LOVELAND — Mountain View High School welcomed a large group of girls swimmers for Berthoud’s Break the Ice Invite on Saturday morning. Hundreds of athletes and spectators gathered to cheer on their favorite athletes, a sight that would have seemed foreign during the 2021 COVID-19 season.
Oh, it felt good to be back.
“It’s really fun because we get to have a full, big team and we can just cheer each other on,” Silver Creek junior Maggie Blair said. “That was one thing about last year. It was so small that the meets were so quiet and it was kind of awkward, whereas this year with the big meets, we can actually see each other and be loud.”
It was certainly boisterous with the 11 teams in attendance as Silver Creek dominated the competition, winning the meet with 468 points. A few other local ladies, however, stood out among their competitors.
Longmont sophomore Jordan Bindseil won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2 minutes, 4.28 seconds as Blair (2:15.11) and Holy Family’s Summer Norwell (2:15.22) swam in tow. Bindseil also won the 100 freestyle in 55.64 seconds.
Holy Family’s Cate Chapman won the 200 individual medley at 2:15.26 as well as the 100 backstroke at 59.32. Longmont’s 400 freestyle relay team of Eva Holwick, Hadley Larson, Mira Capra and Bindseil claimed the gold with a time of 1:48.63.
Chapman, a sophomore, has been thrilled to see what she’s accomplished in the pool through her first two meets of the 2021-22 season. Early on, she’s already seeing a dramatic difference from the beginning of her freshman year after putting in the work with her club team throughout the summer. By season’s end, she hopes to break 58 seconds in her backstroke and drop below 2:13.00 in her 200 IM.
“I’ve been feeling really good in the pool, especially during the 200 IM,” Chapman said. “I felt like my walls and stuff were really good. My starts felt really good too. I’m competing well. I’m right at my times last year right when we were around state, which is really exciting. I think I can drop those times and maybe get top-3 at state.”
Bindseil, likewise, believes that a return to normalcy is helping her up her game from her freshman season as she enjoys the extra team bonding and pulling energy from her teammates and the crowds.
“Last year, because of COVID, we only had one-hour practices three times a week so it was hard to get enough training in. This year, I’ve been doing a lot of doubles with high school and club,” Bindseil said. “Freshman season was really fast and there were only like five dual meets because of COVID. This year, it’s been a lot different. I’ve been training a lot through these meets, so I’m not going my total fastest. I’m trying to get my fastest at state.”
Blair, a marathon swimmer, has spent a lot of time and energy working to build up her endurance in the 200 free and the 500 freestyle, which she believes will be her best events during her junior season. She’s “really excited” with the times she’s already putting up this year as she works to peak at just the right time.
These girls are already off to a great start.