The 400 yard freestyle relay team of seniors Mack Dugan and Gio Aguirre and juniors Hawkins Wendt and Ronan Krauss earned the only individual event state championship for the Regis Jesuit boys swim team on its way to the Class 5A state title. Top right: Senior Gio Aguirre earned four spots on the 2022 Sentinel Colorado All-Aurora Boys Swim Team, two in individual results and two with relay teams. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

Regis Jesuit returned to the top of the prep boys swimming world in the 2022 season, fueled by a group of determined seniors and others who saved their best for their last time in the pool.

Not surprisingly, the core of the team that earned the Raiders’ program a 23rd all-time state title appears on the 2022 Sentinel Colorado All-Aurora Boys Swim Team, which is based primarily on performance at the Class 5A state meet. Preventing a sweep of the All-Aurora first team spots is Smoky Hill sophomore star Daniel Yi.

It took until the last event of the state meet for coach Nick Frasersmith’s Regis Jesuit team to win its only event championship, as the 400 yard freestyle relay team of seniors Max Dugan and Gio Aguirre and juniors Ronan Krauss and Hawkins Wendt put the finishing touches on the strong meet with a winning performance.

The Raiders owned a significant lead over rival Cherry Creek in the team standings, which kept all the pressure off the 400 freestyle relay team, which finished in 3 minutes, 4.11 seconds, which earned it Automatic All-American honors.

Aguirre anchored the title-winning team, which swam a full 3.5 seconds faster than in prelims and finished comfortably ahead of runner-up Fossil Ridge.

Regis Jesuit swept the All-Aurora spots in all three relays as the 200 yard freestyle team finished second (by a mere 0.35 of a second behind Legacy) and 200 yard medley squad came in third. Both results matched the pre-meet seeding of each team and both went at least a second faster than their previous season best.

Wendt — a transfer in his first year with the team — was the common denominator as he swam a leg on all three relays. Aguirre, Dugan and junior Carter Anderson each were on two teams, while seniors Luke Dinges and Jacob Sykora and Krauss were each part of one.

Aguirre won the 2021 state championship in the 100 yard freestyle and aimed for another, but Chatfield’s Tristen Davin had other ideas, finishing a second in front of Aguirre, who ended up in second place. Aguirre (who is headed to the U.S. Naval Academy) also finished fourth in the 200 freestyle as the best result in a championship final in the event that included two of his teammates as well as a Grandview swimmer.

Junior Harry Kerscher also earned two All-Aurora individual spots with his showings in the 100 yard backstroke (third place) and 200 yard individual medley (fifth place), the same two events he topped city competitors in last season.

Both of Kerscher’s performances in the finals were big jumps from his pre-meet seeding. He was seeded 16th in the backstroke, but swam more than three seconds faster in the final to finish in 50.36 seconds (just ahead of Dinges), while he improved by more than five seconds in the IM to move up seven spots from the No. 12 seed.

Four Regis Jesuit swimmers made the championship final of the 50 freestyle and Dugan earned the All-Aurora honors with a fourth-place result, which was a handful of spots ahead of where he was seeded pre-meet. Dugan finished a full half-second faster than his seed time.

Dinges led city competitors in the 100 butterfly after he was seeded third coming into the meet and took fourth, a two-place rise for him in the event from 2021, when he also led city swimmers in the event at the state meet. Dinges is headed to Division II Rollins College.

Krauss came into state seeded No. 2 in the 500 freestyle and that’s just where he finished in the championship final, as he challenged Fort Collins’ Jack Ballard before Ballard — who was later selected as the 5A Swimmer of the Year — reached the wall 0.83 of a second earlier. Krauss’ finals time of 4:38.74 was more than six and a half seconds faster than his seed time.

Senior Dylan Mullen took the All-Aurora slot in the 1-meter diving competition as he racked up a score of 493.10 points to take sixth. Mullen competed in state for the first time since 2019, when he placed 13th with a final score of 394.10.

Yi had an epic season in the 100 yard breaststroke, which was a Smoky Hill signature with three placers in the top 11 at the state meet, which helped coach Scott Cohen’s Buffaloes finish in sixth place.

Yi set the pool records in the event at several venues, won the Centennial League championship and placed third in the finals at state after coming in seeded No. 1. He earned All-Aurora honors for a second straight season.

