THORNTON – Glenwood Springs has a long way to travel just to experience an atmosphere. Since the Demons are here, they might as well compete. That’s at least how they see it.

A relatively small team in terms of numbers, the Demons put together a solid performance in the Class 3A girls swimming prelims and are excited about what they have the potential to do when finals begin at 4 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center.

“Our big team event is actually last weekend with all the teams in our conference,” coach Steve Vanderhoof said. “This is the icing on the cake. We’re learning how to come to state and swim fast. That hasn’t been our focus in the past. It’s been last year and this year.”

There are Glenwood Springs swimmer scattered throughout the A-finals for Saturday. Bennett Jones is seeded first in the 200-yard individual medley, Amelie Ogilby is first in the 500 freestyle and both are in other finals as well.

Emma Lindstrom and Adelyn Newton will also be swimming in the A-finals on Saturday in individual events. The Demons also made the finals for all three relay races and are hoping to put together a special day for the program.

“We’re pretty at staying strong throughout the whole meet,” Jones said. “Our mindset is to finish strong. We’re the little team that could.”

At last year’s meet, the Demons finished sixth as a team with 236 points. A win in the 200 freestyle relay and Ogilby’s title in the 500 freestyle helped with that placement. There is genuine hope that the team can put together performances that can help the Demons finish higher than sixth.

“We want to go best times in the finals,” Vanderhoof said. “As we’ve seen, Bennett wants that state title and a state record [in the 200 IM] and with Amelie, we think we can get that state record in the 500 free.”

Team placement, of course, will also depend on how the relay teams can fare in their final swims. Given the strength of other teams in the field such as Discovery Canyon and Evergreen, it’s going to be a challenge. But it’s one that the Demons are looking forward to taking on.

“I don’t know with our relays if we can get there,” Vanderhoof said. “I think knowing that all our teammates [who didn’t qualify for state] are cheering for them, we’ll be able to do our best.”

Ideally, they’d like to get closer to their 2021 finish where the team finished third overall. They have the numbers and the positions in finals to get that done it will all just come down to performance.

And if they perform the way they believe they can, there is a chance that their long bus ride home on I-70 could include some hardware.