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Durango High School girls swimming takes third at districts

Rion, Thilow have strong swims to prepare for state

Durango High School girls swimming head coach Tom Joyner put together a lineup that was designed to maximize the total amount of points the Demons could score at the Southwest Conference Championship meet on Saturday at Colorado Mesa University’s El Pomar Natatorium. It worked.

The Demons took third at the meet, which doubled as the district championship. They scored 394 points – just a half of a point away from Glenwood Springs’ second-place finish with 394.5. Grand Junction won the meet with 425.5 points.

“Overall, I thought we had a really solid day,” Joyner said. “We went to put together a max-point meet to see how we were going to stack up and see where everyone could be their most effective to get us the most points. All of the coaches were doing the same thing, but I feel like this was the first year that we’ve had enough depth to be able to do that.”

The Demons maxed out their entry list of four swimmers per event, and as a result, had good performances across the board.

Mckenzie Rion picked up Durango’s lone win in the 500-yard freestyle race, with a time of 5 minutes, 28.36 seconds. She took fourth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:00.45. Quinn Schmidt took third in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:18.87. In the 50-yard freestyle, Rachel Thilow took third with a time of 26.03, and was seventh in the 100 butterfly in 1:04.93. In diving, Alexis Behn took second with a score of 417.95, while Abbie Scruton of Glenwood Springs won with a 424.05. DHS’ Olivia Mummery took sixth with a score of 3:43.25, Elsie Cady was eighth and Madison LeSage took 11th.

Mina Willemin took third in the 100-yard freestyle in 44.20, while Angela McManus was seventh in 59.06. Willemin also was fifth in the 100 backstroke in 1:03.50.

DHS also did well in relays, as the Demons took second in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The team of McManus, Rion, Thilow and Willemin finished in 1:45.28, while Aspen won the event with 1:43.89. The pairing of McManus, Schmidt, Thilow and Willemin took fourth in the 400 free relay in 3:52.97.

Joyner said he will take 18 girls to state, and the team will be announced on Monday.

“I think it’s a very strong group, but it’s always a tough call to make as a coach,” Joyner said. “I think we’ve made so many strides this season, and we want to do really well at state. Yesterday, I thought everyone swam with tremendous heart and grit. There were a few situations that we weren’t able to convert and get more points out of, but I was still very impressed with their effort. With all the depth that we have had this season, you saw it yesterday, and I think the girls will bring it again at state.”

The Demons will leave for the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Class 3A State Swim & Dive Championships on Thursday. State will take place at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton. Preliminary swim meets will be held Friday morning, while diving prelims will be Saturday. The finals will begin Saturday afternoon and will wrap up Saturday night.

“I am confident in this group,” Joyner said. “State is such a fast course and a fast pool, so we’re hoping to get fast results.”


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