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Danes Defeat One of Their Top Rivals

January 21, 2012
Fountain Valley School

Coach Roy Chaney's Mustangs are always one of the Danes' biggest and friendliest rivalries. Their swimmers and divers compete hard, are excellent sports and always bring a team that has lots of depth. FVS coaches had challenged the girls to arrive this evening with intensity and see if they could swim to their potential as a team.

"I had scored the meet dead even when I was setting up the lineup, as we were missing a couple of stronger swimmers who could deliver key points," head coach Rob Gustke said. "Well, our team collectively rose to a higher level and swam their best meet of the season. If these girls can bring that same enthusiasm, focus and passion to our league meet, it will be an exciting competition."

Every girl who swam and dove tonight performed admirably, but anyone at the meet who saw the final 400 free-relay will know why the coaches gave the "Breadwinner Award" to ninth grader Morgan Berlin. The A relay team was comfortably ahead, with Manitou's A team extending out to about a six-yard lead over the FVS B team. Junior Julia Rogers swam an amazing leg and pulled even, and then Berlin and the Manitou girl swam dead even until Berlin out-touched her as the building noise rose to near-record level.

"Moments like those are what we train and prepare for," Gustke said. "In our pre-race talk, we had discussed appreciating the moment, and how lucky we all are to be in these situations, and to have fun, compete hard and live in these moments that we will long remember. I can guarantee that all the girls on our team will remember that race!"

The 200-medley relay team (Morgan Berlin, Alanna Erickson, Morgan McCurdy and Hannah Carrese) also qualified for the Colorado State 4A swimming championships with a great swim of 2:04.92. Erickson topped off a great night by bettering her school records in the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke. Maia Presti broke her six-dive record yet again with a huge score of 259.75.

Sometimes when an absence causes the lineup to be shuffled some new talent emerges. A couple such swims occurred when junior Ashlynn Robinson took on the 50 free and swam a very nice 30.8, good for fourth place. Fellow junior Sophie Feffer also swam a new event, the 100 free, and turned in a great time of 1:09. Morgan McCurdy swam her best of the season tonight, winning the 500 free with a great effort of 6:08. Sophomore Walker Edison also had a fine night. She took nine seconds off her lifetime best in the 200 free, lowering it to 2:48. Walker typifies what can happen when a swimmer commits to a higher level of training in practice, as she has started coming to morning practices and is getting more coaching and focus.

There were many other great efforts. The Danes have their last home meet of the season Tuesday, Jan. 24, against St. Mary's High School.

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