The Durango Swim Club sent 16 swimmers to the Western Slope Swiming Championships late July in Grand Junction.
Those 16 swimmers had to reach minimum qualifying times earlier in the season to attend the meet, which included 10 other clubs from Western Colorado, some of which were summer leagues and others year-round, including DSC.
Head coach Suzanne Schieltz said every swimmer turned in at least one best time, and four Durango swimmers qualified for the next level, the Colorado Swimming State Championship Long Course Meet, which was held the next week in Colorado Springs.
“I walked away from that meet feeling really good about the team and the progress they have made so far in the course of the season,” Schieltz said in a news release to The Durango Herald.
In Grand Junction, Hayley Benjamin and Mira Joyner put on a show. Benjamin, 11, won the 400-meter freestyle in 5 minutes, 27 seconds, good for a 20-second drop off her top time. She also captured the 100 free in 1:10.
“Hayley really does have a bright future in swimming because she trains hard and doesn’t give up,” Schieltz said.
Joyner, 12, swept the 50 and 100 backstroke, qualifying for the state meet in both although she was unable to attend, and dropped time off her previous marks in seven events.
Casey Hamilton, 12, qualified for state in seven events, winning the 400 free, 200 free, 50 back and 100 back and finishing second in the 100 free and 100 breaststroke. He qualified in the 200 and 400 free, 200 and 400 individual medley and the 50, 100 and 200 back.
Hamilton, son of assistant coach Bobbie Hamilton, also qualified for the Far Western Swim Championship Invitational in San Jose, Calif. The event took place Aug. 1-5.
“Casey is an extremely talented young man who could go far in swimming,” Schieltz said.
Jessie Rubenstien, also unable to attend state, nevertheless qualified in eight events – the 50, 100, 200, 400 and 1,500 free, the 100 and 200 back and the 200 butterfly.
Anne Mummery, 13, represented the DSC in Colorado Springs as well, swimming in the 100 back, 50 free and 100 free events.
Participants at the Western Slope Swimming Championships were Benjamin, Joyner, Rubenstein, Mummery, Hamilton, Miles Bronson, Hannah Chapman, Steevie Delio, Elizabeth Early, Jocelyn Earl, Katrina Kroening, Benjamin Miller, Joshua Miller, Thomas Pannell and Angela McManus.