Perhaps like never before, Aurora is absolutely loaded for bear going into the Class 5A boys state swim meet.

The city has long had top talent from Regis Jesuit — the defending 5A state champion with 23 all-time titles to its credit — and from a few other programs, but it is better across the board this season going into the May 11-12 meet at the Veterans’ Memorial Aquatic Center.

There’s abundant potential in the 57 individuals and 14 relay teams from five city programs (Cherokee Trail, Grandview, Overland, Regis Jesuit and Smoky Hill) and three teams hope to make top 10 as they did last year.


Regis Jesuit — which snapped a three-season title drought last year — has a chance to repeat, though coach Nick Frasersmith’s Raiders will have to get past a Cherry Creek team that it lost to in dual competition as well as at the recent John Strain Memorial meet.

Regis Jesuit finished fourth at the Continental “A” League meet May 5-6, though it didn’t have any of its top-line swimmers in the lineup. The Raiders bolstered their numbers in terms of state qualifiers, however, and roll into the state meet with 22 individuals in the mix along with all three relay teams.

The relays will be key for Regis Jesuit, which is seeded first in the event in both the 200 and 400 yard freestyle events. Both of those top times (1 minute, 24.02 seconds in the 200 and 3:05.17 in the 400) came at the John Strain meet and gave the Raiders a boost of confidence late in the season as they readied for the state meet.

Seniors Truman Inglis (50 and 100 freestyles) and Hawkins Wendt (50 and 100 freestyles) — key members of those relays — are also seeded to score in two championship finals, while Regis Jesuit is likely to have many more as it has notoriously outstanding prelims performances.

Smoky Hill finished sixth last season and returns the vast majority of its point scorers, all of whom have taken steps forward this season.

Coach Scott Cohen’s Buffaloes finished as the runner-up to Cherry Creek at the Centennial “A” League meet May 6 and have the horsepower to finish anywhere near the top of the standings.

Junior Daniel Yi won one of three league championships for Smoky Hill as he took the 200 yard individual medley with a time of 1:51.76, which makes him the No. 2 seed in the event at the state meet, (just 0.01 of a second behind Legacy’s Sam White.

Yi is also seeded second in his specialty, the 100 yard breaststroke, and he should be extra motivated at the state meet. He suffered a rare loss in the event in the Centennial “A” League championship heat as Cherry Creek’s Trevor Boodt touched him out. Boodt is seeded No. 3 coming into the state meet, while the No. 1 seed is Chatfield’s Joshua Corn — who touched out Yi at the Smoky Hill Invitational — and the fourth seed is Heritage’s Mitchell Oliver, last season’s state champion.

The Buffaloes figure to pick up big points in the 500 freestyle, where sophomore Ian Noffsinger and junior Jake Baker continue to push each other to new heights and come into the state meet seeded No. 2 and 3, respectively.

Both were championship finalists in the event last season (Baker finished fifth, Noffsinger ninth), but both hope to make big moves up. Noffsinger won the event at the league meet, while Baker claimed the 200 freestyle and is seeded to score in that as well at state.

Smoky Hill also has two relays seeded in the top 10 and an outside chance to get the third in to the championship, which would be a rare feat for the program if it happened.

Grandview finished third at the Centennial “A” League meet and seeks to better last season’s 10th place finish. Coach Dan Berve’s Wolves were just nine points out of seventh place last season and could make a big jump this time with a total of 14 individual qualifiers.

After the league meet, all three Grandview relay teams are seeded in the top seven and that could yield good points at state if it can hold or better those positions.

Individually, sophomore Oliver Schimberg made two championship finals last season and is seeded to do so again, while he is a major challenger for the state championship in the 100 backstroke. Schimberg didn’t swim the event at the league meet, but his top time of 49.59 seconds is only just behind the 49.20 of Monarch’s Gavin Keogh.

Senior Matthew Scicchitano is seeded to make two championship finals and senior William Schimberg is seeded to score in two events for the Wolves.

Cherokee Trail finished 17th last season and coach Kipp Meeks’ young team could make a move up with a contingent of seven qualifiers and three relays.

Sophomore Bronson Smothers is seeded to score in two events for the Cougars, who could score in all three relays.

Overland has two relay teams qualified and coach Melissa Lucero’s Trailblazers also have the only state qualifier for Aurora in diving in sophomore Chad Hamilton. The diving competition is at 9:55 a.m. May 11.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...

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