Marlins do well at Western Slope League Championship

Front: L-R Coach Shelly Rogers, Addie Knowles, Dexter Chinn, Tucker Chinn - Back L-R Judd Harvey, Kate Lockwood, Hailey Knowles, Joe McKay TIFFANY JEHOREK PHOTO

By Tiffany Jehorek

Special to the Herald Times

MEEKER | Swimming provides a unique outlet for athletes, as it is both an individual and a team sport, it has long practices with short bursts of competition, and the kids continually smell like chlorine. The Meeker Marlins started official practices in May, but most team members have been practicing since April as they participated in preseason. The team traveled to Grand Junction for the Western Slope League Championships hosted by Colorado Mesa University at the El Pomar Natatorium July 13-15. The kids had to post qualifying times specific to each race in order to compete at WSL. Joe McKay and Kate Lockwood, who aged up this year, have competed fiercely, despite being some of the youngest in their age group. They both raced multiple days.

The WSL Championship is the only meet of the year that is a long course, as opposed to the typical short course the Marlins have been swimming in. Short courses are 25 meters, or yards, as opposed to the long course which is a 50 meter course, like an Olympic course. Swimmers typically swim faster times in a short course pool, but Addie Knowles still swam faster then she ever has before, posting her best times in the majority of her races. Short courses may have extra turns, but speed increases off of the turn and offers a period of inactivity which helps to lower the heart rate, allowing for a slightly faster swim.

Races can be long distance and favor those with stamina and endurance, or sprints and favor those with fast twitch muscles.

“Judd Harvey is built for the longer races,” said coach Shelly Rogers, “and during the 400 meter freestyle he swam it within two seconds of his time in the short course, even though he had half of the turns, 10 fewer.”

There were 20 teams in attendance at the WSL Championship. The Marlins ended the meet in 13th place, behind only two other seasonal teams, Delta, Colo., and Telluride, Colo., who have nearly triple the members.

Dexter Chinn was the Marlin who scored the most points, swimming not only in his league but competing up an age group as his times were fast enough to qualify (the underlined races in the results). Hailey Knowles has been swimming longer then any of the other team members, beginning in the High Country League, then progressing to the Western Slope League. “She is a leader for the team,” said Rogers, “her dedication is evident, but her work ethic and drive helps to push the other team members.”

The majority of the swimmers at the meet are year-round swimmers. They have both summer and winter championships, and this was the summer championship on the western slope. The year-round swimmers have one more meet, which differs from the season summer swim championship. It is a long course pool, and swimmers must have qualifying times to compete. Tucker Chinn swam four of his eight races fast enough to qualify for the long course summer championships (see asterik next to his results), Chinn is the only Marlin to qualify for age group state, and did so in many of the races while competing at WSL Championships.

The Marlins have a couple weeks off, and on Aug. 3-5 they will be competing in the final meet of the year, the Summer Seasonal Swim Championship in Colorado Springs, Colo. This is another three-day meet, and they can compete in up to 10 different races on the short course.

“This meet is only for seasonal swimmers,” said Rogers. “Last year was a formative year for the team, and not everyone was able to participate. This year, the entire team will be traveling and they should place very well.” The Marlins continue to practice and prepare by swimming as much as 3,100 yards in just one practice.

Western Slope League Championship Results

Dexter Chinn

13 – 100 Meter Freestyle

14 – 50 M Butterfly

14 – 50 M Breastroke

8 – 100 M Breaststroke

13 – 50 M Freestyle

15 – 50 M Backstroke

3 – 25 M Backstroke

2 – 50 M Freestyle

2 – 25 M Breaststroke

2 – 25 M Freestyle


Addie Knowles

8 – 200 Meter Individual Medley

11 – 100 M Freestyle

7 – 50 M Breaststroke

9 – 200 M Freestyle

8 – 100 M Breaststroke

9 – 50 M Freestyle

13 – 50 M Butterfly


Tucker Chinn

5 – 200 M IM

*6 – 100 M Freestyle

*3 – 100 M Backstroke

8 – 50 M Butterfly

*5 – 200 M Freestyle

*6 – 50 M Freestyle

3 – 50 M Backstroke

4 – 400 M Freestyle


Judd Harvey

7 – 200 M Freestyle

11 – 100 M Breaststroke

2 – 200 M Backstroke

11 – 50 M Breaststroke

6 – 100 M Freestyle

6 – 100 M Backstroke

10 – 50 M Backstroke

6 – 50 M Freestyle

5 – 400 M Freestyle


Kate Lockwood

24 – 100 M Breaststroke

29 – 100 M Freestyle

30 – 50 M Freestyle

27 – 200 M Breaststroke

29 – 200 M Freestyle


Joe McKay

13 – 200 M Freestyle

9 – 100 M Breaststroke

14 – 100 M Freestyle

13 – 200 M IM


Hailey Knowles

23 – 200 M Freestyle

22 – 100 M Breaststroke

21 – 100 M Freestyle

19 – 200 M IM

15 – 50 M Freestyle

23 – 200 M Breaststroke

14 – 100 M Butterfly