Summit swim and dive team smashes records, places 5th at conference meet in Grand Junction |

Summit swim and dive team smashes records, places 5th at conference meet in Grand Junction

Alli Koonce, left, and Olivia Lyman pose for a photo after both setting new school records at the 2023 Southwest Conference swim and dive meet in Grand Junction from Feb. 3-4. Koonce broke the 100-yard breaststroke school record and Lyman broke the 50-yard freestyle school record.
Jenny Wischmeyer/Courtesy photo

After placing fifth at last year’s Southwest Conference swim and dive meet, the Summit High School swim and dive team matched its finish from last year at the 2023 Southwest Conference meet from Feb. 3-4 at Colorado Mesa University.

Besides that accomplishment, the program also broke two school records at the highly competitive and historically fast conference meet.

Sophomore Olivia Lyman broke the school record in the 50-yard freestyle race while senior Alli Koonce broke the record in the 100-yard breaststroke. 

Both Lyman and Koonce broke the record in the preliminary round of heats while trying to qualify to finals. 

Lyman finished second in prelims with a time of 25.69 seconds to break the previous record of 26.29 seconds by 0.6 seconds. 

“It is something that I have wanted to do all season,” Lyman said. “When I saw that time, I was super excited.”

The next day, Lyman got within fractions of a second of her new school record but finished 0.02 seconds behind that mark with a time of 25.71 seconds. She placed third overall in the varsity championship final. 

Kaslo Bocksch placed 12th overall the 50-yard freestyle varsity consolation heat with a time of 27.07 seconds.

In the 100-yard breaststroke prelims Friday, Koonce beat the school record by close to a second, swimming 1:14.99 to place sixth overall in qualifiers.

“It was originally 1 minute, 15.9 seconds,” Koonce said of the record. “I have wanted it for a long time, so I worked with my coaches. They were super helpful. It was really exciting looking up at the record board and seeing that all the hard work had paid off.”

Beyond the record-setting performances from Lyman and Koonce, the Summit swim and dive team also had impressive relays and individual performances at the conference meet.

Bocksch notched an eighth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle race with a time of 2:13.51 while Ashley Leidal placed sixth in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:53.35.

Perhaps one of Summit’s most impressive performances of the meet came in the 200-yard individual medley. Three Summit athletes placed within the top eight in the varsity championship final.

Leading Summit in the individual medley was Leidal in fourth place with a time of 2:25.09. Koonce followed in fifth with a time of 2:27.50, and Izzy Rowe placed eighth in 2:33.39.  

Rounding out the individual performance for Summit, Rowe doubled back to place sixth in the final of the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:06.60. 

The 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay both placed sixth in respective championship finals. The 200-yard medley finished in a time of 2:05.85 while the 200-yard freestyle relay finished in 1:52.67.

Summit placed fifth out of 11 teams with 230 points, Glenwood Springs High School placed first with 528 points and 4A’s Grand Junction High School placed second with 309 points.

In terms of Class 3A teams, Summit placed third behind Glenwood Springs and Gunnison High School. 

Overall, the team was pleased in how it performed at the conference meet amongst competitive swim and dive programs.

“I am actually really proud of the whole team,” Koonce said. “We all did really well and exceeded what we thought we were going to do. Olivia Lyman also broke the 50-free record and then the rest of us just did really well and we all got personal bests.”

“The team performed really well,” Lyman said. “We are all really good at supporting each other, and it is fun when we can all do good.”

Summit will now prepare for the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Class 3A swim and dive meet from Friday, Feb. 10, through Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton.

Summit will be represented by Lyman, Koonce, Rowe, Bocksch, Leidal, Pelhan Wagenseil, Hannah Crowe and Aila Harmala at the state swim and dive meet.

“Just do our very best,” Koonce said of her expectations for state. “I am excited to see how we do in our relays, and I know we can all probably make finals.”

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