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DHS swimmers head to league meet after winning Farmer

Western Slope League championships taking place Friday in Grand Junction
Elin Bjorklund Mischler of Durango High School, pictured racing at a home meet this winter, won the 50-yard freestyle race on Saturday at the Farmer Invite in Alamosa, leading DHS to a team title. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The Durango High School girls swimming team scored 161 points in their last meet, the Farmer Invite, to win the team race Saturday in Alamosa. The hosts from Sargent finished second with 134, followed by Gunnison (108), Pagosa Springs (76) and La Junta (23).

DHS won several individual events to get the team title.

Elin Bjorklund Mischler touched first in the 50-yard freestyle in 26.09 seconds.

Maren Clay won the 100 backstroke in 1:13.36, touching just ahead of teammate Abby Bowman in second.

Bowman also had a first-place finish in the 200 free, winning by over seven seconds in 2:14.68.

DHS also scored gold in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:53.21.

The Demons had lots of other top-five finishes that helped them win the team race.

Clay finished fourth in the 50 free (27.75).

Elyza Baumchen touched fourth in the 100 free (1:08.67). She also finished fifth in the 100-yard breast-stroke (1:26.12), just behind Mischler (1:19.80).

Elanor Clark placed fifth in the 100 back (1:24.39).

In the 200 free, Ashley Forrest finished fourth in 2:35.87 and Anna Folk fifth (2:41.59).

Cassidy Hill led the team in the 500 free with a second-place finish in 6:33.48, while Lana Bodewes finished third (6:58.56) and Folk touched fifth (7:25.04).

The Durango relay teams, meanwhile, finished third in the 200 medley relay (2:13.10), second in the 400 free relay (4:19.13), and a second team raced in the 200 free relay and finished fourth (2:09.23).

The performance followed a second-place finish at the Cowboy Invite on Jan. 23, where DHS finished behind the hosts from Gunnison, 492-366.

The Demons also won a team title Jan. 13 at Delta with seven first-place finishes to double up their competition. DHS placed first with 433 points, followed by Montrose (201), Fruita Monument (164), Pagosa Springs (157), Moffat County (135) and Delta (126). At that meet, Cook won the 50 free (26.63), Bowman won the 100 free (1:01.63), Joellianna Rohde won the 100 back (1:06.42), Becher won the 100 butterfly (1:09.97) and DHS won all three relays including the 200 free (1:51.44), the 200 medley (2:05.91) and the 400 free (4:14.72).

The next day, Jan. 14, the Demons swam at the Grand Junction Invite and finished second out of nine teams to Glenwood Springs, 499-350, but beat Summit, Grand Junction, Montrose, Fruita, Sargent, Moffat County, Pagosa Springs, Aspen and Delta. Cook also won the 50 free in Grand Junction in 25.80.

The Demons will be back in the pool Friday in Grand Junction for the Western Slope League Champions, to be held at Colorado Mesa University. The meet will be the swimmers final chance to punch their tickets to the state championship meet Feb. 8 at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton.