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Morin, Manitou Springs girls' swim team keep record books buzzing
Thanks to the efforts of freshman Veronica Morin and several of her teammates at Manitou Springs, the banner listing records at the Manitou Pool and Fitness Center is partially maintained with a dry-erase marker.
Mustangs fifth-year coach Roy Chaney simply can’t keep up with taking the time to construct a name-plated record board since many marks have been reset during the season.
“I think most of the records up there will be gone in the next few years, and she’ll have quite a few of them,” Chaney said. “We’re waiting until we’re done with state until I change anything. I can’t keep up because she keeps breaking them.”
The Mustangs have their sights on updating several school records this weekend at the 4A state swimming and diving meet at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton. Prelims are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Friday, and finals start at 2 p.m. Saturday.
At the forefront of Manitou’s record-breaking campaign is the 15-year-old Morin, who already holds the school mark in the 50 free and pool records in the 50 and 100 free. She also swam the third leg on the school’s 200 medley relay team that also holds a school record, chopping more than 2 seconds from the mark set more than a decade ago.
Her time of 24.15 seconds in the 50 free ranks third-fastest in the state among 4A swimmers this season and shattered the previous school record of 25.77. She’s also ranked sixth in the 100 free after her best time of 54.66, which is tied with the 10-year-old school record.
“At the beginning of the season, my goal was more for me to make it back for finals and try to place well,” Morin said. “Now that I’m third in the state in the 50 free, now I want to try to place as high as I can and possibly win it. But there’s really good competition out there.”
The Mustangs enter the state meet with plenty of momentum, fresh off the program’s first league championship in 13 years. Last weekend at the 3A Independent League Championships at Colorado College, Manitou dug an early 40-point hole after its winning 200 medley relay team was disqualified.
Undaunted, Manitou slowly battled back and ultimately made up the deficit with a second-place finish in the 400 free relay, the competition’s last event. Along the way, Morin claimed titles in the 50 and 100 free.
“Veronica definitely makes everybody want to try a little harder,” Mustangs senior Kailah Buchanan said. “You see her breaking records, and makes you think you can do it, too. She really motivated everyone to come together that way when we took the league title. She was a huge help in that, and we had a really good meet from all ends.”
Chaney has coached Morin since she joined his Colorado Torpedoes club team six years ago and isn’t surprised by her progression from state champion at age 10 to the brink of an individual state title as a freshman.
“She gives her all, works hard and loves to compete,” Chaney said. “From a coaching standpoint, she makes my job easier because she’s willing to listen and try to get better. I anticipated her to do really well this year.”
STATE SWIM MEETS
Note: Pay-per-view coverage of both events is available on chsaa.tv
Where: 5A, Edora Pool Ice Center, Fort Collins; 4A, VMAC, Thornton
When: 4 p.m. Friday (prelims), 2 p.m. Saturday (finals)
Tickets: 5A is sold out. 4A tickets are available, online only at chsaa.org.
Defending team champions: Fossil Ridge (5A), Thompson Valley (4A)
Local contenders, notes: Cheyenne Mountain finished third at last year’s 4A meet and brings the top-seeded time in the 200 individual medley relay at 1:48.39. The Indians also rank No. 5 in the 200 free relay and No. 3 in the 400 free relay based on previous times. Indians junior Sydney Buckley is the defending state champion in the 100 butterfly, while teammate Katie Roach, a senior, swam the fastest 100 breaststroke of the season at 1:06.02, just 0.24 seconds faster than Buckley. … In 5A, Doherty senior Sarah James is ranked second in the 100 backstroke, but for a change not behind Regis senior Missy Franklin. Yes, that’s the same Missy who captured four gold medals at the 2012 London Games and is a four-time Colorado 5A state champion. This weekend, Franklin will compete in the 200 individual medley and 500 free, in addition to a pair of relays. Also in the 100 backstroke is Lewis-Palmer freshman Andie Turner, seeded fourth.