Sunday, August 1, 2010

Long Course State Swimming Championships held in Grand Junction July 30,31,Aug. 1 2010

Swimming rules!
Grand Junction hosted the Long Course State Swimming Championships this past weekend. A new wrinkle was in the mix this time, because, instead of running all the events at Moyer Pool in Lincoln Park, the event was split between Mesa State's new pool facilities and Moyer Pool. Lincoln Park is the fastest outdoor pool in Colorado. With the El Pomar Natatorium at Mesa State, the valley now has the best long course indoor pool pool.
 Running from around 8 a.m. to noon, events were smoothly run. Finals from each of the three days were then held at Mesa State from around 4:30 p.m. to around 8:00 p.m.
My photos which I have posted in this blog, are meant to leave pleasant memories of the place, the family-type event, the volunteers and organizers and all the swimmers and coaches. From atop the water slide at Moyer, the view was really a show stopper, just reinforcing how important an event like this is to the Valley. With the interest in swimming, the event hopefully will help foster the idea of getting more pools for our population, for life-long fitness and for the youth, the opportunity to learn skills both mentally and physically.
Last week's Long Course Meet shone spotlights on exeptional talents from teams like Sopris, Dolphins, Montrose, Aspen, Delta and Rangely. This week has been no different as more stars emerged.
Sunday evening saw swimmers break records.
Colorado Springs Falfins Ryan Arata broke the open 200 butterfly record of 2:07.12 with his 2:06.9. Greenwood Tiger Sharks Connor Croan broke the 14 and under 200 IM with a 2:17.79. Get this, the 100 freestyle for girls 11-12 record was broken with a 1:00.74 by Shelly Drozda from Broomfield barracuda Swim Team. The 11-12 girls 50 backstroke record was broken with a 33.20 by Abbi Kochevat, Colorado Stars. The Dolphin's Carlos Matthews took third that evening in the 14 and under boys backstroke with his 2:24.43.
Names like Matthews, Kochevar, Charlie Melching, Taylor Kidd, Logan Morris, Haley Rowley, Logan Young, Tyler Fair, some finalists, some just missing them, swam their best and came away with personal best times.
Congratulations to the 21 swimmers with the record-breaking times in the finals.
Fifty-five teams came armed with top athletes. From FAST CO (Fort Collins Area Swim Team with 67 athletes and 334 entries) to the smallest, Cortez Lepoard Sharks with one, there was but one mind-set, "Do my best for my team, for me."
Carlos Mathews talked the reasons he puts so much effort into the sport of swimming.
"I love the chance to make new friends from other places," he said.  "I love the cheering during the meets. You can hear it, especially the whistles."
He feels he has learned so much from Coach Terri Hermes and now Coach Dale Leonhart.
Taylor Kidd has been swimming competitively for five years now. She loves the butterfly stroke most and ends up doing the back stroke in relays.
Swimmer Victoria, nine years old has been swimming since she was four. She felt swimming really "helps me achieve new goals and make new friends."
Her friend Kendall, aged 10 has been swimming three years and loves the chance to travel to swim meets all over. Both swim for the GTSharks from Greenwood. An eastern slope team, they sport some 200 members.
The Falcons of Colorado Springs have 192 team members with some 30 at this meet. Their team was started 46 years ago.
William Stuart, a parent, from the Stars Team, felt swimming was great for two reasons, the chance to grow as an individual, and the opportunity to work as a team.
Another parent who wandered past as Mr. Stuart was talking, emphasized that every penny she spent on this sport, the summer traveling, the early mornings, the extra time, was more than worth it. She mentioned that having something positive to do and enjoy, kept all her kids too busy to get in trouble. 
And so, remembering the rhythms of "go...go...go... and the whistles  shrilling at spaced intervals, with crowded decks (Lincoln Park) as athletes, volunteers and parents surrounded the pool, as swimmers of all ages churned the turquoise waters and the sun burned down, the Championships were a great success.
Mesa State didn't have the sun and the turquoise waters, but it had all the excitement with swimmers and coaches on deck of this wonderful new facility as parents in the balcony watched every stroke
Images, the making of memories.

Heat three, last event.

"This is fun."

"You not only moved from 46th to 28th, but you cut off a big chunk
of time. Now, I want you to do this at the start of the next
season. No waiting. Great job," said Coach.

Swimming strong.

Go, Savaldi!

More back stroke

I'm coming, watch out.

Swimming involves all kind of family activities and support.

Water sculpture

Jus a few more meters

The Sunday swim

Swim meets host many friends.

No turning back.

Swimmers make friends from many places.

Beautiful day reflected in the pool

Swimmers going for broke.
Fourteen and up backstroke
Off the blocks

With 3,751 entries from 55 teams, the park hosted team tent city.

Breaststroke in turpuoise

Reaching out, 'way out for the backstroke
helped Carlos make the finals with a 2:27.89.

The back stroke affords photo ops.
Ready, set
After the race...

It takes "a village" to host a State Meet
Another race coming up.

The water slide provided a great view of the swimmers.

This Aspen swimmer pushes all his competors.

Swimmers from all over the state gave their best efforts in their events.

No turning back...

Everyone has one thing in mind,
beat that personal best, make it
to finals.

Set, ready and....

And it's back to the race.

The jewel of swimming pools.
Everyone in!
This competition made the pool boil.


Getting onboard.

Tyler Fair took third in the 100
backstroke, 18 and under.

Taylor Kidd was waiting
for the signal to race.

What a view!

Volunteers do everything needed to help
the event run smoothly.

Swim meets are family events which show the support of
parents who know what the sport of swimming does
for their offspring.

Carlos was happy to make Saturday
consolations where he placed
third in the under 18, 100 freestyle.
He was even happier to place
third in the butterfly finals, Sunday.

Water sliders wait their turns

Many swimmer's family members
enjoyed the great water slide
during the competions.
Nothing like the butterfly
This swimmer really put on the energy.

This guy said it all..."What a meet!
This photo is in honor of all the parents who cheered
till their voices went hoarse.
Cheering like no man (woman) has cheered before.
Star Wars

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