Pueblo Masters Swimmers Rule at State

by | Apr 1, 2005 | News Articles

April, 2005 Fit to be Tied Column

From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi


Pueblo Masters Swimmers Rule at State

In one incredible weekend, you could say that Pueblo was put on the state’s masters swimming map.

On the weekend of April 8-10, a contingent of just four members of the Pueblo Masters Swim Club went up to Denver to compete in the Colorado Masters Swimming Association’s Short Course State Championships. In the University of Denver’s El Pomar Natatorium, they achieved both individual and team excellence.

Out of 32 teams competing, the four amassed 241 points to take 15th place in the overall standings. While that’s quite notable, most astounding were the individual performances.

Two swimmers – Cecil Townsend of Avondale and Carrie Slover of Beulah – were the No. 1 point scorers in their age divisions. Townsend, 57, accounted for 105 of his team’s total while competing in the men’s 55-59 age bracket. Slover, 52, tacked on another 82 points in the women’s 50-54 category.

Townsend competed in an exhausting 12 events from Friday night through Sunday afternoon, taking four first places – in the 1,650-yard freestyle, the 50 and 200 backstrokes and the 200 breaststroke. Slover scored in 11 events, taking places second through fifth in all of them.

That’s not all. Michael Orendorff, 53, scored in 10 events and placed eighth in the men’s 50-54 standings with 39 points. And Dr. Dennis Ray Gimlin, limited to five events because of an aching left shoulder that he has been nursing along slowly for many months, managed to tack on 15 points and place 19th in the 45-49 age division.

Pueblo Masters Swim Club members swim regularly together and are coached by Melissa Kralik, a former local swim standout in Pueblo and at the University of Northern Colorado. Members range in age from post-college to late 50s, and their ability levels are equally as widespread.

Weekday practices are at Pueblo East High School, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and from 6:15 to 7:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. They also swim from 7:30 to 9 a.m. on Saturdays at Pueblo County High. Workouts are varied and low-key but challenging.

The club is always accepting new members. For information, contact either Kralik at 248-8478 or melkralik@yahoo.com or Buddy Rambo at 485-3255 or budster@fone.net.

Boston Marathon

Dean Sandoval of Cañon City led a contingent of four area runners who completed the Boston Marathon this past Monday. Sandoval, 50, ran a 3:44:08. Fellow Cañon runners Warren and Julie Marshall, both 56, finished in 3:54 and 4:34, respectively. Pueblo’s Jessie Quintana, 61, finished in 5:29.


Orendorff pulled off another real doozy last month when he finished second out of 79 finishers in the 50-54 age division of the California Half-Ironman with a time of 4:56:46. The place earned Orendorff a berth in Ironman Canada this summer.

Desireé DallaGuardia, an 18-year-old senior at Rye High School, is having quite a year. After earning All-State honors in basketball, DallaGuardia has turned her attention to track. But she took a little detour last Sunday to take overall female honors in the Y-Bi Duathlon held in Pueblo West. Desireé record a 1:39:49 time on the course that included a 13.6-mile bike leg in between two 5K runs.

Training Camp

Workouts, educational seminars and relaxing activities will be on tap at the YMCA of Pueblo’s Altitude Training Camp to be held May 20-22 at Camp Jackson in Rye. Trail running, cycling, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding and high ropes courses are available, all at the challenging 8,200-foot elevation.

Guest speakers and their main topics will be multi-sport training guru George Dallam, goal setting and the advantages of high-altitude training; Dr. Rocky Khosla, injuries common to runners and cyclists and how to treat them, plus the benefits and dangers of high-altitude training; and physical therapist Chad Clark, sports performance enhancement and how to prevent injuries in any activity.

The registration deadline is May 13, and information is available by calling the YMCA at 543-5151.

Ride the Rockies

The 2,000 riders selected by lottery are gearing up (no pun intended) for this year’s Ride the Rockies that this year will go from Grand Junction to Breckenridge, covering 405 miles from June 19-25. The tour will go through Delta, Montrose, Gunnison, Salida, Buena Vista and Leadville. Three formidable climbs include 10,839-foot Grand Mesa, 11,312-foot Monarch Pass and 11,318-foot Fremont Pass.

Upcoming Area Races

  • April 24 – Yappy Dog (Prediction Series race), 8.63M, 8:30 a.m., South Mesa Elementary School (543-6982).
  • May 1 – Cinco de Mayo, 10K run and 2K walk, 7:30 a.m., Colorado State Fairgrounds (564-7685).
  • May 7 – Blossom Day 5K, 8 a.m., Cañon City (269-8790).
  • May 14 – Ordinary Mortals Women’s Triathlon, 525mtr swim, 12M bike, 3M run, 6:45 a.m., Pueblo Regional Center in Pueblo West (543-5151).
  • May 15 – Ordinary Mortals Men’s Triathlon, 525mtr swim, 12M bike, 3M run, 6:45 a.m., Pueblo Regional Center in Pueblo West (543-5151).
  • May 28 – Custer 2020 Run in the Valley, 6.25K run and 1M walk, 8 a.m., Westcliffe (877-783-9163).
  • June 4 – Run for Rio, 5K, 8 a.m., Rye High School (859-5136).
  • June 4 – Little Run on the Prairie, 5K run, 8 a.m., Lovell Park in Pueblo West (821-5463).
  • July 2 – Women’s Distance Festival, 5K run/walk, 7:30 a.m., Pueblo City Park (676-7343).

Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at gfranchi@ghvalley.net.

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