Times Staff Writer
Simply making it to state is an impressive feat to add to an athletic resume. While winning a state championship is the ultimate goal for an athlete, you can’t win them all.
The Gunnison Stingrays can relate. They gave it their all at the 2018 Colorado State Long-course championships at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs this past weekend.
Despite things not going quite as planned, swimmers Roxie Uhrig and Jacob Riser both dropped times in multiple events.
“State was awesome,” said head coach Tami Maciejko.
As a whole, the Stingrays tied for 39th out of 49 teams that competed — 46 of which are year-round swim programs.
Additionally, from Air Force fighter jets flying overhead before competition to competing in the marble Cadet Natatorium, nerves were certainly tested for both swimmers.
“It was fun,” said Uhrig. “It was hard at first because I was nervous, but they eventually went away.”
Uhrig finished 62nd in the 200-meter freestyle out of 81 swimmers, and 69th in the 50 free out of 104 swimmers. Those results are impressive, considering that unlike other swimmers at the state championships, the 10-and-under athletes had no prelims.
“Roxie did awesome as a first-year swimmer,” said Maciejko. “She swam the 200 meter free and took significant time off.”
Uhrig dropped 0.47 of a second in the 50 free and 9.15 seconds in the 200 free.
While Riser took the state championships by surprise last year — finishing in the top 10 in five events — nerves got to him this year.
“State went good,” said Riser. “I was pretty nervous because of all the competition.”
Riser had a busy weekend, competing in seven different events over the course of three days. That didn’t stop him, however, from finishing in the top 25 in three events.
“He took time off in almost every event he swam,” said Maciejko. “He had significant drop in his 100 meter breast.”
Riser finished 19th in the 50 breast, 20th in the 100 breast — dropping 3.59 seconds — and 25th in the 100 IM .
Additionally, Riser also competed in the 200 IM and free, and 50 free and fly, in which he finished 29th, 32nd, 33rd and 46th, respectively.
Twenty-eight Stingrays will be on the road today, Aug. 2 as they travel to Colorado Springs to compete in the Seasonal State Championships.
With the hosting team, Valley, bringing 50-60 swimmers, Maciejko doesn’t expect to win all of the events. However, she does expect to take all the high points.
“We have fast swimmers,” said Maciejko. “But we don’t have the numbers.”
(Brandon Warr can be reached at 970.641.1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)