Tigers wrap up regular season, ponder future
summit daily news
FARMER’S KORNER ” The notion of swimming every meet like it could be the last took on a greater meaning for the Summit High School boys swimming and diving team Thursday, as it hosted what could be its final home meet.
“We tried to swim as hard as we could to make sure we’ll have a team next year,” said Thomas Sawyer, who won the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 11.14 seconds) and the 100 butterfly (57.93). “There’s just so few of us.”
Fourth-year Tigers coach Mike Rathgeber, whose resignation takes effect after the state meet (May 17-18 in Fort Collins), addressed the future of the squad after Summit fell to Green Mountain on Thursday, 120-55.
“On paper, we’re going to have five swimmers next year,” Rathgeber said. “The Jeffco minimum is 15 and Summit’s minimum is 10. This program has been enormously successful and it deserves to be sustained. I’m hoping that success will foster some younger kids who want to do it, but it’s definitely in crisis right now.”
Summit’s roster of eight was returned to full strength Thursday when Wil Snead came back from a ruptured ear drum. Snead won the 100 free with a time of 1:00.29 and swam a personal best time of 58.1 in the first leg of the Tigers’ 400 free relay. Other personal bests came from Daniel Hagy (1:06.37 in the 100 free and 2:22.47 in the 200 free) and Shane Meister in the 100 breaststroke.
“I had no idea what I did,” Meister said. “I heard everyone screaming and my mom came up to me and said, ‘You’ll be so proud when you see what time you got.’ Then someone said 1:14.7 and my best was 1:17 and low change. That’s kind of a ridiculous improvement.”
“Shane Meister is really making himself a breastroker that can come back for finals at the league meet,” Rathgeber said. “There will be 50 kids swimming and only 16 will come back.”
In one of Thursday’s most closely contested races, Summit’s Andrew Marshall took second place by less than a second in the 100 backstroke. Marshall finished with a time of 1:04 ” roughly two seconds shy of the state-qualifying mark.
Marshall and the Tigers will have one more chance to qualify for the state meet at next weekend’s Jeffco League championships in Arvada.
“He’s right there,” said Rathgeber in regards to Marshall’s chances. “Theoretically, a taper should give him three percent off his time, which would be enough. We’ll start tapering him and Marshall Snead on Monday for leagues, with the rest of the guys starting Thursday for state.”
“I’m real tired and that’s where I want to be right now just before the taper,” Marshall said.
Snead, who won Thursday’s 50 free with a time of 25.32 and took third in the 500 free (6:04.02), will taper earlier than most teammates in hopes of qualifying for state in the 500 free.
“I just wanted to step up to the plate after being out for four weeks,” said Snead, who was sick for three weeks prior to spring break. “I tried to get back to what I was doing before and I did that in my personal and medley relay 50s, but I’m not quite feeling it in the 500 like I was before.”
Summit diver Luke Fatora finished second with a score of 123.35.
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