MONTROSE - Silas Almgren, Montrose High's swim coach for almost 20 years, has seen it all, but says it's too early to make predictions about the coming season since practice just started last week.
"We just had our first practice last Friday, so obviously it's way to early to tell" what the season will be like, Almgren
said, or how the league competition will shape up.
Foster, a diver, is training under Michelle Cimalglio, who Almgren
says is "a solid diving coach."
Training under Almgren
has also paid off for Stucky, who just signed a letter of intent on Wednesday for a scholarship to swim for the University of California at Santa Barbara, Calif.
The team also has a strong set of juniors, and a large but experienced group of freshmen, who got a lot of experience and training in middle school, Almgren
"There are small changes in high school, but they will pick it up.
They already know how to work hard," he
The Montrose swimmers will face 11 other high schools in league competition, and with "typically 60 to 64 teams" at the Class 4A state meet, Almgren
said, where the difference between winning and losing comes down to 10ths of a second.
Though the team has competed in meets all over the Western Slope, in recent years the focus has been on preparation, Almgren
said, and most meets have been in the Uncompahgre Valley or the Grand Valley, where many meets are held at Mesa State in Grand Junction.
The team's first meet will be Dec. 4-5 in Montrose at the Montrose Aquatic Center
, where the second home meet will also be held on Jan. 21.
For the rest of the season the team will compete around the area, mostly at Mesa State, and will travel as far as Denver to watch other meets, Almgren
Regionals are the first weekend in February at Mesa State in Grand Junction, with state competition a week later in Fort Collins, he
said it doesn't bother him much that fans don't show up for swim meets like they do for other sports, like football.
said most people who come to meets are "parents or peers," and many people don't totally "get" swimming competition because the nuances are hard to see.
"People get excited about swimming every four years for the Olympics, but (locally) it's very exciting for teams and parents and for those in the know," Almgren
"We try to do the best we can to tell people about what's going on, but they have to come, and with time, they will see the nuances."
People who attend meets regularly come to appreciate the athleticism that it takes to be a competitive swimmer, Almgren
"It requires power and conditioning and tremendous focus," he
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