state championship meet
Junior Ashley Leidal places 14th in 500-yard freestyle
After a record-setting conference meet, the Summit High School girls swim and dive team concluded its season at the Class 3A state meet.
Hosted at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton, the two-day competition started on Friday, Feb. 10, with prelims and then ended on Saturday, Feb. 11, with finals.
The team sent six individuals and three relays to the state meet last season, and the same amount of talent was sent to the state competition this year.
Summit started off in the 200-yard medley relay and tried to snag one of the 20 qualifying spots in Saturday’s final.
Sophomore Izzy Rowe, senior Allie Koonce, junior Ashley Leidal and sophomore Olivia Lyman swam to a 16th-place finish in qualifiers and the next day placed 20th in finals, earning 2 points to the team’s final score.
Summit saw a similar result in the 200-yard freestyle relay. With a relay team made up by senior Kaslo Bocksch, sophomore Aila Harmala, junior Hannah Crowe and senior Pelham Wagenseil, the Tigers placed 19th in prelims with a time of 1 minute, 51.21 seconds. In finals the next day, the relay team improved its time to 1:50.65 but failed to improve upon its placing from the day before. Summit placed 20th overall in finals to earn another 2 points for Summit’s final score.
Summit’s most impressive relay finish occurred in the meet’s final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Lyman, Bocksch, Leidal and Koonce took seven seconds off the team’s seed time to place 11th in prelims with a time of 4:05.75. Summit continued to push its limits in the final as the team took nearly five seconds off its time in the prelim to finish in 4:01.13.
The finish earned the team a 13th-place finish in finals and added 16 points to the team’s score.
“The freestyle relay actually got disqualified at the conference meet in prelims, so they did not get to swim it in finals,” head coach Jenny Wischmeyer said. “That is always a good event to finish on because it is the end of the meet and everybody’s tired, but it also the last event and you have to rally behind it. They rose to the occasion big time. I think all of them had best times in that relay.”
Beyond the finish of Summit’s 400-yard freestyle relay, Wischmeyer was also impressed by all three relay teams making it to finals — something that has not happened in several years.
In the individual events, Summit qualified athletes to six different finals with Leidal notching the highest finish in the 500-yard freestyle.
Leidal placed 15th in the 500-yard freestyle prelims on Friday with a time of 5:54.52 and dropped over two seconds in the final on Saturday to place 14th overall.
Leidal also earned herself a spot in the 200-yard individual medley final. Matching her 18th finish in prelims, Leidal placed 18th in finals with a time of 2:27.08.
Koonce placed 24th in the 200-yard individual medley prelims while Rowe placed 28th.
Rowe had a second chance to make a final in the 100-yard backstroke. With a time of 1:06.91, Rowe successfully qualified for the final by placing 17th in prelims. The next day, Rowe finished in 18th place overall with a time of 1:07.24.
Lyman and Bocksch both qualified for the final in the 50-yard freestyle. Lyman qualified in 15th place with a time of 26.37 seconds while Bocksch qualified in 16th with a time of 26.38 seconds.
Both athletes dropped a few places in the final but still had impressive performances. Bocksch finished in 18th with a final time of 26.52 seconds, and Lyman placed 20th with a time of 26.64 seconds.
Following a 17th-place finish in the preliminary round, Bocksch also competed in the 200-yard freestyle final. Swimming a little bit slower than the prelims, Bocksch placed 20th in the final with a time of 2:13.10.
Harmala placed 30th in the 200-yard freestyle prelims, Lyman placed 39th in the 100-yard freestyle prelims and Koonce placed 25th in the 100-yard breaststroke prelims.
Summit scored 38 total points to place 25th out of 34 Class 3A teams. Evergreen High School placed first with 443 points, Discovery Canyon High School took second and Glenwood Springs High School placed third.
“It is hard to go to state just because there are teams that have so much depth to them,” Wischmeyer said. “You can have up to four entries per event, and we are just lucky to get one or two qualifiers per event. I wasn’t surprised as how we finished. We are just always happy to be there, and it’s such a bonus for girls to make it to finals the next day. To me that is what success is.”
Summit will graduate eight seniors in the spring, including Bocksch, Koonce, Wagenseil, Joanna White, Lina Stecher, Brianna Richter, Logan Reid and Maggie Barggren.
“Allie Koonce left her legacy by breaking the 100 breaststroke record, Pelham (Wagenseil) has been a captain and sprint free-styled with us for several years and then Kaslo has been focused ever since last year and coming to state,” Wischmeyer said. “(Kaslo) was determined and focused to make it to state this year, which she did, and then she made it to finals. It was incredible to watch her gain momentum throughout the season.”
Despite losing eight seniors, Summit will still see a fair amount of talent in the pool come next winter. The team is currently projected to return 30 athletes to next year’s roster with the majority of the athletes coming from this year’s freshman class.
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