THORNTON | The Hinkley-based Aurora Public Schools co-op boys swim team capped its outstanding season with an eighth-place finish Saturday at the Class 5A boys state swim meet.
The Penguins’ previous best finish at the state meet was 14th, but coach Beth Himes’ scored 101 points in the championship session at the Veterans’ Memorial Aquatic Center as the second-highest Aurora finisher behind state champion Regis Jesuit.
Senior David Griffith (Gateway) made a pair championship finals and combined with fellow seniors Nathan Leigh (Vista PEAK) and Matthew Johnson (Rangeview) plus junior Will Hawley on a 200 yard freestyle relay team that finished a city-best fourth.
Griffith posted a fifth-place result in the 100 freestyle and came in sixth in the 50 free, while Leigh won the consolation heat of the 200 individual medley. He lost a thrilling swim-off against Regis Jesuit’s Will Kerscher at the end of prelims.
The Penguins’ 200 medley relay team of Griffith, Leigh, Johnson and Hawley had the second-fastest time in 5A going into the final week of the season (1 minute, 36.93 seconds) and swam even faster than that in prelims (1:36.34), but it left them just 0.01 out of a spot in the championship finals. They rebounded to win the consolation finals heat.
The Hinkley team’s senior diving duo of Isaiah Cheeks (Rangeview) and Byron Mayo (Bennett) finished seventh and 12th, respectively, as the highest-scoring teammates in the competition with a combined 17 points.
Mayo placed for the third time in his career and posted his highest result, while Cheeks placed for the first time with a total of 495.35 points, second-highest among Aurora divers behind Regis Jesuit freshman Quinn Henninger, the runner-up.
Coach Scott Cohen’s Smoky Hill team collected 57 points on its way to 15th place as seniors Tim Domashevich and Tylen Phillips earned spots on the medal podium and the Buffaloes’ 400 freestyle relay team finished sixth.
Phillips swam a faster time in the finals of the 100 yard butterfly than he had the previous week when he broke a 38-year-old Centennial League record (50.55 seconds) with a 50.46 that put him seventh on the medal podium.
In a diving competition that saw six of the 16 placers from Aurora, Domashevich finished in the eighth spot with his total of 475.20 points.
The Buffaloes finished the state meet on a high note as Phillips combined with fellow senior Jordan Scott and juniors Alexander Burkhardt and Logan Strid on a sixth-place 400 freestyle relay, which swam three seconds faster and moved up two places from pre-meet seeding.
Grandview got a pair of consolation finals performances from junior Cobi Wood, who finished 10th in the 500 freestyle and tied for 11th in the 200 freestyle to help contribute to the Wolves’ 19th-place total of 22.5 points.
Coach Ashley Lewis’ Grandview team also picked up 10 points on the diving board with the combined results of juniors Antonio Vigil-Harrison (10th) and Noah Bishop (14th).
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Sentinel Prep Sports
2018 CLASS 5A BOYS STATE SWIM MEET
Team scores: 1. REGIS JESUIT 290.50 points; 2. Fossil Ridge 286; 3. Cherry Creek 208.5; 4. Arapahoe 198; 5. Highlands Ranch 169; 6. Boulder 138; 7. Ponderosa 117; 8. HINKLEY 101; 9. Rocky Mountain 96; 10. Fort Collins 88.5; 11. Greeley West 82; 12. Broomfield 79; 13. Legacy 68; 14. Lewis-Palmer 66; 15. SMOKY HILL 57; 16. Mountain Range 50; T17. Ralston Valley 36; T17. Columbine 26; 19. GRANDVIEW 22.5; 20. Heritage 21; T21. Bear Creek 20; T21. Rampart 20; T21. Denver South 20; 24. Fairview 19; 25. Lakewood 15; 26. Denver East 13; 27. Chatfield 6; 28. Monarch 2
— Full 2018 Class 5A boys state swim meet results, here
— Full list of 2018 Aurora 5A boys state swim meet placers, here