Last year, the swimmers from Pueblo County High swept every swimming event at the SCL championships.
In 2017, with help from experienced Cyclone swimmers, they won all but two.
Last weekend, SCL boy’s swimming was held at Centennial High School’s pool. Due to the recent combination of the Pueblo West and Pueblo County teams, five teams competed for the title.
The Hornets blasted to a huge win on the backs of seniors Max Moreland and Garret Lopez, Juniors Paul Sopko and Treven Wertz, as well as sophomores: Kaleb Deleon-Fisher, Sean FIsher, and Jaedon Vargas.
“Our obvious strength is our top four boys, but what gets us wins is the fact we have four more backing their performance up with great swims of their own,” said head coach Josh Cortese.
The Hornets took wins in nine of the twelve swimming events.
Pueblo West student Lopez took his first ever win in the 100 butterfly, his signature event. “It felt really good to finally win it,” said Lopez, ” I don’t really care what team it was for, it was just nice to win.”
Other winners from the team include; Wertz, who won the 50 and 100 freestyle, Deleon-Fisher, who won the 100 yard backstroke, and Moreland, who won the 200 yard Individual Medley (IM) and the 100 yard breaststroke.
Moreland, as well as receiving a SCL Swimmer of the Year award, shared with teammate Garrett Lopez, broke two team records. The Rocky Ford native swam a 2:05.69 in his 200 IM and a 1:02.97 in his 100 breaststroke, both times were fast enough to smash the previous Hornet team records.
“I’ve been chasing those records for a few years. I’m just glad I managed to break them at my last SCL,” noted Moreland.
Sopko, Vargas, and Fisher all contributed to the top six finishes in their individual events, scoring “back-up” points for the team.
“Without Paul, Sean, and Jaedon finishing as high as they did, this would have been a very close meet,” said Cortese,”None of our boys finished lower than 12th, and all of them made it back to A or B finals on day two. That’s what made the most difference.”
The Hornets season continues for one more weekend invitational. The state meet, held at the USAF pool, will take place May 19 and 20th.
Moreland, Lopez, Wertz, and Deleon-Fisher will compete individually for state medals, while trying to get their three relays into the top eight finalists on day two of the meet.
As a group, the team hopes to be top ten in total point totals at the end of the 4A state meet.