It takes different strokes

Posted 1/8/11

The Heritage girls swim team has a lot of youth this season. Coach Tom Byorick is expecting that youth to grow up quickly and help the Eagles to …

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It takes different strokes


The Heritage girls swim team has a lot of youth this season. Coach Tom Byorick is expecting that youth to grow up quickly and help the Eagles to another top-five finish at the state swim meet in February.

Last season, the Eagles placed fourth at the Class 5A state meet and they finished fifth in 2009. Despite a team with eight freshmen, Byorick is hoping for another impressive finish this season.

“We’ve always been blessed with some very talented kids and still are,” Byorick said. “We’re lot younger this year. We don’t have any superstars, but we have several kids who are very, very good swimmers.”

As the freshmen come into their own, returning state qualifiers Catherine Hill and Katy Smith, both seniors, are leading the way. Hill has qualified in the 100 freestyle for this year’s state meet, and Smith has qualified in the 100 backstroke.

Two freshmen, Mary Hinton and Sam Chacon, already have qualified for their first state trip. Hinton has posted qualifying times in the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke. Chacon is headed to state on times posted in the 100 and 200 freestyle.

“They’ve been a big spark plug,” Byorick said.

The Eagles have six swimmers qualified for state. Byorick said he believes they can qualify 10.

“A couple others (freshmen) are getting very close to making the state meet,” Byorick said. “Several upperclassmen keep chipping away.”

Juniors Karen Spofford (500 free) and Kassandra Brisch (100 backstroke) swam at state last year.

Byorick knows if the Eagles want to compete at state they’ll have to succeed in the relay events. The Eagles finished eighth overall in the Colorado High School Swim and Dive Coaches Invitational on Dec. 18, a good measuring stick for the progress of the team.

“I wanted to be a little bit higher, but i think based on how we did that day it was obviously appropriate,” Byorick said. “Our relays have been strong throughout the year. For most of the day our relays were not as clicking as well as they do.”

By the end of the meet, the relays were swimming better. If they continue to improve, the depth of the team could have the Eagles back in the top five.

“I think we’re pretty well balanced, to be honest,” Byorick said. “It’s getting everything to work together on the same day. Relays are always a priority for us. Come state, we have very high expectations for them.”

Heritage High School played host to Highlands Ranch Jan. 6 at the school in Littleton for a swim and dive dual and beat the visiting Falcons 236-132. In that meet, the Eagles’ relay teams won the 200-yard freestyle, the 400 free and the 200 medley relay events.

Shannon Beasley finished second in the 200-yard freestyle. Hinton won Heritage the 200 individual medley with 2 minutes, 17.25 seconds on the clock. She was second in the 100 backstroke.

Kennah Knowles won the 1-meter diving event with 190.80 points.

Hill won the 100 butterfly with 1:04.17. Laura Fischer was second in the 100 free. In the 500 free, Graeson Vananne took first with 5:59.55, while Ericka Patten was second. Patten was also second in the 100 breaststroke.


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