The Durango Swim Club competed at the Western Slope League Championships June 8-10 at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. Swimmers ages 6-19 from 14 teams competed, but Durango outscored its closest competitor by more than 1,000 points to win the league title.
Durango Swim Club placed first with 2,899.50 points, followed by the Sopris Swim Club (1,884.0), Avon Swim Club (1,768.50), Maverick Aquatics (1,726.50) and the Gunnison Stingrays in fifth (1,558.50).
“Honestly the whole team showed up and really performed well,” said the club’s head coach, Brandon Walker. “We had really encouraged the team to come to this specific meet with the goal of working together to try and win the league championship as a team. We had 34 swimmers come and compete, and every single one of them scored for the team. They all took on eight to nine individual events each and also participated in relays each day. It was a big load for each of them, and they all stepped up and worked hard for the team.”
Linzie Bidart, swimming in the 11-12 girls division, won seven events to win the high-point award for Durango. Bidart won the 50 butterfly (35.77 seconds), the 200 freestyle (2:33.25), the 100 breaststroke (1:41.12), the 50 breaststroke (47.80), the 100 free (1:09.84), the 200 individual medley (3:02.93) and the 50 free (31.98). Bardet also placed fourth in the 50 backstroke (40.30) and third in the 100 fly (1:29:74).
Two other swimmers from Durango also finished second in their divisions’ high-point contest. Ben Mertes-Yeager (8-and-under boys), Katie LeRoux (8-and-under girls) both had strong meets to take second.
Several other athletes from the Durango Swim Club scored more than 100 points over the weekend, including Linzie Bidart, Raina Dixon, Brinley Duran, Victoria Duran, Wyatt Hawley, McKenzie Rion, Jake Sandau, Cassidy Scott and Denny Woods.
“The team has performed well this entire season, and the coaching staff could not be prouder,” Walker said. “Swimming is a wonderful year-round sport that requires true grit, endurance, commitment and perseverance on the part of the athletes. Our athletes are seeing results because they are working at it for countless hours every month and have built tight peer relationships; so, in many ways winning this year’s West Slope League Championships was a celebration of all those hours of training as a team.”
The teams will now continue preparing for their end of season championship meets.
The 13-and-over swimmers will compete in the CSI 13-and-over Long Course State Meet at the VMAC pool in Thornton, July 22-24.
The 12-and-under swimmers will compete in the CSI 12-and-under Long Course State Meet at the Air Force Academy pool in Colorado Springs, July 29-31.
The 13-and-over swimmers will compete at Senior Arena Western Zones Meet at the Clovis Aquatics Complex in Clovis, California, July 26-30.
Qualifiers for the championship meets are: Erin Knight, Cassidy Scott, Elin Mischler, Rion, Victoria Duran, Hawley, Sandau, Woods, Olivia Becher, Cole LeRoux, Braden Schmittel, Luke Swenk, Linzie Bidart, Raina Dixon, Brinley Duran, Emmalyn Perez, Ben Mertes-Yeager, Cecil Scott, Elise Nakamoto, Ivy Nakamoto, Katie LeRoux, Brinley Duran, Raina Dixon, Riley Simplot and Ava McKown.
The teams are coached by Brandon Walker, Sarah Ryba, Callie Decker and Selena LaPaz.