Two Pagosa High School girls were among those who competed in the Colorado State Swimming Championships in Fort Collins.
Erika Pitcher and Katie Armbrecht each qualified in multiple events to participate Feb. 12. Armbrecht qualified in the 200 and 400 meter freestyle relays, while Pitcher qualified in both the 200 and 400 medley relays as well as the 50 freestyle individual event.
Pitcher and Armbrecht represent Pagosa through the Durango Swim team along with Kelsey Anderson and Sarah Stuckwish. Because Durango swims at the 5A level, the highest level in the state, the qualifying times are very stringent. It wasn’t until the last week in January that Pitcher and Armbrecht were able to qualify for their first events, and the other qualifications came at Districts in Grand Junction in February.
The four girls representing Pagosa have been practicing at the Pagosa lakes Recreation Center since November with their coach Tiffany Candelaria. Once a week, they have traveled to Fort Lewis to practice with the others on the Durango High Swim Team and their coach, Jordan Parker, who said this about the Pagosa members of her team:
“The Pagosa girls have been an integral part of our success this year and have provided our team with so much talent and character. Both Katie Armbrecht and Erika Pitcher have been a key to our success at both Districts and in making state. Katie contributed to both the 200 and 400 free relays in making state cuts and Erika contributed to the 200 Medley and 200 Free relay making state cuts. Erika also qualified in one individual event to carry us through as district champion in the 50 freestyle. All four Pagosa girls create such liveliness for our team and we could not be the successful team we are without their contribution. I am thankful they are trained on a regular basis with Tiffany Candelaria and I am grateful for her contribution as well.”