The 9-and-10-year-old Craig Sea Sharks 200-yard freestyle team of Ashlee Griffiths, from left, Laurel Tegtman, Katelyn Peroulis and Erin Parrott will swim Friday at the Junior Olympics in Grand Junction. The team members, pictured here at the Western Slope Championships, have been consistently at practice and worked hard all summer according to coach Meghan Francone.

donna griffiths

The 9-and-10-year-old Craig Sea Sharks 200-yard freestyle team of Ashlee Griffiths, from left, Laurel Tegtman, Katelyn Peroulis and Erin Parrott will swim Friday at the Junior Olympics in Grand Junction. The team members, pictured here at the Western Slope Championships, have been consistently at practice and worked hard all summer according to coach Meghan Francone.

Friendship in swimming

Four Sea Sharks swimmers bond with each other as they prepare for Junior Olympics

— Laurel Tegtman, Ashlee Griffiths, Katelyn Peroulis and Erin Parrott aren't your average 10-year-old girls.

They aren't interested in spending their spare time goofing around, playing with dolls or sending notes around the classroom.

Not these four young ladies.

They would rather swim.

And swimming has led them to Friday's Junior Olympics in Grand Junction, where they will compete in the 200-meter freestyle relay for the Craig Sea Sharks swim club.

After qualifying earlier this summer for the Junior Olympics, "The girls are working hard every day toward the ultimate goal of a gold medal in Grand Junction," coach Meghan Francone said.

Francone, in her first year as head coach, said she is extremely proud of how diligent the girls have worked, and expects a strong showing this weekend.

Tegtman, Griffiths and Peroulis have grown up together, and they said it helps them with their team unity, and the ability to support one another. This bond started in school and now has carried over to the pool.

"We practice hard together, and we expect to finish in the top 10," stated Griffiths.

Peroulis wasn't so polite.

"We want to win," she exclaimed. "We aren't going there for second place."

Francone has had high expectations for her girls ever since taking over as head coach.

"There was a lot of pressure heading into this season, but the girls lived up to the hype," she said. "We run two-a-day practices every day for three hours, and the girls were never late. In fact, they beat me to the pool on several occasions."

With all the competition these girls have faced throughout the season, and the tough road ahead, you wonder how they continue smiling and giggling.

All three answered in unison, "We were all friends at the beginning, we've become better friends from swimming with one another, and we will be best friends when it's all over with, too."

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