MEEKER I The Meeker Marlins split into two teams this year, a developmental team and a competitive team. The competitive team has qualified all 10 of its swimmers for the Western Slope Championships this weekend in Grand Junction.
The Marlins’ developmental team is coached by Chance Walker and Jeni Kincher. The developmental team swam in one meet this summer as part of the High County League.
The USA Swim Team is coached by Shelly Rogers and the 10 members have competed in Aspen, Craig, Telluride and Montrose already.
Tucker and Dexter Chinn, along with Jonan VonRoenn, swim in the 8-under division, Addie Knowles and Rayna VonRoenn are in the 9-10 age group, while Ellie Hossack, Joe McKay, Judd Harvey and Katie Lockwood all swim in the 11-12 division and Hailey Knowles represents the Meeker Marlins in the 13 and up division.
Tucker Chinn won the high point award for his age group in the Telluride Open and Hailey Knowles won the high point award for her age group in the same meet.
“The swimmers have done incredibly well this year, dropping times consistently as we move to the championship season,” coach Rogers said.
According to Rogers, there were more than 300 swimmers at the most recent meet in Montrose, representing 18 teams. The Meeker Marlin boys placed sixth and the girls finished in 11th.
“Tucker broke the pool record in Montrose in the 25 free, the 25 back and the 200 free, which is very impressive and difficult to do,” coach Rogers said.
The Marlins practice four days a week, then each swimmer enters six to eight events in the weekend meets. Rogers said they are preparing for the Western Slope Championships, which will be held at Colorado Mesa University this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“The team is incredibly supportive of each other and they give me everything they’ve got, every single practice,” coach Rogers said. “As a coach, I focus on technique and being an efficient swimmer as imperative to improving times. That being said, the kids still average 2,300 to 2,500 yards (92-100 lengths) per practice. They understand the importance of the mental game and are extremely tough. I am looking forward to the Western Slope Championships, as I feel strongly they will swim their best times.”