A dual meet loss at Cherry Creek left the Regis Jesuit boys swim team stung a bit, so the Raiders were determined to make a memorable return visit to the Bruins’ home pool April 23.
Though they again finished behind Cherry Creek, the defending Class 5A state champions left the John Strain Memorial meet with a lot more encouragement for final weeks of the season.
The Raiders went out in style at the meet with victories and pool and meet records in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays that were well-timed as they focus on state ahead.
“I think this gives us a lot more confidence going into state that we really needed,” said senior Truman Inglis, referring to the 180.5-128.5 loss April 4. “The dual meet really set us back, but now we know we can get the job done.”
Cherry Creek won the second straight head-to-head meeting between the programs (with 1,014 points to Regis Jesuit’s 891), while coach Nick Frasersmith’s Raiders topped the Bruins 1,018-519 at the Dick Rush Coaches Invitational March 25, though both sides missed key swimmers that were out of state at a sectional meet.
This time, the teams were complete and getting prepared for the upcoming weeks, which will include league championship meets followed by the 5A state meet May 11-12 at the Veterans’ Memorial Aquatic Center.
In the latest meeting, Cherry Creek again had an advantage in diving as Regis Jesuit doesn’t have any on the roster this season. With only nine divers in the entire field, the Bruins picked up 75 points with three placers in the top eight.
But the Raiders were outstanding in the relays, especially the two freestyles.
In the 200 freestyle relay, Inglis anchored a team that included fellow seniors Hawkins Wendt, Carter Anderson and Ronan Krauss, which touched the wall in 1 minute, 24.02 seconds. That performance bettered the Cherry Creek pool and meet record of 1:24.85 from 2022 with a group that also included Inglis and Wendt along with graduated Gio Aguirre and Mack Dugan.
The 400 freestyle was also an all-senior group of Wendt, followed by Charlie Klein, Kraus and finally Inglis, who went into the water about a half-body length, but beat Bruins’ anchor Jaime Crawford to the wall by half a second.
The Raiders looked up at the scoreboard behind the starting blocks and saw 3:05.17, which shattered the previus pool and meet record of 3:08.34. That came from last season’s foursome that went on to win the state championship in Krauss, Wendt, Aguirre and Dugan.
“I did not think we were going to be clsoe to that record and then we beat it by three seconds, so it was kindof surreal,” Inglis said. “I looked up and it was just crazy. It was super fun.”
Earlier in the meet, Wendt won his specialty — the 50 yard freestyle, which he took in 21.21 seconds, which was 0.02 in front of Inglis — but he was thrilled with how the relays finished, especially the last one.
“The 400 free is a special race because it’s always the last race of a meet and this one was so close,” Wendt said. “I would that that is a little more special if I had to rank them, but it’s no suprising. We’re a finals team, so we always swim better in the finals.”
The Raiders also got a second-place finish in the 100 butterfly from Anderson, a third from Krauss in the 200 individual medley and a third from Inglis in the 100 freestyle. while freshman Nolan Kohl was a two-event championship finalist among other highlights.
Regis Jesuit is set to host the Continental “B” League meet April 29, then finish up at the “A” League meet May 5-6 at Heritage High School.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at email@example.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports