LITTLETON — Breathing isn’t all that necessary. In fact, it’s downright detrimental.
This is something Evergreen swimmer Lindsay Johnson must contemplate as she tries to whittle he time down in the 50-meter freestyle. Johnson was comfortably ahead Jan. 9 but finished a little slower than coach Jeanne Godaire liked.
The result: A first-place finish and the recommendation that breathing in the final 15 meters is not a good idea.
Michael Phelps would probably agree.
“I just need to work on not breathing,” said Johnson, who also chided herself for losing her form late and not generating enough power.
Despite what the sophomore felt she didn’t do, the Cougars still rolled at The Ridge as they cruised past Class 5A Dakota Ridge 121-59.
The 4A Cougars grabbed first place in nine of the 12 events and swept the 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle events.
Johnson grabbed first in the 50 freestyle with a time of 27.86 seconds – a finger length ahead of Dakota Ridge’s Megan Schneider (27.89) – and placed third in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:13.96.
Johnson is about a second behind the state-qualifying time of 26.6 in the 50 freestyle, which made her race against the Eagles a bittersweet victory.
“Not my best,” she said. “I went to state last year and got a 26 (seconds). This year I need to make state.”
Evergreen’s Hailey Davey placed third in the 50 freestyle.
The Cougars did not have any times low enough to qualify for state, while the Eagles had just one – Hannah Cox’s time of 54.99 in the 100 freestyle.
Cox also won the 100 breaststroke and the Eagles took first in diving.
Evergreen’s Carrie Latimer took first in the 100 backstroke (1:09.32) and was second in the 100 freestyle (58.94). Teammate Renee Gutberlet was second in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:10.05 and she placed second in the 500 freestyle with a time of 6:23.38.
Corrinne Bremmer placed first in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:07.60, nearly two seconds faster than Dakota Ridge’s top swimmer. Melissa Karres placed third in the 100 free and was third in the 100 breaststroke.
Holly Fortik matched Latimer for first-place finishes as she powered her way to big finishes in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. Fortik won the 200 with a time of 2:11.49, which was 13 seconds better than teammate Kealia McKee. Fortik finished the grueling 500 in a time of 5:56.27, which was 27 seconds better than Gutberlet.
Kat O’Malley placed third in the 200 freestyle to and 500 freestyle to give the Cougars a sweep of the event.
Rachel Harrington was second in the 200 individual medley and Lily Werthan was third to give the Cougars the sweep.
Evergreen also won the 200 freestyle relay, the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.