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Swim team caps off season in style

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By Dan Johnson

The Evergreen girls swim team finished off the 2008-09 campaign with a 19th-place finish at the Class 4A state swim meet. It’s the highest finish for an Evergreen team since 2003.

“It was a little bit of a surprise,” said Evergreen junior, Carrie Latimer. “Everyone swam really hard at state and it was a good ending to our season.”

The Cougars, who a week prior to state placed fourth at the Jefferson County League Championships, appear to have a solid foundation in place, as out of all the girls that qualified for state this season, only Corinne Bremmer will be lost to graduation.

“We have a lot of good freshman coming in as well,” Latimer said. “I think we have the potential to improve on what we accomplished this season.”

Latimer had a strong showing at state, highlighted by her 10th-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke. Latimer, who was seeded 14th, clocked in with a final time of 1 minute, 03.48 seconds.

“I was stuck in a lane with no one on either side of me,” she said. “You are on your back and usually, you can look and see where the girls next to you are. I didn’t have that, so it was all mental and I knew I had to kick my fastest.

“I didn’t think I’d do well but I did and it was really exciting.”

Latimer was also pleased with her performance in the 50-yard freestyle, where she finished 17th, one spot out of the scoring.

“I’d never broken 26 seconds so that was really big,” said Latimer, who finished in 25.93 seconds. “It’s my favorite race.”

In addition to her individual races, Latimer also swam on the Cougars’ 200-yard freestyle relay and 200-yard medley relay teams. Both relay teams were less than a second away from setting new school records.

Lily Werthan, Lindsay Johnson, Bremmer and Latimer comprised the medley relay team, which finished 12th with a time of 1:59.28. The freestyle relay team of Holly Fortik, Johnson, Bremmer and Latimer placed 13th with a time of 1:45.93.

Bremmer finished 25th in the 200 IM and 22nd in the 100 butterfly. Fortik was 33rd in the 200 freestyle and 25th in the 500 freestyle.

Renee Gutberlet was 21st in the 100 backstroke and the Cougars’ 400 freestyle relay team of Johnson, Fortik, Gutberlet and Melissa Karres placed 30th.

“Our coach (Jeanne Godaire) did a great job of bringing the team together this year,” Latimer said. “I felt like we were a much stronger, and closer, team.”