Mustangs itching for improvement after state swim meet

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Sophia Hyman competes in the 200-medley relay final at the Class 3A girls swimming state meet on Feb. 11. (Photo by Daniel Mohrmann)

You want to do the best you can. — Summer Tenpas

By Daniel Mohrmann

If there is one big thing the Manitou Springs girls swim team was able to do at the Class 3A state swim meet, it was pay attention.

The Mustangs walked away from the event happy with their overall performances, considering they dropped some times and represented their school and community well.

But there is no doubt that, while walking out of the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton, they wanted more. They want to get into the championship finals rather than the consolation finals and they want the full experience that comes with going for gold.

“I’m very competitive, so not making that just drives me to more,” Summer Tenpas says. “You want to do the best you can.”

Tenpas advanced to the B-final of the 100-yard butterfly and finished 17th overall with a time of 1 minute, 5.17 seconds. She finished 20th overall in the 100 backstroke with 1:07.54.

The Mustangs also had some relay teams in the final as the 200-medley relay team of Theron Heim, Sophia Hyman, Tenpas and Selah Combs finished 14th at 1:59.96 and the team of Sofiia Lobas, Grace McCumber, Hyman and Combs finished 18th in the 200 freestyle relay. Combs also finished 14th in the 50 freestyle and 17th in the 100 freestyle at 57.62.

As a team, the Mustangs finished the meet with 40 points, placing 22nd out of 34 scoring teams. A year ago, Manitou netted just 27 points so the program overall is trending in the right direction, which is especially encouraging considering the Mustangs’ youth.

“Even throughout the season, when we’re at invites, we’re telling the young swimmers to watch those younger swimmers, showing them this is how they do this or this is how they do that,” coach Whitney Nuci says. “When we tell them in practice to do those things, it helps put together a complete picture in that it’s not just coming from coach, but from an athlete as well.”

Both Combs and Tenpas will return to the team next year and their experience with state competition will be a valuable asset to the 2023-24 team.

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