Swimmers chase state accolades

Durango Swim Club tackles busy schedule

The swimmers in the Durango Swim Club capped a busy schedule with a flurry of recent meets – the Western Slope Championships, the Silver State Championships in Denver and the State Championships in Fort Collins.

Three Durango swimmers competed at the Silver State events, a statewide meet for swimmers 14 and under.

Haley Benjamin, Lacey Hoselton and Mira Joyner raced against the swimmers from all across Colorado.

Joyner, the daughter of Tom and Shalley Joyner, swam six events in Denver.

“She was our top qualifier at this meet, placing sixth in the 100 back,” head coach Suzanne Schieltz said in a news release.

“Mira has that drive ... to compete and go for it. She is a clutch swimmer,” Schieltz said of the 11-year-old.

Hoselton, the daughter of Stephanie Hoselton, also swam six events in Denver. Her top times were in the 50 back, 50 breast and 300 free, Schieltz said.

“She looked strong. I have been impressed with her progress over this year,” Schieltz said.

Benjamin, the daughter of Arin and Gwen Benjamin, had solid swims in the 100 butterfly and the 200 freestyle, the Durango coach said.

“Even though it was a long way to drive, it was a really good experience for these girls to see their competition from all over the state,” Schieltz said.

State Championships

Casey Hamilton of the Durango Swim Club also raced against an elite statewide field when he competed in the State Championships in Fort Collins.

Hamilton, 11, had qualified for state in eight events. He was allowed to swim in seven state events.

Hamilton, the son of Bobbie and Clayton Hamilton, just turned 11, and he was one of the youngest in his age group to qualify for state.

“There were only a handful of 11-year-olds swimming,” Schieltz said.

“Unfortunately, Casey was sick during the meet. But he still had some great performances,” Schieltz said. He finished 18th in the 50 back, 18th in the 200 back and 16th in the 500 freestyle.

“His 500 free was, by far, his best swim,” she said.

Western Slope Championships

A total of 25 Durango Swim Club swimmers raced in the annual Western Slope Championships, held this year in Grand Junction.

“Although we didn’t win the meet, it was one of our best meets of the year,” Schieltz said, citing the performances of the Miller brothers.

Ben Miller (13) placed fourth in the 200 individual medley, the 100 back and the 100 fly. He also had a strong relay split.

Josh Miller (16) won the 200 back and was second in the 200 individual medley.

“He also was a huge help on relays,” Schieltz said.

Mina Willemin (10) swam best times across the board, the Durango coach said.

She was sixth in the 50 breast and fifth in the 50 fly.

Holden Becher (10) and Warner Becher (9) also posted strong finishes in Grand Junction.

“(They) have some of the most colorful personalities on the team,” Schieltz said. “They keep coaches and teammates laughing, but when it comes to competing, they put all the jokes aside.”

Joci Earl, Steevie Delio, Allee Mckown, Eliza Rossi and Wyeth Rossi also were credited with outstanding performances at the Western Slope Championships.

Swimming at the first Western Slope meet for Durango were McKenzie Rion, Quinn Schmidt, Angela McMannis and Berr Kilgo.

“McKenzie (Rion) was a little nervous but still swam best times in the 25 free and 25 back,” Schieltz said.

“Quinn (Schmidt) had a breakout meet. She placed sixth in the 100 back and 200 free,” Schieltz said.

The Durango Swim Club also picked up a few veterans who just concluded the high school season – Hannah Chapman, Katie Kroening and Bryn Joyner.

Jesse Rubenstein also swam for the Durango club.

heraldsports@durangoherald.com