Halfway through the season, the Montezuma-Cortez High School girls swim team continues to improve.
Competing against 10 teams at the Montrose Invitational on Dec. 20-21, the Panthers finished sixth, with 149 points. More than tripling the Panthers total was meet-host Montrose, which accumulated 495.5 points.
Setting the pace for the Panthers was junior Madison VanBibber, who recorded three Top 5 finishes in four individual events.
VanBibber placed fifth in the 200-yard freestyle (2:17.27), VanBibber finished fourth in the 50-yard freestyle (27.60) and third in the 100-yard freestyle (1:00.57).
Also swimming well was freshman Bailey Duran, who, swimming the best meet of her short high school career, finished fifth in the 200-yard breaststroke (3:02.54), fourth in the 400-yard individual medley (5:48.68) and fourth in the 1000-yard freestyle (13:03.79).
Rounding out Panthers swimmers who cracked the Top 10 was junior Elana Cope, who, battling illness, finished 10th in the 200-yard individual medley (2:52.60), 10th in the 100-yard butterfly (1:20.91) and ninth in the 500-yard freestyle (6:40.07).
Failing to score, yet turning in solid performances, Amanda Kill finished 16th in the 200-yard backstroke (3:03.09); Tifiny Mills, 17th in the 200-yard individual medley (3:07.67); Selena LaPaz, 19th in the 200-yard individual medley (3:09.62); and Sage Kramer finished 20th in the 200-yard backstroke (3:13.90).
The Panthers will take a brief break before returning to practice to prepare for upcoming meets in Aspen (Jan. 10) and Glenwood Springs (Jan. 11).