The pool is a little less crowded at Sea Sharks practice these days, but the speed of the swimmers hasn't decreased in any way.
After the Sharks finished the regular season Sunday at their home meet, four competitions remained for the summer and all require a pre-qualifying time.
"I've encouraged everybody to continue to come to practice," coach Marin Campbell said. "But only the swimmers who qualified need to be here."
Erin Parrott was one of the swimmers at practice Tuesday morning. The 8-year-old swam in her first competitive meet during the weekend. She qualified for the Western Slope Championships in the 25-meter freestyle in her first effort. She finished fifth in the B-division with a time of 29.9 seconds
"It's a lot more fun to compete (than practice)," she said. "It's also warmer than practice."
Parrott was one of three Sea Sharks to qualify for the Western Slope Championships in Grand Junction this weekend. Megan Trujillo and Emily Mahanna also turned in qualify swims in the 13- to 14- and 11- to 12-year-old age groups, respectively.
"There were a lot of faster times," Campbell said. "With it being a home meet, the kids are more relaxed and they don't psyche themselves out as much. Usually that means they swim faster."
Laurel Tegtman wasn't psyched out at all this weekend. The 8-year-old earned the highpoint for Division A at the meet. She earned the most points by any swimmer in her class by winning the 25 freestyle, the 25 backstroke, the 100 individual medley and the 25 breaststroke.
"It was the first time I won a trophy," she said. "I put it on my shelf at home."
Tegtman has been the fastest 8-year-old girl for the Sea Sharks and is the only swimmer in the age groups younger than 14 to qualify for the Junior Olympic meet. For the high school swimmers, a qualifying time for the J.O.s is faster than a regular state meet standard during the high school season.
Caitlin and Kelsey Conci reached that standard earlier in the season in the 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle, respectively. The Concis, Ashleigh McDonald, Sari Maneotis, Katie Gainor and Catherine Compton have combined to qualify in the 400 freestyle and 400 medley relays for J.O.s.
"Any combination of those six girls could go in the relays," Campbell said.
The Sea Sharks will have 10 representatives in Grand Junction this week for the Western Slopes.
"We'll peak a little bit but we're still focusing on technique," Campbell said. "I had the chance to coach the 8-yearolds this weekend and for most of them it was their last weekend. We had a blast."
Chris Compton was the other Sea Sharks coach at the meet during the weekend. He was excited with what he saw.
"Everyone did an all-around good job," he said. " Everyone was around their best time. Consistency is what we've been looking for."
After the Western Slopes, the Sharks will return to Junction for Junior Olympics the next weekend. The final meet of the summer is the Summer Club in CaÃ±on City.