Saturday, July 24, 2010

Western Slope Swimming Finals July 23,24,25 at Mesa State

Swimming is the real sport.
In the final tally, day three of the Western Slope Long Course championships,  Montrose garnered the top points,
 with 2,248.5 points. Sporis, 1,584.5,  swam to second and the Grand Junction Dolphins earned third with 1,433.4.

Coach helps swimmers who are
disappointed in placement find they have
improved personal times, that they
still are winners.
"Keep your focus and find
your rhythm. You'll be fine.
The Western Slope Long Course Championships used to be held at Lincoln Park, Moyer Pool.
Moyer Pool sports a 20 meter 10 lane pool, a gem in the City of Grand Junction and Mesa County Valley. The meet always lasted three days which meant that the public had to find somewhere else to swim. Because the City recognized the big positive economic impact of these meets, they cooperate with the Swim Clubs. 
With my daughter getting her "wet wings" with the Dolphins, our family became very familiar with pools all over the Western Slope as well as on the Eastern Slope. Moyer pool was always the gem.
There were times sudden rain squalls would pause the action for a few hours. One loud memory goes back to the late afternoon lightning strike which hit a tree in Lincoln Park. Swimmers were always safe since the rule for pools is, everybody out and away from the water when any lightning is seen.
Now, with the foresight of Mesa State President Tim Foster, himself a master swimmer, the valley has another "gem" in the El Pomar Natatorium, a long course pool which can be configured into whatever length is required. Instead of the sometimes grumpy timing system used in the summer meets, Mesa's pool sports a state of the arc system which gives the viewer and swimmers not only the time but every lap-split. The board is highly visible. The sound system is great. 
Mesa's swimming coach, Brian Pearson, is doing a terrific job keeping the pool, its staff, and the college very busy as Mesa attracts quality athletes to this program, a life-long activity, geared to total health.

Going for it all.

She means business.

Get set, ready and go.

"I can do it."

Oh, the backstroke.

It's the third leg in the 200 IM.
With 16 teams and some 400 swimmers, the meet gave many young athletes the opportunity to show their skills. Friday hosted swimmers aged 8 and under.
Day two, mid-range ages, found  that Maddie Mechling of Sopris may be one to watch as she swam her way to four first place races. Could this mean Olympics are in her future? Sam Richie of Aspen took four blue as well. Then, there is Aidan Padyk of Grand Junction, who placed second in four races, and who could change places with Richie. Beware, Michael Phelps. 
Saturday was filled with events for 14 and under. A sprinkling of ages 16 and up also competed, taking the opportunity to hone their skills for other competitions. Carlos Matthews, Avery Pope, Taylor Kidd, Tyler Fair, Charlotte Svaldi and Steve Norris were among the GJ swimmers who ended up in the top three places in several events.
Sunday, July 25, saw final day of the event. This was final tally time for team scores and noting the number of young swimmers who qualify for JOs.
The GJ team, Dolphins found the team's long distance swimmer in Logan Young who placed first in the 400 free with Tyler Fair second. Both swimmers helped garner points for that team.
Next weekend July 30, 31 and August 1 El Pomar Natatorium's water will be churning with the State Championships. 
Swimming requires lots of time in a pool, and hefty commitments to the sport. Athletes who stay with this sport learn valuable life-long lessons. 

It's all about the stroke.

"Here I come."

"I'm nearly there."

"Coach says visualize and swim my best."

"Did I beat my best time?"

Going for it all on the butterfly.

"Here's looking at you."

Go, go, go.

I 've got to make time."

"I mean it, I'm gonna get that place."In the 
The signal is go.

...and they are off the blocks.

Butterfly, oh butterfly

Giving her best

Splashing right on

That lane is long

Electronics make timing easy.
Fans shout encouragement

Taking a break with the ipod.

Mesa's El Palmor Natatorium is the
best and most well-
equipped pool.

Time for advice

This is for good luck.

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