MEEKER | The Meeker Marlins participated in the last two regular season swim meets. They traveled to Montrose the last week of June for the Montrose Marlins Summer Open, a three-day meet, then went to Grand Junction July 12-14 for the Western Slope League Summer Championships. Both meets had teams from across the western slope of Colorado and in these meets swimmers ages 13 and up are heated together and those ages 13, 14, and 15 have an opportunity to swim with fierce competition, giving them some times to strive for. It is not uncommon for swimmers to be competing at the college level and swimming in Western Slope League with times just under world records. The WSL Summer Championships have qualifying times for the majority of their events, and Meeker qualified every team member who wanted to attend in multiple races. Many teams across western Colorado are year-round swimming clubs, while the Meeker Marlins begin pre-season in April. The team is very competitive.
Four-year-old Fletcher Chinn is in his first year and swam three races in Montrose, the 25 freestyle, 25 backstroke, and 25 breaststroke. He took 2.86 seconds off of his 25 freestyle. At the WSL Fletcher swam two events, the 25 back and 25 free.
Dexter Chinn aged up this year, he took a combined time of 6.63 seconds off of the nine races he swam in the Marlin open, earned points in all his races and took second in the 25 freestyle and 100 individual medley. Dexter then went on to the WSL in nine events, placing as high as third place in the 400 freestyle.
Tucker Chinn was high point earner for the team at both the Montrose meet and WSL. He swam nine individual events in Montrose and brought all first and second place medals home. Tucker won first place in the 50 backstroke, 100 butterfly, 50 breaststroke, and the 50 freestyle. In Grand Junction he took second in the 400 free, 100 backstroke, 50 butterfly, 100 fly, and 50 back, each time only to be bested by a year-round swimmer, no seasonal swimmers.
Addie Knowles swam 10 races during the open, swimming personal bests in nine of the races and taking off a combined 50.64 seconds. Knowles took second in the 50 backstroke. The field of 11-12 year-old girls, much larger than boys and the older girls, Knowles brought home fourth in the 200 breastroke at the WSL, earning 15 of the 34 total points for the girls team.
Judd Harvey is the youngest of the oldest, aging up this year and swimming with the 13 and up group. Harvey was the lead off for both relay races, the first time the Meeker Marlins have swam a relay in competition with this group of swimmers. He earned points in all of his events, and cut a total 51.06 seconds in nine events, all in Montrose. At the WSL he once again scored points in all his events, dropped time in every event which included 21 seconds faster in the 100 backstroke.
Kate Lockwood swam eight events in two days in Montrose, some she had not swam for more than two years. She took 12.94 seconds off of her 50 butterfly, placing sixth in a race stacked with tremendous competition.
Joe McKay was the high point earner for ages 13 and up in Montrose and WSL for the Marlins. He placed second in the 100 IM and 50 Breast and third in the 100 Breastroke. In Grand Junction he placed third in the 200 breast and fourth in the 100 breast.
Hailey Knowles swam 10 individual events and was the high point earner for the girls. Knowles, 15, is swimming with competitors some of whom compete at the college level. She took nearly a second off of her 100 IM from the previous meet and brought home fourth place in Montrose.
The Marlins will be in the water again July 20, this time in Meeker. Hosting the immediate area teams at the ERBM recreation center, the meet is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Seating will be limited on deck, so bring your lawn chair and watch both Meeker swim clubs compete.
By TIFFANY JEHOREK | Special to the Herald Times