District 51 Griffins take state competition by storm

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. School is out but sports aren't done just, yet at least not for the District 51 Griffins swimming and diving team.

Numbers may not be their strength, with just nine advancing to the state meet, but they've trained all year long to make much more than just a splash in 2016.

“We have a lot of motivation on our team to perform and to prove ourselves,” said Sam Jordan, a senior swimmer.

It’s definitely not the first time a Western Slope athlete has said they've got to compete with a chip on their shoulder.

In a landscape dominated by Front Range swimmers and divers, the D51 Griffins are looking to make more than a splash at this year’s CHSAA state meet.

“You know, last year was the first time in years that we had made it back to the second day of this meet,” said Cody Spencer, the D51 Griffins Head Coach.

This year, the nine Griffins qualifiers aren't just ok with making an appearance.

“We’re getting to the point where we want to make a name for ourselves while we're there and compete at higher level, and they got the confidence that showed them, ‘Hey we could and should be here, and we want to be here,” said Spencer.

To be a winner, you’ve got to train like one, which is why on top of their normal reps, these swimmers visualize their success.

“So it kind of helps me keep my cool and know what I’m doing and definitely having the end of it, I don't really visualize, it’s mainly the start of it," said Shane Haberkorn.

As much as the seniors want to distract themselves from the finish line, there's no denying this is it.

They’ve got one final competition to pen their names in the records book and come away with titles.

The CHSAA state swimming and diving meet begins Friday, May 20th at 4:00 P.M. and will take place at the Air Force Academy.

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