AURORA | Smoky Hill boys swimmers dominated Colorado’s Academic All-American honors from the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association for the 2019 season.
Of the state’s 12 swimmers recognized by NISCA/Swimoutlet.com for meeting the Academic All-American criteria — graduation seniors with a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.750 on a 4-point scale or 93.7500% of the grade scale for a school that uses 7 semesters/11 trimesters — half of them hail from coach Scott Cohen’s Buffaloes, who also were one of the county’s top academic teams.
Seven in all came from Aurora, as Grandview’s Kyle Raney joined the Smoky Hill group of Harold Bacheller IV, Alex Burkhardt, Javoni Dass, Garrett Iverson, Eashan Sahai and Everett Urban in earning the accolades.
In addition to their classroom prowess, Burkhardt and Iverson were key parts of a Smoky Hill team that finished 18th at the Class 5A boys state swim meet in May.
Burkhardt — who has signed to swim at Truman State — scored in all four events he competed in for the Buffaloes, placing 19th in the 200 yard freestyle and 20th in the 100 backstroke individually and swimming legs on the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, which placed 16th and 15th, respectively.
Iverson qualified for state individually in the 100 butterfly and finished in 13th place, while he swam on the 14th-place 200 medley relay and the 15th-place 400 freestyle relay.
Raney qualified for the state meet in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke, but fell short of consolation or championship finals in both. He did contribute to the 400 yard freestyle relay, which placed 18th for coach Ashley Wright’s Wolves.
With so many Academic All-Americans, its now a surprise that Smoky Hill also earned one of NISCA/Swimoutlet.com’s Team Scholar Awards as well.
The Buffaloes were the lone Colorado team to earn the honor and captured the top one as a Gold Award winner with a cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.821 that ranked 14th in the country. They also won the Gold Award last season.
Smoky Hill’s girls team also earned the Gold Award and had two Academic All-Americans.
Colorado’s other boys Academic All-Americans came from Fossil Ridge and Valor Christian.
To be considered for an Academic All-American award, NISCA had to receive documentation from coaches.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
2018-19 NISCA/SWIMOUTLET.COM BOYS SCHOOL TEAM AWARD
Gold Award (3.750 GPA or higher): Smoky Hill, 3.821 GPA
2018-19 NISCA/SWIMOUTLET.COM COLORADO BOYS ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS
HAROLD BACHELLER IV, SMOKY HILL; ALEX BURKHARDT, SMOKY HILL; Christian Conrady, Fossil Ridge; JAVONI DASS, SMOKY HILL; Casey Fellows, Valor Christian; GARRETT IVERSON, SMOKY HILL; Ted Kim, Fossil Ridge; Joshua Lee, Fossil Ridge; Cole Mason, Fossil Ridge; KYLE RANEY, GRANDVIEW; EASHAN SAHAI, SMOKY HILL; EVERETT URBAN, SMOKY HILL