Craig's Eryn Leonard takes eighth at state swim meet

Eryn Leonard at state

50-yard freestyle: 25.47 seconds

100-yard butterfly: 1:01.08 in preliminaries

59.94 seconds in finals.

Moffat County's 11 points didn’t factor in the team standings at the 2013 Colorado 4A State Swimming Championships last weekend.

Thompson Valley High School took the team title with 300 points, but Craig senior Eryn Leonard scored enough on Moffat County’s behalf to put the Bulldogs in the top 30.

In the final meet of her high school career (Leonard will keep swimming, she competes year-round), Leonard swam as well as she has all season. Unfortunately, a small slip possibly cost her even more points at the competition in Thornton.

Leonard first swam in the 50-yard freestyle preliminaries Friday. She slipped jumping off the block to start the race and did not qualify for Saturday’s final as one of the top 16 finishers in the event, missing by 0.11 seconds.

What really bummed her out about that race, though, was how fast she was in the water. Despite the botched start, Leonard finished in 25.47 seconds, her second-fastest time ever in the event.

“That was a little frustrating, because if I just would have gotten a normal start, I probably could have been a second faster, and then I might have been able to get in the top eight,” Leonard said. “I swam well, but in the 50 the start is too important.”

Despite that disappointing start to her weekend, the senior regrouped and swam well in the 100-yard butterfly. Her time Friday of 1:01.08 was not her fastest, but it got her through to Saturday.

In Saturday’s final, Leonard posted the eighth-fastest time at 59.94, placing both a spot higher than her state-qualifying time and sneaking under the one-minute mark, a goal she had been flirting with much of the season.

“It felt great to get under a minute,” she said after the meet. “I knew I could get there, but it just was good to actually make it happen. I’m happy with the way I swam.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com.

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