GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) Over 350 swimmers from seven states dove into the pool last weekend competing for the fastest time.
"It's really special for us because it is one of the longest running meets in the state,” Grand Junction Invite Director Mary Cornforth said. “It originated with the Grand Junction Dolphins and many years was at Lincoln Park. When this facility was built, we moved here and transitioned to Maverick Aquatics."
It's a competition that may not give out first place medals, but the fast times are what attract the top swimmers to Grand Junction.
"This is actually a fairly serious competition meet,” Cornforth said. “They had to have qualifying times to get here. Teams from the east side of the state come over as a team, sometimes they travel together. They like to come because this is really a really fast pool and they are looking to make state cuts, zone cuts."
Local 14 year old Mallory Cawood has been swimming since eight years old and she has taken to the water not only for her drive to beat her own times, but to connect with other swimmers with the same passion.
"I like how we get to know people from other places better because most sports, you stay with your team and become close with them,” said Cawood. “Here we get the opportunity to meet new swimmers and then it's exciting to see them at the next meet."
Right off the blocks, Cawood is in race mode. When she hops out of the pool, she's all about helping make the team better.
"It's awesome. She pushes me and helps me do better,” said swimmer Emma Kimbrough. “Everyone's friendly and nice. They all push you to do your best and help you do your best."
"I love how much a part of a team it is but at the same time you get to focus on yourself and make your own goals while you have your team around you to support you and have fun with," Cawood said.
She has set high goals for herself and she is glad to call El Pomar Natatorium home, a place she can swim her best.
"I want to make some state relays, maybe break a record with the relays,” said Cawood. “It's really nice because we know the pool but I also swim faster here because it's our home pool and also we have good competition here."