The Salida High School Lady Spartan swimmers have been putting in a lot of hard miles while practicing lately. That work, however, hasn’t slowed them down during competitions.
Salida competed against Colorado Academy and St. Mary’s Academy Friday in a tri-meet in Denver and finished ahead of both private schools.
“We are midseason and the girls are doing our longest and hardest practices of the season,” Salida head coach Wendy Gorie said. “I was very surprised at how well they swam.”
Salida scored 479.5 points to win the meet, followed by Colorado Academy with 351.5 and St. Mary’s Academy with 323.
Two Lady Spartans hit new state marks at the meet while 11 swam personal-best times.
Juniors Lily Lengerich and Hannah Rhude finished in the top spots of the 200 freestyle, hitting state marks in the process. Lengerich touched first in 2 minutes, 27.15 seconds and Rhude finished just 0.21 second later with a personal-best time.
Rhude also swam a personal best in the 400 free (5:17.47), placing second behind teammate senior Elise Mishmash (5:08.65).
Other Lady Spartans setting new personal records included Lindsey Baroni (200 free, 2:34.73), Ruthie McBride (100 breastroke, 1:35.77; 50-free, 38.23), Alex Hebert (100 breast, 1:35.70; 50 free 34.79), Ember Hill (200 free, 2:36.13), Ella Haynes (100 back, 1:59.79), Ellie King (400 free, 6:04.67), Megan McMurry (100 butterfly, 1:21.52), Charlie Messa (100 free, 1:22.20), Abby Nagel (200 individual medley, 3:13.06) and Elena Wheeler (200 IM, 3:02.58).
With points being awarded to the top 12 finishers in individual events, those performances helped the Lady Spartans pull away from their competition.
Salida also won all three relays at the meet, while freshman Emma Diesslin scored a first-place finish in the 200 IM (2:41.81).
McMurry, Hill, Jaesa Carslon and Allyna Bright won the 200 medley relay in 2:21.99.
Lengerich, Rhude, Diesslin and Mishmash won both the 200 freestyle relay (2:03.53) and the 400 free relay (4:38.59).
Salida was also recently recognized in the state’s first swimming rankings of the season. The Lady Spartans begin the rankings at No. 2 in Class 3A, trailing only Durango. Erie, Pueblo County, Evergreen, Discovery Canyon, Aspen, Green Mountain, D’Evelyn and Holy Family round out the top 10.
Next, Salida will compete Friday and Saturday in one of its biggest races of the season – Pueblo County’s Hornet Invitational.