Glenwood Springs High School swimmer Amy Madsen signs with Puget Sound

Glenwood Springs senior swimmer Amy Madsen has signed to swim with the University of Puget Sound.
Chelsea Self/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Amy Madsen vividly remembers her very first swim race as a member of the Sopris Barracudas team when she was just 6 years old.

“I was incredibly nervous and not sure if I wanted to swim,” the Glenwood Springs High School senior said. “But my mom was like, ‘You know what, just run this race and tell me how it feels.’

“I first touched that wall and I was like, ‘Mom, did you see that!’ I immediately fell in love with swimming,” said Madsen, who made his mark for several years at club level with the Barracudas and Team Sopris, and became one of the team’s most consistent members. GSHS University Swimming Championships.

Recently, Madsen decided to take her talents to the college level, signing her national letter of intent to swim for the University of Puget Sound, where she plans to go to college.

Madsen is the daughter of Stevie and Corey Madsen and grew up in Glenwood Springs attending Sopris Elementary, Glenwood Springs Middle School and Glenwood Springs High School.

She’s played other youth sports and tried cross-country running for a season in high school, but swimming has always been her sporting passion, Madsen said.

After placing second at the Class 3A state championships in February in the 100 freestyle and swimming as part of the Demons state champion 200 freestyle relay team, Madsen began aiming for swimming at the university.

But the right fit was important, she says.

“I did a few visits last year and spoke to the coach there, and Puget really checked everything on my list,” said Madsen, 17, who plans to eventually pursue a master’s degree in physiotherapy after studying exercise science. during his undergraduate years.

“I looked at other schools in California and Oregon, and it was definitely a tough decision. But I’m more than sure I did the right thing,” she said.

Madsen said she took up swimming as a young athlete because she loved that it was an individual sport, but with a strong team-building component.

“All my best friends are on the swim team, and I like the idea of ​​working to improve yourself and racing against the clock and trying to improve on your previous PRs (personal bests),” a- she declared. “I’m also super competitive, and as a team we all push each other a lot.”

Longtime Barracudas and Demons swim coach Steve Vanderhoof said it was evident early on that Madsen had a great feel for the water.

He remembers when she was 12 and winning the Colorado State Club Championship in the 100 freestyle.

Glenwood Springs High School Amy Madsen, center, was joined by her parents Stevie and Corey Madsen as she officially signed the National Letter of Intent to Swim for the University of Puget Sound.
Glenwood Springs High School Athletics/Courtesy Photo

“Amy’s championship has helped the Sopris team from a struggling 30-member squad six years ago to nearly 100 swimmers today,” Vanderhoof said. “Her championship showed her teammates what is possible.”

That mentorship moved to the Demons’ stint team last season and was a big part of their state championship win, he said.

“We’re all very excited for Amy, and I think the University of Puget Sound will be a better place with Amy on the team,” Vanderhoof said.

Madsen said she expects to continue to focus on the sprint events in the freestyle, although she has also been working to improve her breaststroke in the sprints.

“My best event is always the 100 freestyle, followed by the 50 freestyle,” she said, adding that she hopes to earn a spot on the Loggers sprint relays.

Puget Sound competes at the NCAA Division III level, so his signing does not include an athletic scholarship. Madsen said she was able to make up for that through several scholarships and swim club scholarships.

“Division III can still be super fast, so it’s very competitive,” Madsen said. “But I really wanted to focus a bit more on my studies than on swimming, but swimming is still a very big and important part of my life.”

Madsen also enjoys being a role model for her much younger siblings, ages 2 and 4.

“My 4-year-old sister will probably start swimming for the Barracudas,” she said. “They have the competitive genes for sure, and they love trying to race me every time we go to the pool.”

As a family, she said her family is more interested in running and triathlons. She said she also enjoys competing in triathlons and will likely continue to race triathlons for fun.

“I’ve done quite a bit with my mom over the last few years,” Madsen said. “It’s just something really fun to do and practice together.”

Mom Stevie Madsen said Puget Sound should be just right for her daughter.

“I’m very excited for Amy,” she said. “The University of Puget Sound has a competitive swimming program and a very strong sense of community. I’m very excited for her to take this next step.

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