SHS swim and dive drops opener to Golden
FARMER’S KORNER – Kylie Nilson, Jessica Lewark and Shauna Neely led the Summit High School swim and dive team to a successful season opener, even if the Tigers dropped the meet to the visiting Golden Demons. Nilson swam a state-qualifying 26.62 seconds on her way to winning the 50-yard free. Nilson also won the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:10.13 seconds. Nilson was especially proud of her state-qualifying time, “considering it was the first meet,” she said. Lewark shined in the endurance events, winning the 200 free (2:24.39) and the 500 free (6:52.17).Neely, meanwhile, opened her diving season with a victory, leading the squad to a sweep of the podium. Meg Schuman finished second, and Rachel Bergstrom took third.”I knew I could nail these dives,” said Neely, who scored 155.30 points with her six dives. “They’re my easiest dives to start off the season.”
Despite the five golds, the team was unable to overcome a strong Golden squad, and lost the team competition to the Demons 111-75. Still, head coach Laura Graf felt the meet was a productive way to start the season.”I think the meet went really well,” she said. “I think everyone is proud of themselves, and it’s nice to start out on a positive note.” Other podium finishes by the Tigers included a silver for Lisa Walton in the 100 backstroke, as well as second-place swims by the Tigers in the 200 and 400 free relays. Mallory Kaufman earned a bronze in the 200 individual medley, as did Courtney Stoffel in the 200 and 100 free, and Cindy Engle in the 500 free. Summit also finished third in the 400 medley relay.
Diving controversyThough the Tigers swept the diving podium, the team’s performance hit a sour note late in the competition when Schuman’s final dive was scored lower than she expected after one of the three judges flashed an unusually low score. The judge in question explained that Schuman was out of position on the dive. Schuman and head diving coach Shannon Hoffman protested because the dive was supposed to be “free,” meaning Schuman should have been given more leniency on her starting position. Despite the protests, Schuman’s score stood. “I was not happy about it,” Schuman said. “That was a dive I’ve been practicing all week. I’m glad it was on my last dive because if it had happened earlier it would have brought me down.”
Summit InviteThe Tigers’ season continues today with the Summit Invite, which begins at the high school at 10 a.m. Graf is expecting 10 teams from eight schools to attend.”We’ve worked really hard on it this year,” she said. “The best thing about hosting it is it’s in our pool, and it’s a relatively level playing field.” Graf hopes to use the invitational meet as a way to mix up her relays and to give her younger swimmers a chance to experience a larger meet. “The biggest point is to give everyone a chance to swim,” she said. “Tonight was good to get some of those pre-invite jitters out.”Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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