Elle Farnsworth

Photo by Joseph Bahr

Salida High School freshman swimmer Elle Farnsworth competes in the 4x100 relay Saturday at Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center. Her relay team placed second at the three-team meet. Farnsworth also competed in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke, finishing fifth in both.

by Joseph Bahr

Mail Staff Writer

The Salida High School girls’ swimming team soared to an early lead Saturday at Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center and never looked back.

The three-team meet with La Junta and Sargent featured the Lady Spartans swimming to victory in the first nine events and winning 10 total. The team had 10 individual state qualifying swims and four of the relays posted state qualifying times.

“They did good and they had fun,” coach Wendy Gorie said. “We’re in the midst of grinding training and they are very tired, yet we still had multiple personal best times and new state qualifying times.”

After the Lady Spartans scored personal best times in many events, they decided to throw Gorie into the pool at the end of the meet in celebration.

Senior Jaesa Carlson described it as a laid-back meet. She qualified for state in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:18.36. She said, “I took it a little slower going out and pushed really hard on the last 50.”

Carlson had a stellar performance for the Salida 4x50 relay team as well. “Carlson’s 50 free split on the 200 free relay was amazing,” said Gorie. “She dropped two full seconds off her personal best time and led her relay to a state qualifying time.” The two-second improvement was just enough to give the Lady Spartans an edge over Sargent in that event. They won with a time of 2:09.22, besting Sargent’s time of 2:11.91.

Emma Diesslin, a junior, won the 50 and 100 freestyle with state qualifying times. With the Lady Spartans state qualifying times piling up, she said “it’s hard to choose” what to do at state. She said she plans to work on her backstroke and decide which events to compete in after that. Diesslin has qualified for events, but an individual swimmer cannot compete in more than four at the state tournament.

Junior Ember Hill, sophomore Tayla Young, freshman Shae Merchant and freshman Cedar Lengerich all posted personal best and state qualifying times at the meet. Salida qualified in four relays. Carlson said, “As a team, everybody supported each other and that’s what’s important to me.”

Salida’s next competition is scheduled for Friday in Pueblo. The Lady Spartans will try to continue to make waves following their success at their home meet.

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