The Salida High School girls swim team returned to the pool and beat a pair of private schools on Saturday. 

The Lady Spartans scored 423 points at Platte Valley’s neutral pool to finish ahead of Colorado Academy (381) and St. Mary’s Academy (330).  

“We had a very strong meet and several girls are now solidly in the top-20 in the state (to qualify) for the state finals,” said Salida head coach Wendy Gorie. 

Salida finished first in all three relays and five other individual events Saturday. The team also had several personal best and seasonal best swims at the meet.

Gorie said Hannah Rhude, Lily Leddington, Lexi Gage, Lindsey Baroni, Allyna Bright, Ember Hill, Lily Lengerich, Rebecca Russell and Abby Nagel all had some “great swims” at the meet.

Rhude, Hill, Lengerich and Nagel won the 200-medley relay in 2 minutes, 3.01 seconds. 

Rhude, Hill, Lengerich and Baroni later won the 400-freestyle relay in 4:05.12. 

Rhude’s leadoff split in the 400-freestyle relay as well as her winning 100-backstroke time (1:06.97) were both personal bests. 

In the 200-freestyle relay, Nagel, Katie Oseneek, Russell and Bright finished first in 2:01.32. 

Lengerich won the 50-free with a season-best time of 26.07 and later won the 100-free in 58.06.

Bright won the 500-free with a season-best 5:51.80. Russel also swam her fastest time of the year to finish second in the event (6:15.15).

Hill touched first in the 100-breaststroke with a season-best 1:13.85. 

Lily Leddington, meanwhile, swm personal bests in the 100 free (third, 1:12.60) and 100 breast (1:32.00)

Nagel finished second behind Rhude in 100 back with a seasonal best time of 1:13.23 while Gage swam a personal best 1:28.92 and finished eighth. 

Baroni swam seasonal bests in both the 50-freestyle (third, 28.64) and 100 freestyle (second, 1:01.86).

Salida swimmers currently with top-20 state times include Lily Lengerich in both the 50 and 100 freestyle, Ember Hill in the 100 breast, Allyna Bright in the 500 freestyle and the three teams relays.

“All three of our relays are now solidly in the top 20 and will definitely swim at state,” Gorie said. “Hannah Rhude is on the bubble and has a strong chance of getting picked up in the 100 back and 100 freestyle and Rebecca Russell now has an outside shot at making the 500 free.”

Unfortunately, for Salida, one of its top swimmers, Emma Diesslin, will miss the rest of the season to  recover from a knee surgery.

Next, Salida is scheduled to race Saturday at Manitou Springs in its final meet for the Tri-Peaks League competition March 3-4.