Golden outshines SHS at final home meet
FARMER’S KORNER – The elements were in place for a standout Senior Night: A packed, noisy pool, celebratory flowers, and most importantly, another well-matched team. But for the third time this season, the Tigers melted under what should have been close competition. Summit fell 108-78 to Golden. SHS head coach Laura Graf said she anticipated a small margin in the final scoring based on both teams’ finishes in previous meets with Conifer. Golden lost to Conifer by 10 points earlier this season, while Summit was edged out by two points in the home opener and three points in last week’s tri against Englewood and Conifer. Graf cited team numbers as the root of Thursday’s loss. “It’s just a case of a smaller mountain school,” she said. “… They have 30 girls, we have 18 swimmers. We weren’t fresh because we had to swim more events per girl.”
Some of the team swam outside the fatigue, most notably the seniors. At the final home meet of their lives, Erin Gray (2:43.89), Chelsea Seegers (2:59.88) and Brandi Girtman (3:06.75) swept the podium in the 200 individual medley. After second- (2:16.93) and third-place (2:29.63) finishes in the 200 medley relay, Graf said during the diving break that her team was still looking for the win. Mallory Kaufman’s and Gray’s finishes after the competition’s midpoint coincided with their coach’s push for victory. Kaufman grabbed first in the 100 fly (1:15.51) and Gray brought home the 100 breaststroke (1:19.88) to a very excitable crowd. Gray had done some homework prior to the race. “I previously looked her up on the internet,” Gray said. “I saw she was faster than me.” But after falling behind in the first 50, Gray touched .25 seconds before her online nemesis. And where did the energy come from?
“I decided I wanted to win for my last home meet,” she said. Summit also put some individual second places on its scoring plate from Sharayah Dossett in the 200 freestyle (2:32.31), Megan Hartman in the 100 freestyle (1:07.85) and Lacie Williams in the 500 freestyle (6:32.57). But the final two double-scoring relays drowned the team’s chance for the win. The Tigers took only the second spot in both the 200 freestyle relay (2:08.20) and the 400 freestyle relay (4:32.15), depriving them of the majority of the relay-points pie. The team’s divers also felt the final pressure. Nicole Luby responded well by taking the win (161.70) after what she described as “a rough two weeks.””I had a hard time practicing, I lost all my hard dives,” she said of the days leading up to Thursday’s meet. “But this time I knew I couldn’t be nervous. I just took my mind off diving.”
Samantha Gardner took third (135.50), and according to coach Shannon Tessier, “she had a good meet except for one dive.” Gardner will be Summit’s only diving competitor in next week’s Jeffco League meet. Luby does not have the required reverse dive to enter the competition. The Tigers compete in the Husky Invite at Platte Canyon on Saturday, their final non-championship meet of the season. Lindsey Krusen can be reached at Lkrusen@summitdaily.com, or at (970) 668-4620.
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