Heritage swim coach Tom Byorick and athlete Shelly Patton have an eight-year history that reached a pinnacle at the Class 5A state swim and dive …
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Heritage swim coach Tom Byorick and athlete Shelly Patton have
an eight-year history that reached a pinnacle at the Class 5A state
swim and dive championships this year.
Byorick first coached Patton with the Aces Swim Club and
presently coached the student athlete with the Eagles. He was
responsible for teaching Patton the mechanics of the four strokes,
and she has worked on them ever since.
At the Continental A-League championship meet Feb. 7 at Heritage
High School in Littleton, their work came together. The training
and work Patton did all season on the underwater legs of the
backstroke resulted in a victory in the 100 backstroke. She set
league and pool records with an All-American time of 56.23
Patton also took first in the 100 freestyle, again setting pool
and school records with 52.93, just edging out Julie Widmann who
took second at 53.63.
Patton reproduced the result the following week in the finals of
the 5A state meet, taking second place in the 100 back stroke in
56.05, second to Bonnie Brandon of Cherry Creek’s record-smashing
swim. In the 100 free at state, Widmann finished sixth with 52.76,
breaking the school record Patton had set the previous week.
Patton and Widmann, along with Karie Eitel and Andrea Slouka
finished strong in the 400-yard free relay, finishing fourth in the
state with an All-American time of 3:33.46.
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