Pretty in pink |

Pretty in pink

The Craig Sea Sharks focus on keeping it fun in and out of the pool

David Pressgrove

At the Craig Sea Sharks ABC swim meet on Saturday there was no question who the home team swimmers were. They were the ones with the bright pink lips.

“We like to keep it fun for the team when they are out of the pool,” coach Cammie Hilleweart said. “I guess the lipstick was part of that this week.”

In the water, the Sharks were all business with three high-point swimmers for the weekend and numerous qualifications for the big meets later in the season

“This weekend went really well,” Hilleweart said. “The meet ran smooth thanks to our parents and we had a lot of improved times and qualifications.”

The top swimmer for the Sharks was 12-year-old Caitlin Conci. She swam her way to two qualifications for the Junior Olympics swim meet in Grand Junction. Conci, who won the 50- and 100-meter butterfly, broke the pool record in the 50 fly. She also helped her teammates Markie Workman, Ticia Duarte and Meagan Rader set a pool record in the 200-meter free relay.

“It is nice to have a home meet because you get to sleep in and have your friends come and watch,” the Shark star said. “The lipstick was kinda weird, but it is fun to goof around with your teammates. I swam really good this weekend and it was nice to have more people here to see me swim.”

The Craig meet is unique because all swimmers are allowed to compete regardless of previous times. By splitting up the competitors into three divisions, it gives those who have not been at the front of their heats this season a chance to go for some heat victories. The A division of swimmers are the fastest with B being a little slower followed by the C swimmers.

“This format allows swimmers who might not get ribbons throughout the year a chance to earn some recognition at this meet,” Hilleweart said.

Three Craig swimmers brought home high-point ribbons from the C group. Katie Knez was the top swimmer in the girls 13-14 C division, John Kirk had No. 1 honors in the 9-10 boys group and Emily Hepworth earned the high-points ribbon in the 11-12 C division.

Several swimmers improved their times well enough to earn new qualifications in events for the big meets quickly approaching. Kyra Workman qualified for the Western Slope Championships in the 9-10 girls 50 fly. Sari Maneotis earned a spot at the WSC as well in the girls 15-18 200 fly. Toughing it out in the 1500 free style was Nicole Vorhies, who qualified for the Summer Club meet in the 15 & Over division. Jake Blevins swam his way into the Western Slope meet in the boys 7&U division in the 25 free and backstroke.

There are four meets that take a qualifying time to compete at toward the end of the summer in Colorado. In order from the most difficult to qualify for is the Junior Olympics, Silver State, Summer Club and Western Slope Championships. All meets are rather self explanatory with Junior Olympics being a regional meet, Silver State for all of Colorado, Summer Club for teams that only train in the summer and the Western Slope Championships being a meet for just Western Slope teams.

Overall the Sea Sharks had 51 swims that qualified for the Western Slope Championships meet, 42 fast enough to get into the Summer Club, 37 qualifications for the Silver State meet and the aforementioned two swims by Conci for the Junior Olympics.

“It is rewarding to see so many people reach their goals toward the end of the season,” Hilleweart said. “It is important to remind the younger ones that swimming is fun and rewarding as well as intenseand that it is more than just going for a fast time. I think we accomplished that this weekend.”

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