Sawyer’s amazing run finally ends
FORT COLLINS – The Summit High School spring sports season came to a close Saturday with a strong performance by Thomas Sawyer at the 4A state swim meet in Fort Collins.Sawyer, a freshman who qualified for the state meet in five events, took 11th place in the 200-meter individual medley and 13th in the 100 butterfly.”I told him after the race that 90 percent of the kids he swam against were juniors and seniors,” Summit coach Mike Rathgeber said. “He’s going to be a very dominant swimmer at state before he graduates. It’s going to be amazing.”Sawyer, who was the only freshman in both of his events on Saturday, appeared to peak at the right time, shattering two personal-best times in the process.The Summit standout swam the IM in 2 minutes, 8.1 seconds – three full seconds faster than his previous mark, which he established at Friday’s preliminaries. Saturday’s winning 200 IM time was 2:07.1Sawyer also made haste in the fly, completing it in 56.87 seconds, a nearly two-second improvement over Friday’s time. He was about two seconds off the winning time in the 100 fly (54.9).Rathgeber attributed much of Sawyer’s success to lessons the youngster has learned throughout the season.”He’s learned how to approach the two-day meets,” Rathgeber said. “You need to bring it the first day, then bring it even harder the second day.”The Tigers’ end-of-season taper, which lasted nearly three weeks, also proved beneficial for Sawyer.”We used another long taper this year,” Rathgeber said. “It clearly helped (Sawyer) this weekend because he shattered his career bests. I think the other (Tigers) peaked last weekend and then maintained.”Sawyer was joined at the state meet by Josh Gammel, Andrew Marshall and Marshall Snead. The four Tigers made up the 400 free and 200 medley relay teams, neither of which advanced to Saturday’s finals.The strong nucleus of the Tigers will return next season with the exception of Gammel.”We’re going to miss him for sure,” Rathgeber said. “But this ride is far from over. I’m expecting to send even more kids to state next year.”As for the phenomenal freshman, much of his development will take place naturally, his coach believes.”He needs to continue to do what he does with training,” Rathgeber said. “And then just let Mother Nature take over. As his body grows and matures, it will only make him faster.”Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13631, or at email@example.com.
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