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Former Tesoro swimmer killed in car crash remembered as ‘great teammate’

Former Tesoro swimmer Jillian Abrian is being remembered as an upbeat teammate with a strong competitive spirit after she died Saturday in a traffic collision in Pueblo County, Colo., where she attended classes and swam at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

The university stated Sunday that Abrian “succumbed to injuries from a traffic accident”, which involved two other Colorado State University-Pueblo students.

The university added that one student received treatment for injuries before being released while the other was in critical condition.

Abrian, in her third year at the university, was a CIF-SS Division 1 qualifier as a junior and senior at Tesoro in 2018-19.

As a senior, she placed third in the South Coast League championships in the 100-yard butterfly and fourth in the 50 free.

“While she was an exceptional swimmer at Tesoro, it was her attitude, happiness and love of her teammates that made her so great,” former Tesoro girls swimming coach Todd Conrad said. “Jillian was always happy and managed to make everyone around her better.”

Abrian grew up swimming age-group with the Ladera Liquids and later joined Gators Swim Club under Ecuadorian Olympian Felipe Delgado.

Delgado recalled that Abrian was undersized but earned a collegiate scholarship because of her hard work.

“Total underdog story,” he said. “She was 5-foot-3, maybe 100 pounds but a huge heart. … Great teammate, great athlete to coach.”

As a freshman at Division II Colorado State University-Pueblo, Abrian raced on a school-record 200-yard freestyle relay.

Her last post on Instagram, from last month, has received several heartfelt comments.

“Your kind heart and warm spirit got me through many swim practices,” one person wrote. “Missing you.”

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