Summit Tigers swim well at first 2 meets of the season |

Summit Tigers swim well at first 2 meets of the season

Team qualifies 3 relays and 2 individuals to state meet

The Summit Tigers swim team wasted no time in qualifying multiple girls to state along with three relays as the team competed in its first two swim meets of the season at the Glenwood Springs swim meet Thursday, Dec. 2, and the Western Slope Relay swim meet Saturday, Dec. 4.

Sophomore Ashley Leidel was the first to make her mark in the pool Thursday as she raced in the girls 200-yard freestyle in a personal best time of 2 minutes and 13.46 seconds for fourth place overall.

Leidel doubled back later in the day to compete in another individual event, this time the longest event in the pool: the 500-yard freestyle race. Leidel ended up qualifying for her second state event and set anther personal best by finishing in 5:59.30 for second place.

Leidel qualified for state after not making the constrained state standards last year and then being pulled from the 400-yard fresstyle state relay team due to COVID-19 protocols.

“It wasn’t a shock,” head coach Jenny Wischmeyer said. “I was more surprised that she went her best time in both events. She has put in a lot of work over the last year training with the club team in Summit County.”

Freshman Izzy Rowe, in her debut as a Summit Tigers swimmer, also set a state qualifying mark by finishing the 100-yard backstroke in 1:08:51. Rowe’s performance was enough for her to finish third overall in the event.

Rowe rounded out the meet for the Tigers in the 200-yard medley relay which also consisted of seniors Abby Anderson and Sam Hessel as well as junior Allison Koonce. The relay team finished in a time of 2:09.12 to place second behind Glenwood Springs. Anderson had the fastest split of the relay on the freestyle leg in 29.91 seconds.

Last year, the Tigers were only able to qualify their 400-meter freestyle relay team, which finished 20th at state.

“We have so many talented swimmers this year,” Wischmeyer said. “It’s going to be a puzzle to figure out, towards the end of the season, what are our fastest combinations because those girls are going to be swimming individual events and relay events. I’m super excited to get (state qualifiers) out of the way.”

The girls swim team also had solid performances from eight girls who had never competed in the sport before, pointing toward the inclusiveness of the team.

The Tigers ended up placing second overall at the Glenwood meet, scoring 231 points. Glenwood took first in its home meet with 349 points.

The Tigers also qualified their 400-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle relays Saturday at Colorado Mesa University for a relay-only swim meet consisting of Western Slope teams. Anderson, Leidel, Rowe and freshman Olivia Lyman made up those relay teams.

In the week ahead, Summit will prepare for a nine-team swim meet Saturday, Dec. 11, in Gunnison. Wischmeyer said she is looking forward to seeing her girls in more individual events at the meet, which is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.

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