Telluride Torpedoes Are Swimming Their Way to Record Success
by Stuart Brown, Jr.
Jul 02, 2009 | 601 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OLIVIA WHEATON at swim team practice in Town Park. (Photo by Dale Kondracki)
OLIVIA WHEATON at swim team practice in Town Park. (Photo by Dale Kondracki)
TELLURIDE – The Telluride Torpedoes are headed toward achieving one of their most successful seasons this decade. Led by coach Lisa Ball, the young swimmers have achieved feats that few Telluride swim teams have before.

One of those feats came in a recent meet in Grand Junction. In typical fashion, the meet began with preliminaries in the morning and ended with finals in the afternoon. In order to qualify for the finals, a swimmer had to do exceptionally well in the morning preliminaries, but coming into this season, it had been at least six years since a Telluride swimmer qualified for the finals. But this year became the exception to the rule, with three Torpedoes qualifying for the afternoon finals. Emma Lystad qualified in two events, Max Dwight in three events, and Kailee Kennedy in a whopping five events. According to Ball, what was most impressive about the three swimmers’ performances was that “they swam even better in the afternoon finals than they did in the preliminaries, which is very hard to do after giving it your all in the morning.”

The Torpedoes’ talent was also evident at Tuesday night’s dual meet in Ouray. A dual meet is when a team competes against just one other team, the first of this type of meet that Telluride has ever competed in. “The kids loved it and they swam faster than ever before because they were competing against different ages and the opposite sex,” said Ball.

Max Dwight came in first in all three of the 12-and-under races he competed in – 50 Breast, 50 Fly, and 100 IM. Evans and Kennedy also received two first place finishes. Evans came in first in the 8-and-under 25 Breast and 25 Free while Kennedy came in first in the 50 Free and 100 Fly. Also, Megan Reich won the 8-and-under 25 Back.

Torpedo members have also shown potential by qualifying for two of Colorado’s most prestigious races. Eleven out of 19 Torpedoes qualified for the Western Slope Championships, a meet in which the best swimmers from all teams on the Western Slope compete. This meet is hard to qualify for, and especially difficult to compete in because many of the participating teams practice year round. Five torpedoes have also qualified for the Summer Club meet, which is even more competitive than the Western Slope Championships due to fewer spots available. The Torpedoes who qualified for the Summer Club meet include Kennedy, Dwight ,Rye Overly, Jude Lystad, Jaden Evans, and Will Plantz.

So how have the Torpedoes found so much success? Recent high school graduated Hannah Smith has provided fantastic leadership for the team, and veteran Dana Smith has set an excellent example for the younger members by working extremely hard every time she gets into the pool. Emma Lystad and Kennedy also have provided frequent leadership. Furthermore, according to Ball, “new kids have really stepped up this year.” For example, two of the swimmers to qualify for the Summer Club meet, Lystad and Evans, are new to the team this year. Hopefully, the Torpedoes will find as much success in their remaining meets as they have found so far this season.
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