The Pueblo Chieftan

Relay the message

The combination of youth and experience paid dividends for the Pueblo West girls swim team Tuesday night.

The Cyclones swam away with a 117-68 victory over the Central Wildcats at Central High School.

Pueblo West took a 10-point lead out the gate with a 2:12.80 effort from its 200-yard medley relay team. A lead it did not relinquish.

“We put in a lot of hard work in at practice and we put our best foot forward,” said sophomore Miranda Coxen. “Our coach is very supportive of our efforts.”

Coxen and her teammates followed their opening performance with more dominance in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The echos of cheers coming from the Cyclones out of the pool demonstrated the team’s bond this season.

“I love my team,” Coxen said. “We have our differences, but we’re very supportive of each other. It’s our support of each other as a team that keeps us strong in the pool.”

A stout performance from Coxen, and seniors Marrilynn Abbott and Kelsi Morrow, along with sophomore Bari Agnes in the 400-yard freestyle relay capped off a dominant night for the Cyclones.

Finishing nearly 22 seconds ahead of the closest competitor, the Cyclones proved head coach Dianne Petkoff assembled a team that can compete with anyone.

Both the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley teams are near qualifying times — 2.05.00 and 1:51.00, respectively — but have to keep up the support of one another to meet the qualifications.

“We work hard and we’re always there for each other,” Coxen said. “Our support is important when we’re out there.”

The next stop for the Cyclones swimmers is the South-Central League meet.

The team hopes its victory over Central provides the momentum necessary for a strong effort.

“We are swimming great and we are improving our times. We are excited and ready for what the weekend has in store for us and we will go into the meet with a winning attitude and hopefully we will accomplish our goals while there,” head coach Dianne Petkoff said. The S-CL meet will be held at Centennial High School.

Swim prelims are set for 4:30 p.m. Friday, with swim finals scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday. Diving prelims will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday. The final three dives will be held during the swim finals.

View reporter Hope A. Sickler contributed to this report.

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