EVERGREEN — The Conifer boys’ swim team accomplished in its first meet March 9 against Bear Creek what every team can only hope for. Not only did it win the meet 132-44, but it also took first in all of 12 varsity events, while simultaneously bagging six 4A state qualifying times.
Junior Mitch Kilgore pocketed four qualifying spots — two individually — the 50 freestyle (22.57 seconds) and the 100 freestyle (51.41). He was also part of two qualifying relay teams — the 200 freestyle relay (1:38.11) and the 400 freestyle relay (3:42.47). Kilgore was estatic about the early bids to state.
“(This win is) pretty stellar and, really, it’s all we can hope for at this point in the season since we’re all out of shape,” laughed Kilgore. “It feels pretty promising.”
For once, Conifer was the bigger, deeper team.
“We’ve got a lot of really strong swimmers on the team this year,” Kilgore said. “So, we were able to go into (the meet) a little bit more lax than we normally would have and we were able to have a little more fun than we would if we were (up against a bigger team) in a more stressful meet.”
Kilgore’s teammate on the 200 and 400 relays, Ben Holland, was also relieved to have claimed a couple state quals so early on. Holland got one individually in the 100 backstroke (1:00.07), as well as the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
“I didn’t really train too much in the offseason because of an injury to my back and chest,” Holland said. “So, it feels good to have come out here and done so well.”
From the way they were swimming, you would have never known that Kilgore felt out of shape or that Holland was just coming back from an injury. Both were incredibly swift in the water.
In the 400 freestyle relay, Kilgore and Holland’s team finished first in 3 minutes, 42.47 seconds, easily finishing with a 50-yard lead ahead of Bear Creek, which finished with a time of 4:25.63.
Senior swimmer/diver Kevin Heil placed first in diving right after he took third in the 50 freestyle in time of 29.41 seconds.
“The guys did great and I am excited for the rest of the season,” said assistant coach Rachel Bahl, who was filling in for head coach Jeff Armstrong. “I didn’t have any expectations for how they would do at tonight’s meet because I have only seen them swim in practice, but I had heard that they were great. But watching them do it was just awesome.”