Competing in the Western Slope Championships, which featured 20 teams and some of the top swimmers in Colorado, several local swimmers stood out.
Among the most successful swimmers at the three-day meet, which took place in Grand Junction on July 13-15, was Mesa Verde Aquatics Club standout Erin Lawrence, who captured several individual championships in the girls’ 9-10 age division.
Lawrence’s victories came in the 50-meter backstroke (40.44), 50-meter butterfly (41.00), 100-meter backstroke (1:27.48), 100-meter freestyle (1:28.29), and 200-meter individual medley (3:11.53). She also placed second in the 50-meter freestyle (33.99) and the 200-meter freestyle (3:10.16).
Joining Lawrence as a multi-event champion was 12-year-old Delta Suckla, who placed first in the 50-meter breaststroke (42.21) and the 100-meter breaststroke (1:30.90) while representing the Cortez Leopard Sharks in the girls’ 11-12 age division.
Suckla also placed third in the 200-meter breaststroke (3:29.13), fifth in the 400-meter freestyle (6:24.83), and seventh in the 200-meter individual medley (3:15.67).
Among the top male finishers at the meet was 14-year-old Cortez Leopard Sharks team member Cody Farias, who placed first in the 200-meter freestyle (2:22.97) and 200-meter breaststroke (3:07.42), second in the 100-meter backstroke (1:16.02) and 200-meter individual medley (2:44.78), and third in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:28.42), 100-meter freestyle (1:04.92), 50-meter freestyle (29.63) and 400-meter freestyle (5:11.62)
MVAC up-and-comer Tyler Jackson placed third in the 200-meter backstroke (4:02.29). Teammate Dannika Goodall finished sixth in the 100-meter butterfly (2:14.29), and MVAC’s Sawyer Muhonen placed seventh in the 100-meter breaststroke (2:15.14).
Other top finishers representing the Cortez Leopard Sharks included Houston Hurst, who placed fifth in the 200-meter freestyle (3:06.56) and 50-meter breaststroke (50.06), sixth in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:53.25), and seventh in the 50-meter butterfly (48.22) and 100-meter freestyle (1:25.57).
Tyler Cutrone finished fourth in the 100-meter backstroke (1:12.23) and seventh in the 200-meter backstroke (2:41.37).
Tyler Cutrone’s brother, Ryan Cutrone, finished sixth in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:22.33), seventh in the 100-meter backstroke (1:16.55), and seventh in the 400-meter freestyle (5:03.43).
The Cortez Leopard Sharks finished 10th as a team with 551 points, and Mesa Verde Aquatics Club placed 11th in the team standings with 405 points.
Aspen Swim Club took top honors in the 20-team meet with 3,154 points overall.
With summer meets on the Western Slope now complete for the time being, qualifying swimmers will look ahead toward state championship meets in Denver and Western Zone meets in California.