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

2022 SENTINEL COLORADO ALL-AURORA BOYS SWIM TEAM

First team

200 yard medley relay: Regis Jesuit (Luke Dinges, Jacob Sykora, Carter Anderson, Hawkins Wendt); 200 yard freestyle: Gio Aguirre, sr., Regis Jesuit; 200 yard indiv. medley: Harry Kerscher, jr., Regis Jesuit; 50 yard freestyle: Mack Dugan, sr., Regis Jesuit; 1-meter diving: Dylan Mullen, sr., Regis Jesuit; 100 yard butterfly: Luke Dinges, sr., Regis Jesuit; 100 yard freestyle: Gio Aguirre, sr., Regis Jesuit; 500 yard freestyle: Ronan Krauss, jr., Regis Jesuit; 200 yard freestyle relay: Regis Jesuit (Carter Anderson, Mack Dugan, Hawkins Wendt, Gio Aguirre); 100 yard backstroke: Harry Kerscher, jr., Regis Jesuit; 100 yard breaststroke: Daniel Yi, soph., Smoky Hill; 400 yard freestyle relay: Regis Jesuit (Mack Dugan, Ronan Krauss, Hawkins Wendt, Gio Aguirre)

Second team

200 yard medley relay: Grandview (Oliver Schimberg, Matthew Scicchitano, William Schimberg, Evan Higgins); 200 yard freestyle: Ronan Krauss, jr., Regis Jesuit; 200 yard indiv. medley: Truman Inglis, jr., Regis Jesuit; 50 yard freestyle: Hawkins Wendt, jr., Regis Jesuit; 1-meter diving: Liam Ross, sr., Aurora Public Schools; 100 yard butterfly: Carter Anderson, jr., Regis Jesuit; 100 yard freestyle: Mack Dugan, sr., Regis Jesuit; 500 yard freestyle: Jake Baker, soph., Smoky Hill; 200 yard freestyle relay: Smoky Hill (Daniel Yi, Joshua Nieves, Isaac Yi, Antonio Goris); 100 yard backstroke: Luke Dinges, sr., Regis Jesuit; 100 yard breaststroke: Joshua Nieves, sr., Smoky Hill; 400 yard freestyle relay: Grandview (William Schimberg, Oliver Schimberg, Matthew Scicchitano, Evan Higgins)

HONORABLE MENTION

Carter Anderson, jr., Regis Jesuit (50 yard freestyle); Sam Baker, soph., Smoky Hill (200 yard indiv. medley); Brandon Bicknell, jr., Smoky Hill (1-meter diving); Kyle Brushaber, Smoky Hill (200 yard freestyle); Angus Dugan, fr., Regis Jesuit (200 yard freestyle); Gavin Harding, jr., Aurora Public Schools (100 yard butterfly); Truman Inglis, jr., Regis Jesuit (100 yard freestyle); Charlie Klein, Regis Jesuit (100 yard freestyle/100 yard backstroke); Tucker Meeks, sr., Cherokee Trail (200 yard freestyle/100 yard freestyle); Owen Mulligan, Regis Jesuit (500 yard freestyle); Joshua Nieves, sr., Smoky Hill (50 yard freestyle); Ian Noffsinger, fr., Smoky Hill (500 yard freestyle); Brayden Pearce, sr., Smoky Hill (100 yard butterfly/100 yard backstroke); Matthew Scicchitano, jr., Grandview (200 yard indiv. medley/100 yard breaststroke); Oliver Schimberg, fr., Grandview (100 yard butterfly/100 yard backstroke); William Schimberg, jr., Grandview (200 yard freestyle); Bronson Smothers, fr., Cherokee Trail (100 yard freestyle); Jacob Sykora, sr., Regis Jesuit (50 yard freestyle); Andrew Wilson, jr., Cherokee Trail (500 yard freestyle); Daniel Yi, soph., Smoky Hill (200 yard indiv. medley); Isaac Yi, sr., Smoky Hill (100 yard breaststroke). Relays: Brayden Pearce, Daniel Yi, Antonio Goris, Joshua Nieves, Smoky Hill (200 yard medley relay); Daniel Yi, Joshua Nieves, Isaac Yi, Antonio Goris, Smoky Hill (200 yard freestyle relay); Bronson Smothers, Hugh Mullen, Dominic McCoy, Tucker Meeks, Cherokee Trail (200 yard freestyle relay); Kaden Jackson, Gavin Dixon, Evan Linnebur, Evan Higgins, Grandview (200 yard freestyle relay); Bronson Smothers, Hugh Mullen, Dominic McCoy, Tucker Meeks, Cherokee Trail (400 yard freestyle relay); Antonio Goris, Jake Baker, Brayden Pearce, Isaac Yi, Smoky Hill (400 yard freestyle relay)

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