Sabercats Win Tenth Straight Conference Championship

Matyi Mayo, Staff writer

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The Fossil Girls Swim and Dive Team won their tenth straight conference championship Saturday night, heading strong into the state meet next week.

From the moment last year’s season ended for the Sabercats, they knew this season would be a challenge. As multiple hard working and talented seniors graduated, it was evident that different people had to step up this season. We have seen nothing less this entire season. There have been new leaders and numerous first-time point scorers for the Sabercats. 

The conference meet, for a long time now, has been taken very seriously by the Sabercats . For those who don’t know, in swimming, athletes taper/rest for only their most important meets. The goal for many, in high school swimming, is to qualify for the state meet. The conference meet is the last opportunity to do so. Fossil swimmers that have not yet qualified for the state meet, were rested and primed for Conference. 

Summer Silverts, Bella Kiefer, and Camille Williams all made state cuts for the first time this season. They showed up and performed when they needed to and were huge contributors to Fossils Win on Saturday night. 

The Sabercats started off the meet with a second-place finish in the 200 medley relay followed up by some impressive depth in the 200 freestyle, with four sabercats in the top eight lead by Emily Rinker in fifth place. Next up was the 200 IM, where Mahala Erlandson finished second with a time of 2:09.37; behind her was Jaidyn Nelson in fifth and Melena Massaro in ninth, who had a very impressive eight-second time drop.

The one thing the Sabercats have lacked in over the past few years has been diving. This season, Aspen Warnygora has changed that significantly. She finished second in diving and scored some crucial points that the Sabercats were in need of. Bridget McGowen also had herself an impressive night, finishing in fifteenth place, scoring additional points for the Sabercats.

The next event was the 100 fly, where sophomore Lucy Bell did something special. She did not just win the event—she won it by almost six seconds and set a new conference meet record. She finished in a time of 53.58, which is the fastest time posted by anyone in Colorado this season. She was later on the 400 freestyle relay, where she led off in a time of 50.39, which is also the fastest time in the state this season.  Although she is thrilled with her times, Bell already has her eyes set on the state meet next weekend.

In the 500 freestyle, Julia Petrino finished sixth and first-time state qualifier Georgia Ewer finished seventh. In the 100 backstroke, Emily Rinker finished fifth and Italian exchange student Camilla Marsali finished ninth. To round off the meet, the Sabercats showed some more depth with four girls finishing in the top nine of the 100 breaststroke. 

Coach Jimmy Rodriguez was very happy with his team’s performance Saturday night and is looking forward to finishing the season off strong next weekend at the state meet.