With a quarter of its season complete, the Durango Swim Club is sending a couple of swimmers to the next level of competition.
After the Lobo Holiday Classic last weekend in Albuquerque, Haley Benjamin will be swimming in the Colorado 14 and Under state swim meet in March, and Casey Hamilton will head to California in April for the Far Western Championship, which pits swimmers from across the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coast regions against one another.
Benjamin qualified with a 200-meter freestyle time of 2 minutes, 12.77 seconds. She also placed second in the 200-meter butterfly with a time of 2:42.90, according to an email to The Durango Herald.
In addition to placing second or third in nearly all of his events, Hamilton qualified in five events: the 50- and 200-meter freestyle, and the 100, 200 and 400 individual medley.
They weren’t the only Durango swimmers who made like a fish at the University of New Mexico, either.
Steevie Delio dropped seven seconds from her 100-meter breaststroke time and made a Colorado Silver state time in the 100-meter butterfly; McKenzie Rion placed first in the 100-meter breaststroke and third in the 100-meter freestyle, 50-meter backstroke and 100-meter individual medley for a third-place overall finish for her 8-year-old age group.
“The meet is a higher-level meet for our swimmers to attend because of the size of it,” DSC head coach Suzanne Schieltz said of the 450-swimmer Lobo Invitational in the news release.
In addition to the placers, Schieltz called out Sterling Gates, Claire Larson, Lacey Hoselton and Mina Willimen for strong performances in Albuquerque.
Hoselton qualified in three events for the club’s next meet, the High Desert Classic, also in Albuquerque in early December.
The DSC season started in September, and since then, the team also has sent swimmers to Aspen and Farmington in addition to opening the season with a home meet at the Durango Community Recreation Center.
“Every meet the kids seem to swim a little faster or improve their stroke a little more or at the very least enjoy themselves,” Schieltz said. “I’d call that success.”
The team added 16 new swimmers from the ages of 8 to 15 this year: Tania Barnes, Barron Bronson, Daniel Chang, Caylee Colbert, Linnea Colley, Gates, Anastasia Hermesman, Kiya Hoffman, Madison Hoven, William Kileen, Land Lambert, Dylan McCaw, Amadeus Shaw, Tyrsa Speicher, Jack Tescher and Olivia Walker.
The Durango Swim Club practices from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the rec center and is open to anyone interested.