Local swimmers qualify for state meet
If you’re a swimmer from Eagle County, qualifying for the state meet begins with a daily drive to Glenwood Springs.
Since no Eagle County schools have a swim team, three swimmers head to Glenwood Springs every day to be part of the seven-member Glenwood team.
By the way, so does Glenwood’s coach.
Jack Cassidy, Sebastian Joly and Luke Herron all compete. Former Junior Olympic and collegiate swimmer Raphael Joly is the coach.
And by the way, they have to raise their own money. The team gets no money from any school district.
They rolled into Arvada for the two-day Jeffco Invitational and rolled out with some state qualifiers.
Jack Cassidy, a junior from Eagle Valley High School, qualified for the state meet in the 200-yard individual medley with a personal best time of 2 minutes, 04.96 seconds. He rested a few minutes and dove back in the pool and qualified for the grueling 500-yard freestyle in 5:05.09.
Sebastian Joly (Vail Christian junior) and Cassidy were part of the state qualifying 4-by-100 freestyle relay team.
“The 4-by-100 free relay was one of the highlights of the meet,” said Glenwood coach and former Demons swimmer Raphael Joly. “The boys dropped eight seconds off their seed time and made states. We now have three relays and three individuals competing at states. Hopefully we’ll qualify a few more at our home meet on May 3.”
Zachary Baker, a home-schooled freshman, qualified for state in the 100-yard backstroke.
“This was a big meet with a lot of fast swimmers and a good preview of what’s to come at states,” Joly said. “We weren’t rested and still the boys are swimming close to best times. They competed well and now they know what we need to do over the next few weeks to be competitive at states. After this weekend, the boys are motivated to work hard.”
Coach Joly went down this road when he also had to drive to Glenwood to compete in high school swimming.
“This is a great bunch of boys who come from five different high schools to compete for Glenwood Springs High School. They may be from other parts of the state, but when they put on their GSHS caps, they are racing for one team,” he said.