Riding the wave in | CraigDailyPress.com

Riding the wave in

Tegtman caps off swimming season with bronze medal

John Vandelinder

— Ranked No. 5 in the state in the 50-meter freestyle – his favorite event – Craig swimmer Colter Tegtman has his feet firmly planted in the state’s swimming scene.

That is, until his right foot moved.

During Tegtman’s preliminary round of the 50-free in the 2008 Colorado CSI Long Course State Championships – or 2008 Junior Olympics as identified by qualifying times posted throughout the season – not all was going as planned for the Craig Middle School student.

Tegtman blazed to a third-place finish in 29.84 seconds, but because of a slight twitch by his foot, a false start was called and Tegtman was disqualified.

“I had a little move of my foot,” Tegtman said. “I got DQ’d. It’s a lot stricter than what I’m used to.”

But, the disqualification was overturned, and Tegtman was back in his comfort zone.

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“I was really pumped up after that,” Tegtman said. “I wanted to prove that I belonged there.”

He did.

Tegtman rebounded to finish third overall in the event, duplicating his preliminary time of 29.84.

“It was a big accomplishment,” to place third after entering the meet fifth, Tegtman said. “I was just trying to go out and have some fun.”

But Tegtman admitted the fun began to decrease as the number of events he participated in increased.

Competing in six events – the 100-breast, 100-free, 50-back, 50-fly, 50-breast and 50-free – the back-to-back-to-back routine began to take its toll on the 12-year-old.

Each event has a preliminary round, so if all went as planned, Tegtman would swim 12 races in three days.

By the time the third and final day, Sunday, rolled around, Tegtman said he was out of gas.

“I was really whipped by Sunday,” he said. “I was so tired that I was happy with anything but last (place).”

Despite his fatigue, Tegtman’s worst finish was 20th overall in the state in two events: the 50-fly (36.27) and the 50-back (38.43).

Tegtman earned a seventh-place finish in the 100-free, swimming the two laps required in the United States Air Force long-course pool in 1:07.06.

His time of 40.95 earned him ninth in the 50-breast, while he placed 15th in the 100-breast in 1:34.92.

Tegtman said the “B” heat final of the 50-breast was the most exciting race he participated in.

Advancing through the preliminaries in 42.18 earned Tegtman a No. 14 seed heading into the finals.

The top eight swimmers compete in the “A” heat while the next eight compete in “B.”

Tegtman shaved 1.23 seconds off his previous career-best time, finishing in 40.95 to win the “B” heat final, advancing five positions to ninth overall.

“There was a lot of tough competition,” Tegtman said. “Many of these guys swim all year round. It feels good to do well against the big Denver teams coming from the Western Slope.”

Tegtman said he would take a break for a few weeks before he jumps back into the water of the Craig City Park pool.

Until then, he is glad the season is over.

“I’m relieved,” he said. “I love swimming, but I’m tired.”

At a glance

2008 Colorado CSI Long Course State Championships

July 24 to 27

USAF Academy Pool

Colorado Springs

Colter Tegtman

(Place, Event, Time)

3., 50-meter freestyle, 29.84

7., 100-meter freestyle, 1:07.06

9., 50-meter breaststroke, 40.95

15., 100-meter breaststroke, 1:34.92

20., 50-meter butterfly, 36.27

20., 50-meter backstroke, 38.43

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