Sierra Grande swim team competes at league meet

The Sierra Grande swim team poses after a competing in a meet. (Courtesy photo)

Sewell qualifies for State Finals

Sewell qualifies for

State Finals

PUEBLO —  San Luis Valley high school ladies traveled to Pueblo County High School on Friday morning in preparation for the League Championship swimming meet.   Sierra Grande's swim team would place fourth with 136 team points.

The  swim team is  comprised of  13 Alamosa Mean Moose, 3 Centauri Falcons, 1 home school student, 1 Monte Vista Pirate and 3 Sargent Farmers. The conglomerate team has practiced, competed and traveled together as the Sierra Grande Panthers Swim Team since the season began in November.  This is their second season as a team, but it was their first opportunity to compete for the championship in the South Central League.

Preliminary heats (3 to 5 of each event) of the 12 events were held on Friday afternoon in the packed PCHS Natatorium.  The Panthers competed against the swimmers of the league's other teams which included Pueblo Centennial, Pueblo Central, Pueblo County, Pueblo East, Pueblo South and Pueblo West.

Saturday's finals started off with the 200 Yard Medley Relay. Sierra Grande's team of Dee Lopez,  Leilani Lickteig, Jacy Sowards and Katherine Sewell dropped their seed time by over a second. The Panther's finished third. 

Skye Albert, Molly Nehring and Katherine Sewell swam next in the 200 Yard Individual Medley. Albert and Nehring finished 7th and 10th respectively. Sewell finished in 6th place with a 3A state qualifying time of 2:35.63. Finishing 10th overall in the 50 yard freestyle was Sierra Grande's Lickteig. 

In the 100 yard Butterfly for Sierra Grande were Sowards (9th place) and Lopez (10th place). Just missing the 3A state qualifying time in the 100 yard freestyle by 19/100th of a second, Albert finished in 6th place and  long distance swimmer Nehring dropped 11.51 seconds over her prelim swim in the 500 yard freestyle to finish 10th.

Albert lead off the 200 yard Free Relay for the Panthers followed by Sowards, Lickteig, and anchored by Sewell. The 200 yard Free Relay would finish 5th. 

In the 100 yard backstroke Sierra Grande swimmers Lopez  and Sowards finished sixth and eleventh respectively.

Sewell would pick up 4th place in the 100 yard breaststroke with teammate Lickteig taking 7th.

The final swim for Monte Vista senior Nehring was 100 yards of freestyle in the 400 yard freestyle relay.  Joined by Lopez, Albert and Dom Martinez the ladies finished 4th.

Overall the team finished with 136 points to take 4th place behind Pueblo County (458 points), Pueblo South (223 points) and Pueblo West (217 points).   Pueblo Centennial, Pueblo Central and Pueblo East finished with 125, 56 and 55 points respectively.

The Panthers second season, with Head Coach Melinda Hunzeker, assistant coaches Anna Gearhart and Shawna Johnston, and team manager Micheal Peterson (Sargent Junior) will end next weekend. Sewell will compete at the State Championships at the Edora Pool & Ice Center in Fort Collins Feb. 8-9.


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