As the sun shone down and the water at the Cortez Municipal Pool shimmered, the Cortez Water Dragons club swim hosted the first Cortez Water Dragons Summer Open swim meet this weekend.
Among the highlights of the three-day event were standout performances by swimmers representing the five visiting clubs that attended, and stellar sportsmanship by the meet hosts.
Top performers from the Water Dragons club included 10-year-old Dannika Goodall, who competed in the girls 10-and-under age division and earned top finishes in the 25-yard freestyle (16.29), the 25-yard backstroke (19.17), the 50-yard freestyle (38.18) and the 25-yard butterfly (22.17). Goodall earned second-place finishes in the 25-yard butterfly (47.77), the 50-yard backstroke (44.21) and the 100-yard freestyle (1:23.68).
Jayden White also delivered a standout performance for the host club as the 10-year-old finished second in the 100-yard butterfly (1:44.59), 100-yard backstroke (1:47.97), 100-yard breaststroke (1:53.57), 100-yard individual medley (1:45.68), 50-yard freestyle (38.89) and 50-yard breaststroke (52.88). White finished third in the 50-yard backstroke (44.63) and 100-yard freestyle (1:24.13).
Other top finishers for the Water Dragons in the girls 10-and-under age division included Taylor Johnson, who placed second in the 25-yard backstroke (22.22), and Anna Tewell, who touched the wall third in the 25-yard freestyle (19.42).
Lucas Decker paced the Water Dragons in the boys 10-and-under division as the 10-year-old finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:56.04) and the 25-yard breaststroke (24.47), and placed third in the 50-yard freestyle (40.33).
While competition was tough senior age group races, several Water Dragons cracked the top three in the girls 11-and-over division as Erin Lawrence finished second in the 50-yard backstroke (35.13), Anna Lawrence placed third in the 50-yard backstroke (35.62), and Delta Suckla came in third in the 50-yard breaststroke (37.33).
In the boys 11-and-over age division, the Water Dragons were led by Brandon Lester, who placed first in the 100-yard individual medley (34.86), second in the 100-yard butterfly (1:15.45) and third in the 200-yard backstroke (2:47.62).
George Rockford came in first in the 50-yard breaststroke (38.96) and third in the 100-yard backstroke (1:24.96). Jason Decker placed first in the 200-yard butterfly (3:35.53), and Houston Hurst touched the wall third in the 50-yard breaststroke (43.30).
As a team, the Water Dragons finished second behind Durango Swim Club with 1,543 points. Durango swimmers amassed 3,379 total points. Clubs from Telluride, Gunnison, Delta and Pagosa Springs also competed.
The Cortez Water Dragons, who are under the direction of longtime area coach Kevin Ketterer, will prepare for the Durango High Altitude Challenge on Saturday and Sunday.