Heritage defeats Mountain Vista

Eagles swimmers, divers touch up for 80-point win

Heritage sophomore Kaela Shandle gets some spring action Dec. 17 during the Eagle’s 223-143 victory over Mountain Vista. Shandle went on to win the diving competition with a score of 206.85 to help Heritage win the dual meet at Heritage High School.
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Heritage and Mountain Vista swimmers churned up the waters Dec. 17 during a girls swimming and diving dual at Heritage High School pool.

The battle for first-place honors was heated as Heritage won seven events and Mountain Vista took top honors in five events. But, Heritage piled up points with more individuals and relay teams finishing in the top six to help the Eagles win the meet, 223-143.

Before the Dec. 17 meet, Heritage Coach Tom Byorick said he has 55 athletes out for the team that is a good mix of returning letter winners and girls new to high school swimming competition.

“I think we are pretty strong in the freestyle events and the breaststroke but we’ll have to see how things work out,” the coach of 14 years said. “We also have solid relay teams. Everyone is looking pretty good.”

Byorick said the team is pretty good even this early. But he added that there are things Heritage has to do better as a team and things he has to do better as a coach.

“If we do what needs done, we should be a pretty salty team by the end of this season,” he said.

On the other side of the pool, first-year coach Tim Byers talked to the members of the Mountain Vista team.

“We are doing OK as I am still getting used to our swimmers and divers and they are still getting used to me,” Byers said before the meet. “We have 26 swimmers and nine divers. We have a solid group of talented athletes and everyone is willing to swim the events I ask them to swim.”

Byers was an assistant swimming coach at Columbine for six seasons before moving to the head coaching job at Mountain Vista.

“Our team will be very competitive and I expect us to do well,” he said. “Our relay teams are strong and we have individuals who are standouts in events, including the butterfly.”

Mountain Vista senior Gianna Salanitro helped her team with first-place finishes in the 100-meter butterfly and the 200-meter individual medley events.

Many events were won by tenths of a second. For example, Heritage won the 200-meter medley relay with a time of 1:55.42 and Mountain Vista was second with a time of 1:55.71.