Lady Mustangs Swim End the Season With a Bang

Abby Pribila, Copy Editor

“Fun. Just pure fun,” said captain Sofija Cirko (11) about her experience at the Girls’ Swimming and Diving Championships this past Valentine’s weekend. Twelve of the MSHS girls’ swim team’s finest traveled up to Thorton, Colo. to represent their school and team at the 3A State Championship. Seven of those on the state team, however, qualified in individual events and relays to compete at the end of season meet.

To kick off the long weekend, the state team had a send-off from the school Thursday afternoon. They then were off to Thorton to get ready for the next day’s preliminary heats. The preliminary heats saw seven individual swimmers with Aidan Coté (10) and Bella Kuzbek (11) in the 200-individual medley (IM), Dana Guitierrez (11) in the 50-freestyle, Hannah Drum (9) and Sofija Cirko (11) in the 100-butterfly, Heidi Martin (11) and Coco Stevens in the 100-freestyle and the 500-freestyle. Also, Avrie Tomsik (11) and Cirko competed in the 100-backstroke and Coté and Kuzbek in the 100-breaststroke.

This year’s state team saw a lot of freshmen faces going to state. Drum qualified in the 100-butterfly and placed 31st in prelims. “[State] has been amazing. People here are great and everybody has been so supportive of each other,” said Drum. Three other freshmen went to state as alternates and represented Manitou Springs High School well. “It was a good thing to experience so I know what’s coming next year,” said Delaney Bartko (9). Bartko hopes to qualify next season.

Coté made it back on Saturday to the consolation finals of the 200-IM. Coté was seeded 17th going into finals and ended up with 17th place and with a time of 2:25.12. “I am proud of how it went and it was a hard race but I held my own,” said Coté. Coté also swam the 100-breaststroke in prelims and ended up placing 32nd and swimming a 1:18.32.

Kuzbek competed in the 200-IM and the 100-breaststroke for her individual events. Kuzbek also swam breaststroke in the 200-medley relay and went first in the 400-freestyle relay. Kuzbek was hyped up for her 100-breast and said, “I am seeded 5th in the breaststroke so I’m really excited for that race,” with a time of 1:10.35. Immediately after her 100-breastroke, Kuzbek went straight to swimming the A team of the 400-free relay. Even after being tired, she swam a 1:02.29, which landed the relay in 14th place. Kuzbek made it back on Saturday for the consolation finals of the 200-IM. Kuzbek placed 16th and swam a 2:24.58.

This year’s state championship was senior Coco Stevens’s final meet of her high school career. She qualified in the 100-freestyle and the 500-freestyle. She also was an anchor in the A-team of the 400-freestyle relay. Stevens competed in the 100-freestyle on Friday during prelims and swam a 1:00.17 placing 32nd out of 48 swimmers. For her 500-freestyle, Stevens made it back for the consolation heat of finals and swam a 5:40.42 and placed 13th for her final individual event in her high school career. It also happened to be Stevens’s best time in the 500 and she moved up two places from the previous day’s prelims. “I couldn’t have asked for a better ending,” said Stevens.

After a weekend of teamwork, hard work and fast swimming the Manitou Springs High School girl’s swim team placed 19th at the 3A State Girls’ Swimming and Diving Championships.