AURORA | The Grandview and Smoky Hill girls swim teams will see each other again Saturday, but Thursday’s gathering was much more intimate.
Two days before the Aurora teams send a combined 25 swimmers and two divers to the annual Coaches Invitational at the Veterans’ Memorial Aquatic Center, the Wolves played host to the Buffs in a quality Centennial League dual meet.
Though most of the top swimmers for both teams swam off events to keep fresh for Saturday’s multi-classification gathering, Grandview prevailed 108-77 over Smoky Hill in a meet both teams’ coaches appreciated as a tune-up.
“It was great racing, we were pretty much pitted equally against each other and those races ended up bringing out the best in both of us,” said Wolves coach Karen Ammon, whose team swept the three relay events and had multiple event winners in junior Taylor Dirks and sophomore Simone Cade.
Cade swam on Grandview’s winning 200 yard medley and 200 freestyle relay teams and took first place in both the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, while Dirks powered her way to wins in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke in addition to taking part in the first place 400 freestyle relay.
Freshman Molly Nankey had a great meet as well for the Wolves, as she won the 500 freestyle — and missed the Class 5A state-qualifying cut by just 0.29 of a second — while she swam a leg on all three relays. Senior diver Isobel Griffin, a returning state qualifier, cruised on the board and senior twins April and Mia Wood each posted a pair of runner-up finishes individually.
Ammon is looking forward to seeing what her group of 14 swimmers (including two freshmen who got the requisite times at the last dual meet) plus Griffin, the program’s largest contingent ever for Coaches Invitational, can do in the finale before winter break. the Wolves finished sixth at last season’s meet at VMAC.
“I would love for everybody to get a season best time,” said Ammon, who didn’t put any of her swimmers in the events they will swim at Coaches Invitational in the dual meet. “Above and beyond that, those girls who have aspirations of making state, it would be nice to get that cut now. It’s hard to get it in the season when you are broken down.
“Coaches Invite is a pretty engaging atmosphere, you get caught up in the whole ambience and excitement of it all,” she added. “We look forward to it. We love it.”
Smoky Hill coach Scott Cohen saw his team’s undefeated start to the season come to an end, but came away pleased given the timing and circumstances of the meet.
The Buffs got an inspired performance from sophomore Natalie Rotondo, who won both the 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle, while junior Jordyn Richey tuned up for Coaches Invite by winning the event she placed sixth in at last season’s 5A state meet, the 100 breaststroke.
“I thought we swam well in the middle of a stressful week with finals and the snow day on Tuesday,” Cohen said. “I think our kids came in here and competed and our depth was good. Grandview is obviously very talented and it was a good test. We’ll see them again Saturday.”
Senior Gaby Antunez also had a strong meet with a pair of runner-up finishes for the Buffs, who have 11 swimmer and diver Emma Keohane set to compete on Saturday.
All of Cohen’s swimmers will compete in at least one individual event in addition to relay work at Coaches Invitational. Smoky Hill finished in 12th place in the 5A state standings at last season’s meet.
“It will be fast and with finals being over, it will be nice to just be able to focus on swimming,” he said. “I think they are excited for that.”
