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Palisade Paw Post

Palisade Paw Post

Swim and Dive State Championship: The Final Race

State team before diving off to practice Tuesday afternoon before the State Championship Meet Photo Provided by: Abby Price


The 2023-24 swim and dive season has come to a rest, ending in exhilaration and triumph at the State Championship Meet at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton, Colorado. Last Tuesday morning, the girl’s swim team began their journey to the Front Range to compete at the Colorado 4A Championship Meet. The team traveled with state qualifiers, Abby Price (200 freestyle, relays), Elli Dorr (Relays), Emily Hardin(50 Freestyle, 100 Butterfly, relays),  Kylee Mull (100 Breaststroke, relays), and Leah Talbott (Alternate). Although the team combines Central, Palisade, and Grand Junction, the team goes under Grand Junction High School. This year, four out of the five state swimmers were from Palisade. This was Sophomore Leah Talbott’s first year going to state and she reflected on her experience. Talbott says, “I felt really good about being invited to state, I didn’t realize that I would be swimming but it was a great experience.” The state meet had more than 75 teams and each had contingents ranging between 3 and 25 swimmers. These teams traveled from all over Colorado to compete in one final competition. Talbott exclaims, “You could just see a lot of happy girls who were good to be there. No one was judging any of the other teams and everybody was all very supportive of each other.”

This year, Pine Creek High School won their second straight state championship. The experience of the swimmers varied drastically from Pine Creek’s  Madison Mintenko who will be participating in the Olympic trials to teams like Grand Junction who only have swimmers who swim three months out of the year. Regardless of this range of skill and dedication, GJHS’s 200 Medley relay made it to finals Thursday evening placing a respectable 20th place. Talbott says, “Over the week, I think our team bonded over some personal aspects that we were all going through and a little bit of stress which put us closer together. Next season I’m just looking forward to how our team continues to grow and improve.” Overall, the team faced some inevitable obstacles of injury and burnout but they eventually overcame to end the season with great success. 

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