In its lone home meet of the season, the Durango High School girls swimming team turned in a strong performance on senior day and won the meet against Montezuma-Cortez and Montrose.
The Demons piled up 631 points, Montrose had 530 and Montezuma-Cortez finished with 109 points.
Midway through the meet, the teams stopped action to honor the nine seniors on the DHS roster.
“It’s really amazing to see all the girls support us, and turns out they actually like us – that’s always a good thing,” senior captain Mira Joyner said. “And I think it’s happy and sad to swim your last event in your home pool. I think this year is special for all of us.”
Of the 12 events held at the Fort Lewis College pool, the Demons won seven, with a spirited effort from a team competing at far less than 100 percent.
“Right now we’re battling sickness. We’ve had ladies throwing up in the locker room all week long,” DHS head coach Thomas Joyner said. “Surprisingly, we didn’t have more not swim. Overall, I think everything went well.”
Senior captain Jocelyn Earl echoed the pride coach Joyner had in the gutty performance from the Demons.
“I think it shows a lot of commitment from these girls,” she said. “Some of them are quite new here and to see them sick and still go out and do the best they can, I love it. It’s such a good feeling to see the team is just as committed as we (seniors) are.”
On senior day, the Demons got big performances from some underclassmen.
Sophomore Saylor Stottlemyer won the 500-yard freestyle, and classmate Mina Willemin won the 200 individual medley. The two were also on the Demons’ winning 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay teams. Fellow sophomore Acacia Cofman and Mira Joyner were on the medley relay team, and Joyner and Earl were the other members of the 400 freestyle relay.
To go with the relay wins, Joyner won the 100 butterfly.
DHS senior Sadie McAliney won the 100 breaststroke and junior Kylie Behn won the 1-meter diving event.
Coach Joyner said the mix of seniors with different levels of experience has brought a new dynamic to the team with new swimmers learning from those with more experience and the veterans feeding off the enthusiasm of the rookies.
“It’s really hard to say goodbye to all the seniors,” coach Joyner said, “but it’s kind of cool because we have ladies who are going to be seniors next year and they’ll be just as unique and as special to the program as these ladies were. We’re gonna miss them.”
The Demons didn’t have any new state qualifiers at the meet, and coach Joyner said one of the big focuses for the team moving through the rest of the regular season will be fine tuning the girls for the state meet Feb. 8-10 in Thornton.
“Pretty much everyone who is going to qualify has already qualified. I don’t know off the top of my head if anyone is on the bubble,” coach Joyner said. “I think right now it’s more about fine tuning our race strategy and deciding who’s going to swim what events because they can only swim two events as individuals at the state meet.”
The Demons will next compete at the Delta High School meet Jan. 20 in Delta.