Work cut out for SHS swimmers |

Work cut out for SHS swimmers

FARMER’S KORNER – It’s always about quality over quantity at the Summit High School pool, and this year’s boys swimming and diving team is no exception.

Juniors Eric Lowe and Pete Richmond return as state qualifiers from last year’s team, and Joe Baldwin is back to finish his diving career as the team’s only senior.

Sophomores Chris Marvin and David Shaffer look to improve on solid freshman seasons, rounding out the athletes with high school swimming experience on Graig Fischer’s squad.

Summit’s current roster of eight is bolstered by newcomers Marc Miller (sophomore) and freshmen Josh Gammel and Ben Holland. Also, John McGee is making the pilgrimage over Vail Pass several times a week to swim with the Tigers. McGee, an experienced club swimmer, is a junior at Vail Christian High School.

Reinforcements will also come from the SHS Nordic team. There is a history of overlap from the snow to the pool, and this year will bring Josh Dayton, Kyle Ahern and Kevin Soller. All three are new to swimming, but Fischer is used to converting skiers.

“They’ll have a decent aerobic base,” Fischer said. “But we’ll see what kind of shape they are in when they get in the water. They’re an unknown quantity right now.”

Dayton is especially promising. He’s coming off a second-place finish last month in the state Nordic freestyle championships.

“It’s hard to say; they are two different sports. But he’s looking forward to it, so we’ll see what he can do,” Fischer said.

Richmond also has yet to join the team as he finishes up his Nordic season.

The Tigers are coming off a 14th-place finish at state last year and will need to swim faster and get help from their underclassmen to maintain their status as a top Class 4A program. Richmond and Lowe are the only returning state qualifiers. Both have grown in the offseason, so Fischer expects faster times.

“We know we’ve got two guys who can qualify in two events each,” Fischer said. “For us to maintain top 15 in the state, we’ve got to swim really well. The two state returnees, they are going to have to swim considerably better than they did a year ago.”

Lowe has spent a lot of time in the pool during the offseason, and he’s hoping for a fast start this season, which begins at 10 a.m. today with a dual against Ralston Valley at SHS.

“I want to make state early so I don’t have to worry about it later,” Lowe said. “I want to worry about doing good at state this year instead of making state.”

Until the Nordic skiers join the fold, the Tigers lineup will be in flux. They will eventually concentrate on the 200- and- 400-yard relays.

“We have a third of our team that’s not here, and one of them (Richmond) is a key part of anything we do with our relays,” Fischer said.

Lowe’s focus is on the 200 and 500 freestyle as well as the 100 backstroke. Baldwin is the team’s only diver. He’ll work with first-year diving coach Julie Sutor.

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