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Kuhr appears on track to defend title

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By Brian Forbes

ARVADA — Emily Kuhr kind of wishes she was like everyone else.

You know, the people that can go to a swimming pool just to cool off, get wet, check out the scenery and jump and frolic with brainless abandon.

Since Kuhr happens to be a standout swimmer, her trips to the pool come with a tiny voice in the back of her head that reminds her she could be – should be – practicing.

Myers Pool was Kuhr’s office Saturday afternoon for the annual Jefferson County League Meet finals, where she finished in the top two in two individual events for Dakota Ridge.

Kuhr won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1 minute, 6.3 seconds (she won the Class 5A state title in 2007 in the same event) and took second in the 200 individual medley behind Ralston Valley standout Arianne Lujan, who was affectionately dubbed “The Terminator” by the meet announcer.

Lujan led the Mustangs to a first-place finish of 409 points, while Chatfield took second with 281 points. Dakota Ridge placed sixth with 128 points and Columbine was ninth in the 20-team field with 105 points.

Kuhr’s time in the breaststroke final was nearly identical to her preliminary time, which meant a relatively easy victory over Lakewood’s Kylie Rathbone.

“The breaststroke is definitely my forte,” Kuhr said.

In the 200 IM, Kuhr finished nearly eight seconds behind Lujan in the final after trailing by six seconds after prelims. In the final, Kuhr was two seconds off the pace after the butterfly, five seconds back after the backstroke, she didn’t lose any ground on the breaststroke but couldn’t gain ground in the freestyle portion.

“I thought I’d stay behind Arianne and I’d try to stay ahead of everyone else and get my same time and hopefully keep the same place,” Kuhr said. “I’m happy with it.”

The Eagles also placed third in the 200 yard medley relay and Hannah Cox place third in the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.48.

Shelley Perkins and Katherine Glassner led the Chargers by placing in four events and winning one.

Perkins clinched the 100 freestyle with a time of 54.07 and was second in the 50 free with a 24.85. Glassner was second in both the 200 free and 500 free.

The Chargers also won the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:42.76 and placed second in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:44.19.

Kaitlynn Reiling found it tough on the outside lane in the finals of the 100 butterfly. Reiling swam a time of 1:06.92 in prelims, when she got an inside lane, but took eighth in lane eight with a time just over 1:08.

“The 1:08 wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I was hoping for two seconds the other way for state,” Reiling said.

Speaking of Kaitlynns, Kaitlynn Jackson of Columbine swam a strong final to place second in the 100 freestyle with a time of 54.92. Jackson had the fifth best prelim time but shaved more than a second off her time in the final.

The Rebels also placed third in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:45.33.