The Paw Print
Saturday afternoon the Grizzly swimmers took on Mesa State for their first home meet of the season. On the woman’s side the grizzlies swept the meet with first place finishes in every individual event and wins in both relays, defeating the Mavericks 138 -67. While the men were unable to pull out a team victory there were many strong individual performances.
The meet that was supposed to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday was delayed due to Mesa being delayed by the weather over Monarch Pass. The meet finally began at 1:50 p.m. a little under an hour after the planned start time.
For the Grizzlies this was a very important meet, after having defeated the Mavericks earlier this season in Grand Junction it was vital that women’s squad defeated the Mavericks a second time and solidify that the pre-season polls had underestimated the Grizzlies talent.
In the pre-season poll the lady Grizzlies were picked to finish sixth out of seven teams, while Mesa was projected to place third. With this decisive second victory they Grizzlies have made it clear that this year they are going not only to compete but to win.
Saturday afternoon kicked off with the 400 yard medley relay, on the woman’s side, the lone grizzly squad of Kelsie Baggs, Aspen Hahn, Jennell Higgs and Maggie Morris, faced off against 3 Maverick squads, and came out with a solid victory against the Mavericks finishing first with a five second lead.
The men’s squad was also victorious in the first event of the afternoon. The relay made up of Clay Meshke, Ben Laxson, Nick Mankus and Shu Han Cheng took the lead early and defeated the Mavericks by almost six seconds.
For the women the relay was only the start of many top finishes to come that afternoon. One of the decisive moments for the grizzlies came early on in the meet with the 200 yard freestyle where Tara Gerbert, Jordan Shomaker and Baggs place 1-2-3 respectively, and knocking the mavericks out of any substantial points in the event.
The afternoon continued on a similar note, there was a grizzly to claim the top spot in every event, and more often than not the grizzlies had a second swimmer placing either second or third.
The woman finished off the meet with 800 yard freestyle relay. The relay comprised of Gerbert, Shomaker, Elena Burr and Allison Bischoff crushed the mavericks “a” squad by close to 9 seconds.
The men’s squad was lead by Mankus who had two individual victories in the 400 yard IM and the 500 yard freestyle and participated in both of the relays for the afternoon. In the 400 IM Mankus set a new school record and in the 500 freestyle set a new pool record of 5:11.44
Other top finishes were attributed to Meshke in the 200 yard backstroke, where along with the victory Meshke set a new school record of 2:08.52. Laxson also placed first in the men’s 200 yard breaststroke. Laxson also set a new pool record, taking out the old one by just under one second.
This weekend the Grizzlies will travel out to Grand Junction for the Colorado Mesa Invitational. The next home event for the grizzlies will be Friday, Nov. 30, and they will take on Colorado School of Mines.