Montezuma-Cortez High School hosts swim meet

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Madison VanBibber pops out of the water in the 100-yard butterfly Saturday during the Montezuma-Cortez High School Invitational swim meet at the Cortez Rec. Center. VanBibber placed third in the event.

By Bobby Abplanalp Journal staff writer

The girls high school swimming season is underway.

Already two meets into the year, the Montezuma-Cortez High School girls are putting up some impressive times.

But first-year coach Ian MacLaren feels his team will only get better.

“We have a lot of work to do,” he said. “We have work to do in two areas. We’ve got to get better conditioned and swim tough sets in practice, and just better fundamentals. We got to get better turns, better starts. It’s just doing the little things that’s going to make us faster.”

Emily Harris swam to a second-place (29.52) finish in the 50-yard freestyle Saturday morning at the Cortez Recreation Center pool in the M-CHS Invitational. She also swam to a third-place time of 2:28.26 in the 200-free.

Grand Junction, Fruita Monument and Durango were the other schools in attendance.

“Our 200-freestyle relay looked really good. I thought we looked solid there,” MacLaren said.

The 200-free relay quartet of Harris, Madison VanBibber, Sera King and Elana Cope placed second at 1:57.99. The foursome also took second Friday in Durango and placed third in the 200-Individual Medley relay Saturday in 2:18.87.

“Everybody’s been doing really good. We did so good for our first meet. I’m really proud of everyone,” VanBibber said. “We’ve improved a lot since Ian came along.”

Durango won the meet overall, as well as winning in its home pool Friday.

It was nice for the Lady Panthers to be at home Saturday. They will be on the road for the rest of the season.

VanBibber, a sophomore, placed third in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:22.12 and was fourth in the 100-yard backstroke at 1:19.01.

First time competitive swimmer Kayla Hageman came in 10th in the 200-free (2:54.23) and 11th in the 100-free (1:17.91).

“I think she is going to be a great distance swimmer down the road,” MacLaren said about the freshman.

Cope led M-CHS in the 200-IM at 2:55.21 (fifth) and placed eighth in the 500-free at 6:59.15. King was fifth in the 100-back (1:19.68) and 100-free (1:09.29).

Amanda Haukeness finished fourth and seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke and 50-free in 1:32.36 and 32.85.

Selena LaPaz and Haley Nadone were each eighth in the 100-fly and 50-free at 1:54.66 and 35.07.

Sage Kramer placed ninth in the 100-back in 1:37.49 and 10th in the 500-free at 9:16.49. Teammate Tifiny Mills was 11th in 9:22.52. Brianna Milligan took 11th in the 100-breast at 2:21.29. Amanda Kill and Jasmyn Brendle were 12th and 16th in the 200-free (3:01.08) and 100-free (1:28.61), respectively.

“Overall, I think it was a good first weekend,” MacLaren said. “I think with a young team, there’s a lot of room for improvement. I think we’ll peak after January. That’s the ultimate goal.”

The Lady Panthers will swim in the Southwestern League relays Saturday in Grand Junction at 9:30 a.m., on the campus of Colorado Mesa University.

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