Timing plays key role for Chargers

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Chatfield places nine in finals en route to third-place finish at the Jeffco Invitational

By Michael Hicks

ARVADA — Time may be of the essence, with less than a month to go before the end of the spring sports season. The Chatfield Chargers’ 200 medley relay team showed as much at the Jeffco Invite on April 20.
The foursome of Eric Berg, Santana Garcia, Zach Kugler and Kelly Huddleston swam a finals time of 1 minute, 43.23 seconds to place second only to D’Evelyn at Meyers Pool.
“I feel like we just put it out there and swam as fast as we can,” Berg said.
It was one of nine finals appearances for the Chargers, who placed third in a field of 22 teams with 198 points. Arapahoe Gold ran away with top team honors with 355 points, while D’Evelyn was second with 281.
Chatfield’s Matt Jagiello placed third in the 1-meter diving competition with a cumulative score of 380.4 points. Evan Hull of Denver East placed first after a solid preliminary round, scoring 407.8, while Tanner Williams of Thompson Valley was second with 382.04.
“I feel like I’m in pretty good standing. We’ve been practicing. It’s been fun. My coach has been really helping. My teammates have been supportive,” Jagiello said.
Other top finishers for Chatfield were Garcia placing third in the 100 butterfly (53.94 seconds) and fourth in the 50 freestyle (22.6), Kugler took fourth in the 100 freestyle (49.73), Huddleston placed sixth in both the 200 individual medley (2:05.64) and 100 backstroke (59.49), and the 200 freestyle relay team took fifth (2:05.64), while the 400 freestyle relay was sixth (3:28.40).
Garcia finished behind a pair of Arapahoe Gold swimmers in the 100 butterfly.
“It was a good swim. I didn’t do what I needed to before the race. That cost me on the way home,” Garcia said.
What should he have done?
“Stay warm. I think my body got cold,” Garcia said. “I probably could’ve warmed up a little bit more.”
Kugler said his fourth in the 100 freestyle was a good comeback finish after taking 16th — last in the consolation finals — earlier in the meet in the 200 freestyle in 1 minute, 57.39 seconds. In all fairness, though, Kugler had just competed in the meet-opening 200 medley relay before taking on the 200 freestyle. Though Kugler knows that most of the competition at the Jeffco Invite won’t be at the league championships in a few weeks, he said it still served as a good measuring stick for the Chargers.
“I told my team to use the Jeffco Invite as a good gauge, a good bearing for leagues,” Kugler said. “Take what you do well into leagues and take what you don’t do well to practice to fix before leagues. That would be good for me to do that as well in the 100.”
Columbine High’s best finishes were ninth with victories in the consolation finals for the 200 medley relay team (1:46.68) and for Grant Olsen-Stavrakas in the 200 freestyle (1:50.87).


Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.