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Cortez’s Brinley and Victoria Duran continue swimming excellence

Brinley Duran swam seven events at the state meet in Thornton on Feb. 24-26, placing in the top 20 in six races. (Candi Duran/Courtesy photo)
Victoria earns college scholarship; 10-year-old Brinley will go to qualifying meet in California

Adding to the family tradition of strong swimmers, Durango Swim Club’s Brinley Duran put together a showcase of strong finishes at the Colorado Swim Club Age Group State Championships last month in Thornton.

Competing against the best swimmers in the state in her age group Feb. 24-26, the 10-year-old swimmer from Cortez posted six top-20 finishes in her events, while improving her seed time in each of the events in which she entered.

Brinley Duran qualified for the Southwest Age Group Regional Championships in Folsom, California. (Candi Duran/Courtesy photo)
Brinley Duran placed seventh in the 200 freestyle last month in Thornton and qualified for the Southwest Age Group Regional Championships in Folsom, California. (Candi Duran/Courtesy photo)
Victoria Duran has verbally committed to swim for Division II Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, Oklahoma, after a major shoulder surgery in 2021. (Bailey Duran/Courtesy photo).
Victoria poses for a photo following shoulder surgery in February of 2021. (Bailey Duran/Courtesy photo)

Brinley Duran’s strongest performance coincided with her biggest time improvement in the 200-yard freestyle, clipping seven seconds off her entry time to touch the wall in under 2 minutes, 30 seconds to take seventh place.

Her 100 butterfly also saw a significant personal best for Brinley, as she dropped six seconds to take 11th place. She added big improvements in the 200 individual medley for 15th place and the 100 individual medley for 16th. Duran added a 19th-place finish in the 100 backstroke and a 20th-place effort in the 100 freestyle.

Brinley heads to Folsom, California, for the Southwest Age Group Regional championships, a qualifying meet for 14-and-under swimmers, March 24-26.

She advanced in the 200 free, 100 back, 100 fly, along with the 100 and 200 individual medleys.

Brinley’s older sister, Victoria, also enjoyed an exciting winter, landing a scholarship to swim for Oklahoma Christian University. She is expected to formally sign with the school in April.

She will compete at the 2023 Short Course Senior Zones championship meet in Federal Way, Washington, from March 29 to April 1, qualifying for four individual events and two relays.

Victoria Duran, also with the Durango Swim Club, overcame a shoulder injury that required surgery in February 2021 and climbed back to competitive level after thinking she may never compete again despite her dream to swim at the collegiate level.

She plans to join a program, based in Edmond, Oklahoma, that competes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in NCAA’s Division II and is coming off a third-place finish in their league standings. The team has sent number of student-athletes to the NCAA Championships over the years, including a men’s relay that placed 9th in the 800 freestyle relay this past week.

Victoria and Brinley’s older sisters, Bailey Duran and Caisey (Duran) Trennepohl swam competitively for the Cortez Leopard Sharks and Montezuma-Cortez Panthers for years before heading off to college.

Caisey and Bailey Duran

Bailey Duran won Colorado Seasonal State’s 15 and Over High Point award in 2015, and in 2016, she was named Most Notable Swimmer by the coaches in the Western Slope League.

Caisey Duran won Colorado Seasonal State’s 13 and 14 High Point award in 2014 and still holds the Colorado Seasonal State record for the 200 backstroke long-course meters with a time of 2:51.42 set at that meet in 2014.

In high school swimming with the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers, both Bailey and Caisey were ranked in the top 16 in the state for the 200 individual medley, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay.

Bailey holds the 500 freestyle and 200 individual medley Montezuma-Cortez school records, and both sisters share records for the 200 medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays with Samantha Bagge and Jenna Barner.