Leopard Sharks host Cortez swim meet

Local club team performs well, showcases improved facilities

Bess McAlpin competes in the 100-meeter individual medley, coming up for air as she swims the butterfly. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Bess McAlpin competes in the 100-meeter individual medley, coming up for air as she swims the butterfly.

For roughly 200 youth swimmers, the Cortez Leopard Sharks Invitational swim meet proved to be a thrilling experience.

Held June 6-8 at the Cortez Municipal Swimming Pool, the meet welcomed some of the area’s top swimmers to a facility that ranks among the best in the state.

Featuring several solid swims and countless smiling swimmers, this year’s Invitational positively impacted those involved.

Local swimmers perform well

Competing against 11 other teams at the Invitational, Cortez Leopard Sharks swimmers performed well, and the team placed first overall.

Leading the way for the Leopard Sharks was 12-year-old Tyler Cutrone, who placed first in the 100-yard freestyle (1:09.60), first in the 100-yard Individual Medley (1:17.68), second in the 200-meter Individual Medley (3:13.71) and second in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:45.74).

“When I was done, I felt great,” said Tyler Cutrone. “I felt like I accomplished what I have been working for all summer.”

Also performing well for the Leopard Sharks, 11-year-old Trenton Bagge finished first in the 1500-meter freestyle (24:41.05), first in the 200-meter freestyle (2:45.05), second in the 200-meter backstroke (3:06.45), second in the 100-meter freestyle (1:15.03) and second in the 50-meter freestyle (34.50).

Like many of the meet’s competitors however, Bagge was focused his positive experience rather than his results.

“I enjoyed hanging out with my friends,” said Bagge.

Other top Leopard Sharks finishers included 11-year-old Victoria Duran, who finished second in the 400-meter freestyle (5:49.16), 12-year-old Jenna Barner, who finished second in the 100-yard freestyle (1:07.69), 9-year-old Ellen McAlpin, who placed second in the 100-meter backstroke (1:39.85) 10-year old Cody Farias, who placed second in the 100-meter butterfly (2:16.15) and 8-year old Delta Suckla, who finished second in the 25-yard breast (27.67).

Reid Carter, Caleb Podgornoff, Samantha Bagge, Sonny Boren, Caisey Duran and Bailey Duran also finished in the top-three of at least one individual event.

Facility makes positive impression

Combining with the Leopard Sharks impressive results, recent improvements to Cortez Municipal Swimming pool helped make this year’s Invitational special.

Chief among the improvements was a new electronic scoreboard, which, stretching more than 20 feet into the air, flashed instant results.

“(Teams) just love our area, our pool and our facilities,” said Leopard Sharks board president Chris Cutrone. “The meet went really smooth and everybody seemed really happy.”

Next up for Leopard Sharks swimmers will be several meets away from Cortez’s friendly confines.

The Leopard Sharks will return to Cortez later this summer when they compete in the Seasonal State Championships, which will take place Aug. 1-3.

Caroline Padgornoff comes up for a breath during the breast stroke at the Cortez Invitational. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Caroline Padgornoff comes up for a breath during the breast stroke at the Cortez Invitational.

David Crumpacker competes in the 100-meter individual medley at the Cortez Invitational. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

David Crumpacker competes in the 100-meter individual medley at the Cortez Invitational.

Victoria Duran coasts into the wall during the 100-meter individual medley at the Cortez Invitational. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Victoria Duran coasts into the wall during the 100-meter individual medley at the Cortez Invitational.