The Taos High School swimmers chose a good day to have what was in many respects their best meet of the season Saturday (Feb. 9).
The Taos High School swimmers chose a good day to have what was in many respects their best meet of the season Saturday (Feb. 9). Not only are they sending nine swimmers and an alternate to state, both the boys' and girls' teams placed third - their best district finish in at least a decade.
Head coach Nancy Call says the team came to the district swim meet at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center in Santa Fe "with two objectives: swim personal best times and qualify as many swimmers as possible for the state swim meet" to be held two weeks from districts, Feb. 22 and 23. "They accomplished both," she said "with a total team effort." The Taos Tigers swimmers placed third overall in the boys' and the girls' meet behind only the very large Los Alamos team and Santa Fe Prep.
By halfway through the meet, it was clear the Tigers were on fire. When asked how they'd managed to do get where they are this season, team members answered, with obvious delight and pride, "Coach works us hard!"
The Taos girls and boys qualified for state in both the 200 Medley Relay and the 400 Freestyle Relay. Taos therefore has nine athletes who will be competing on relay teams - Ashley McMains, Maye Montoya, Grace Goler and Aricela Chavez for the girls, each of whom swims on both relays; and Hunger Griego, Diego Griego, Estevan Salazar and Lorenzo Cordova for the boys' 200 Medley Relay and Hunter Griego, Diego Griego, Salazar and Uriel Chavez for the 400 Freestyle. The Tigers also have four athletes who have qualified for individual events: seniors McMains and Hunter Griego, junior Diego Griego, and freshman Goler.
The girls' relay team smashed their previous best times, qualified for state and swam to second place in both the 200 Medley Relay and 400 Freestyle Relay. The boys relay team also took second in the corresponding events, qualifying for state and crushing their previous best times in both relays.
"Senior Ashley McMains and freshman Grace Goler both went four for four," Call said, each "swimming four state qualifying times and four personal bests."
Goler won the 100 Butterfly and finished second in the 50 Freestyle. McMains placed third in the 100 Butterfly and third in the 50 Freestyle, and, as the first swimmer of the 400 Freestyle Relay, swam a state qualifying time in the 100 Freestyle. Chavez placed fourth in the 100 Freestyle and Maye Montoya placed sixth in the 100 Breaststroke. Karen Rodriguez also scored points for the Tigers and is the alternate for the girls' relay teams at state.
Senior Hunter Griego won the 200 Individual Medley and qualified for state in that event and also placed fourth in the 100 Butterfly. Junior Diego Griego came in second in the 50 Freestyle, thus qualifying for state, and finished fifth in the 100 Freestyle. Estevan Salazar swam to a third place finish in the 100 Freestyle and finished fifth in the 50 Freestyle. Lorenzo Cordova placed sixth in the 50 Freestyle, Uriel Chavez sixth in the 100 Freestyle and Cooper LeDoux sixth in the 100 Breaststroke. Jordan Montoya and Max Meadowcroft set new personal records and scored points for their team.
The Tigers will continue their training in preparation for the state meet which will be hosted by Albuquerque Academy. Preliminaries begin Friday (Feb. 22) at 3 p.m. and the top 16 finishers in each event will swim in finals beginning 11:30 a.m. on Saturday (Feb. 23).
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