THORNTON | The 2016 EMAC Championships proved very successful for the Hinkley boys swim team, which not only won the league title, but added to its Class 5A state contingent as well.
Coach Beth Himes’ Thunderbirds racked up 526 points in Saturday’s finals at the Veterans’ Memorial Aquatic Center to outdistance Thornton for the team title and the co-op team of swimmers from a variety of Aurora schools also saw their 200 yard medley relay team earn its way into the 5A state meet May 20-21 at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The 200 medley relay team of sophomores Nathan Leigh (Vista PEAK), Danyion Reagan (Rangeview), David Griffith (Gateway) and senior Joseph Graff (Rangeview) opened the finals in style, as their winning time of 1 minute, 47.70 seconds gave the Thunderbirds a second relay team set to compete in the state meet.
Leigh, Hinkley’s lone individual swimmer qualified for the state meet, went on to take the league title in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:04.15 to finish just ahead of Thornton’s Matthew Schlitz, the EMAC Swimmer of the Year, while sophomore Byron Mayo — in his first year with the team — won the league title on the diving board.
Mayo scored 416 points to head the Thunderbirds’ sweep of medals on the diving board — as Isiah Cheeks finished second and Jerald Mayo took third — and he was selected as the EMAC Diver of the Year, while Jacob Butler garnered EMAC Dive Coach of the Year honors, which he also did during the girls season.
Graff (50 free), Griffith (100 free), Reagan (200 individual medley), Elisha Brandt (100 backstroke) and the 200 yard freestyle relay team all posted runner-up finishes for Hinkley, which also got at least one championship finals swim from Jebb Askew (Rangeview), Ian Thomson (Hinkley), Sam Page (Rangeview), Edgar Mondragon (Rangeview) and Chris Dyk (Denver Christian).
Laramie Reece of Adams City was selected EMAC Swim Coach of the Year.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2016 EMAC BOYS SWIM CHAMPIONSHIPS
May 13-14 at Veterans’ Memorial Aquatic Center
Team scores: 1. HINKLEY 526.5 points; 2. Thornton 491.5; 3. Brighton 336.5; 4. Adams City 287.5; 5. Westminster 112
Full EMAC Championship event results, here.