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Durango girls swimming has strong first day at state

Four swimmers qualify for multiple finals

The Durango High School girls swim and dive team had some stellar preliminary performances on the opening day of the state swim meet in Thornton.

Durango, which is in its final year of competition in Class 3A, had swimmers make the finals in 10 different events at the Colorado High School Activities Association State Swimming and Diving Championships at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center on Friday.

“I think we did as well as we could have hoped for,” said DHS head coach Tom Joyner. “We traveled seven and a half hours, longer than any other team in the state. Our girls are extra tough because of it, and we did well. We had some phenomenal performances and some good performances that were enough to reach finals. Everyone was just about where they wanted to be or where I thought they would end up. Saturday is going to be a big day for us.”

Durango had four qualifiers in multiple events. McKenzie Rion reached the final in two individual events and two relays. She took 10th in the 200-yard freestyle in 2 minutes, 0.57 seconds and was fifth in the 500-freestyle in 5:28.84. Rachel Thilow and Mina Willemin also reached two individual finals. Willemin took fifth in the 50-freestyle in 25.56, while Thilow was 16th in 26.35. Thilow just got into the finals in the 100-butterfly, as she took 19th in 1:05.84. Willemin had the second-fastest swim in the 100-freestyle, as she took second in 54.67. Quinn Schmidt was the other multiple-event qualifier, as she took eighth in the 200-individual medley in 2:19.67 and 13th in the 500-freestyle in 5:41.90.

Other qualifiers for DHS included Erin Knight, who finished in 18th in the 500-free in 5:47.30. Saylor Stottlemeyer took 18th in the 100-backstroke in 1:06.07. DHS reached the finals in both the 200 and 400-freestyle relays, as Angela McManus, Rion, Thilow and Willemin qualified.

Diving preliminaries will begin Saturday morning, and finals will follow in the afternoon.

“Were looking to be dangerous tomorrow,” Joyner said. “We had a really good day today and I am hoping that we can keep up the momentum tomorrow.”


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