Relay team breaks school record as swimmers wrap up season

Courtesy Photo/Caisey Duran

Bailey Duran, Kayla Hageman, Elana Cope and Madison VanBibber (left to right) pose after breaking the school record in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Enlargephoto

Courtesy Photo/Caisey Duran Bailey Duran, Kayla Hageman, Elana Cope and Madison VanBibber (left to right) pose after breaking the school record in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

With several trips to the podium and a school record to their credit, the Montezuma-Cortez High School girls swim team wrapped up the season at the West Slope Conference Championships pleased with their progress.

Finishing ninth at the 12-team meet however, the Panthers realized that they haven’t met their goal of excellence.

Highlighting the Panthers performance at the Championships was the performance of the 400-yard freestyle relay team composed of junior Elana Cope, junior Madison VanBibber, sophomore Kayla Hageman and freshman Bailey Duran.

Finishing seventh overall with a time of 4:11.02, the team shattered a 19-year-old school record.

Pacing the Panthers individually was VanBibber, who, coming off a finger injury, finished fourth in the 100-yard freestyle (58.99) and ninth in the 50-yard freestyle (26.98).

Other top finishers for the Panthers included junior Elana Cope, who finished eighth in the 200-yard freestyle (2:21.12), and freshman Bailey Duran, who touched the wall sixth in the 200-yard individual-medley (2:35.54).

The Panthers’ 200-freestyle relay team, composed of Cope, Duran, VanBibber and senior Amanda Haukeness also made a trip to the podium, finishing seventh with a time of 1:55.59.

Swimming their final high school meet for the Panthers were seniors Sage Kramer, Vicky Jimenez and Amanda Haukeness.

Haukeness finished 15th in the 500-yard freestyle (6:35.79), Jimenez finished 22rd in the 100-yard butterfly (1:29.48) and Kramer finished 23rd in the 100-yard butterfly (1:33.34).

Durango High School took home top team honors, while Grand Junction High School finished close behind in second.

With several underclassmen returning next season, the Panthers look to continue their quest for league supremacy.