The Las Animas Trofins Summer Swimming Program ended their season on a high note July 29-31 at the Seasonal State Swimming Championships held in Craig.

The Las Animas Trofins Summer Swimming Program ended their season on a high note July 29-31 at the Seasonal State Swimming Championships held in Craig.

Of the seven Tofins who qualified for the meet, five swam over the weekend, amassing several top 10 finishes.

Leading the way for the Trofins was seasoned swimmer grace Gardner, who was crowned state champion in the girls’ 9-10 50 meter backstroke and girls’ 9-10 200 meter freestyle. Gardner swam the backstroke in 41.67 and the freestyle in 2:56.68.

“Grace qualified for state in every swim that she could and chose 10 to swim at the state meet,” said Trofins coach Cody Allen. “Winning two events is a huge accomplishment. Swimmers from all over the state compete in the state meet and there is an average of 25-30 swimmers in every event. She has worked hard all summer and it paid off for her.”

Gardner finished third overall in her age group, which is determined by the final outcome of every swim competed in. In total she claimed two first place finishes, three second place finishes, four third place finishes and one fourth place finish.

Also competing in ten events, Morgan Dowell finished the meet with eight top ten finishes in the girls’ 11-12 class. Her best finish was third in the 100 meter backstroke with a time of 1:23.20. She was fourth in the 50 meter backstroke in 39.63 and fifth in the 200 meter IM in 3:11.84 and 400 meter freestyle in 5:58.32.

“Morgan had to face some challenges with a weather delay but performed well,” said Allen. “She raced well in all of her swims and had a strong finish in the 400 Freestyle, which is a new swim for her this summer.”

Madison Stewart was 13th overall in the girls’ 9-10 fly with a time of 55.31, 15th in the 200 IM in 4:10 and set a personal best mark in the 100 meter backstroke in 2:05.62.

“Madison set a goal to qualify in one event this summer but her parents said if she wanted to go to state she needed to make it in three events,” said Allen. “And she did it. She made improvements throughout the summer and worked hard to get there.”

Also competing in the state meet was Clayton Allen and Bria Gardner, who swam in the 6-under class. While times are not recognized for tournament placing, both swimmers cut time from their qualifying marks. Allen, who is 4 years old, was more than 11 seconds better in the 25 meter freestyle finishing in 1:12.71 and Gardner, 6, was three seconds better in the 25 meter free in 46.68 and more than 10 seconds better in the 25 meter backstroke in 54.44.

“We had around 60 swimmers come out this summer and increased the number of swimmers who competed in A meets,” said Allen. Our younger swimmers are aging up and some swimmers are coming back that haven’t swam in a few years. I’m extremely proud of the way all of our swimmers worked whether they won a race or not. All summer long, they came out to work hard, and it showed.”