Big weekend in the water for Lady Panthers

M-CHS swim team hits another state mark and dive team competes in first meet

Keywords: Cortez,
Nanabah Sam competes at the Lady Panthers’ home meet earlier this season. She was part of M-CHS’ winning 200-yard freestyle relay team on Saturday in Delta. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/The Journal

Nanabah Sam competes at the Lady Panthers’ home meet earlier this season. She was part of M-CHS’ winning 200-yard freestyle relay team on Saturday in Delta.

The Montezuma-Cortez swim team added another state qualifying time to its 2016-17 list last weekend.

Swimming at the Delta Invitational, sophomore Jenna Barner finished first in the 50-yard freestyle and qualified for state with a time of 27.49.

“This is Jenna’s first individual state-qualifying time and she is ecstatic,” head coach Gayle Earley said in an email. “Her new best time is a 27.49 she placed first overall in this event scoring 16 points for our team.”

Finishing close behind Barner was Nanabah Sam (29.34) in second and Bess McAlpin (30.69) in third.

The Panthers had other top finishers in Delta, as Sam Bagge won the 100-yard butterfly (1:07.63) and 100-yard freestyle (1:01.09), and Bagge, Barner, Sam, and McAlpin combined to win the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:54.31).

Saturday also marked the first time the Lady Panthers’ dive team competed.

Alexx Earley, Julianna Goad and Allyssa and Maddy Ludington all competed for M-CHS. And although they were each disqualified for not completing the inward and reverse dives, they did have four legal dives, and their development in the dive team’s first year has impressed Earley.

“I am extremely proud of them for braving the diving board in a meet,” she said. “They have learned six dives in five weeks, and considering that most of them had never even done a forward dive off a board when they started, it is impressive how far they have come in such a short amount of time.”

The dive team will continue working to improve its inward and reverse dives with the goal of scoring at the Panthers’ next meet, while the swimmers hope to continue to lengthen their list of state-qualifying marks in their next competition at home on Friday at 4 p.m.