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or email@example.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
GRANDVIEW 108, SMOKY HILL 77
200 yard medley relay — 1. Grandview A (Lyssa Wood, Mia Wood, Simone Cade, Molly Nankey), 1 minute, 55.37 seconds (5ASQT); 2. Smoky Hill A (Gaby Antunez, Jordyn Richey, Natalie Rotondo, Jianna Walker), 1:56.33 (5ASQT); 3. Smoky Hill B (Lauren Zurcher, Katie Anthony, Nadine Lee, Brieyana Walton), 2:03.13; 4. Grandview B (Ellie Furuta, Avery Ancell, Sam Hufford, Abigail Smith), 2:04.61; 5. Grandview C (Alyssa McKenna, Naciye Cheang, Loghan Thomas, Naomi Ross), 2:10.35; 6. Smoky Hill C (Ivy Newton, Kaycie Schubert, Alya Sideleva, Rachel Newman), 2:26.92
200 yard freestyle — 1. Taylor Dirks (Grandview), 2 minutes, 1.54 seconds (5ASQT); 2. April Wood (Grandview), 2:04.71; 3. Vickie Liu (Smoky Hill), 2:07.83; 4. Carlie Andrie (Smoky Hill), 2:13.97; 5. Sylvia Johnson (Grandview), 2:16.41; 6. Kaitlyn Hoffman (Smoky Hill), 2:17.11
200 yard individual medley — 1. Natalie Rotondo (Smoky Hill), 2 minutes, 14.18 seconds (5ASQT); 2. Mia Wood (Grandview), 2:14.59; 3. Lyssa Wood (Grandview), 2:19.72; 4. Kelly Saindon (Smoky Hill), 2:32.42; 5. Nadine Lee (Smoky Hill), 2:33.26; 6. Hannah Shuster (Grandview), 2:35.87
50 yard freestyle — 1. Simone Cade (Grandview), 25.36 seconds (5ASQT); 2. Gaby Antunez (Smoky Hill), 25.76 (5ASQT); 3. Ellie Furuta (Grandview), 26.76; 4. Jianna Walker (Smoky Hill), 27.16; 5. Brieyana Walton (Smoky Hill), 27.37; 6. Naomi Ross (Grandview), 27.42
1-meter diving — 1. Isobel Griffin (Grandview), 213.10 points; 2. Emma Keohane (Smoky Hill), 158.10; 3. Jaclyn Santiago (Smoky Hill), 153.25; 4. Choy O’Brien (Smoky Hill), 116.15
100 yard butterfly — 1. Simone Cade (Grandview), 1 minute, 1.21 seconds (5ASQT); 2. Jordyn Richey (Smoky Hill), 1:03.84; 3. Maddy Dawes (Grandview), 1:05.48; 4. Kaitlyn Hoffman (Smoky Hill), 1:06.64; 5. Nadine Lee (Smoky Hill), 1:08.15; 6. I. Cieraszynski (Grandview), 1:21.73
100 yard freestyle — 1. Natalie Rotondo (Smoky Hill), 55.62 seconds (5ASQT); 2. April Wood (Grandview), 56.03; 3. Sam Hufford (Grandview), 59.55; 4. A. McKenna (Grandview), 1:01.53; 5. Lauren Zurcher (Smoky Hill), 1:01.54; 6. Brieyana Walton (Smoky Hill), 1:02.45
500 yard freestyle — 1. Molly Nankey (Grandview), 5 minutes, 32.29 seconds; 2. Ellie Furuta (Grandview), 5:37.24; 3. Vickie Liu (Smoky Hill), 5:40.56; 4. Avery Ancell (Grandview), 5:56.02; 5. Carlie Andrie (Smoky Hill), 5:56.90; 6. Kelly Saindon (Smoky Hill), 6:08.90
200 yard freestyle relay — 1. Grandview A (Simone Cade, April Wood, Molly Nankey, Mia Wood), 1 minute, 43.52 seconds (5ASQT); 2. Grandview B (Naciye Cheang, Sam Hufford, Loghan Thomas, Maddy Dawes), 1:49.67; 3. Smoky Hill A (Brieyana Walton, Katie Anthony, Vickie Liu, Carlie Andrie), 1:52.11; 4. Smoky Hill B (Emree Bess, Ciera Munns, Nadine Lee, Sarah Power), 1:55.42; 5. Grandview C (Alyssa McKenna, Hannah Shuster, Erin Cieraszynski, Sylvia Johnson), 1:58.08
100 yard backstroke — 1. Taylor Dirks (Grandview), 1 minute, 1.91 seconds (5ASQT); 2. Gaby Antunez (Smoky Hill), 1:03.72; 3. Lyssa Wood (Grandview), 1:04.86; 4. Jianna Walker (Smoky Hill), 1:06.50;5. Lauren Zurcher (Smoky Hill), 1:07,61; 6. Abigail Smith (Grandview), 1:08.01
100 yard breaststroke — 1. Jordyn Richey (Smoky Hill), 1 minute, 12.52 seconds (5ASQT); 2. Mia Wood (Grandview), 1:16.00; 3. Katie Anthony (Sm0ky Hill), 1:18.01; 4. Loghan Thomas (Grandview), 1:18.80; 5. Ciera Munns (Smoky Hill), 1:20.01; 6. Naciye Cheang (Grandview), 1:23.75
400 yard freestyle relay — 1. Grandview A (Molly Nankey, Taylor Dirks, Ellie Furuta, April Wood), 3 minutes, 46.90 seconds; 2. Smoky Hill A (Natalie Rotondo, Gaby Antunez, Jianna Walker, Jordyn Richey), 3:52.44; 3. Grandview B (Maddy Dawes, Avery Ancell, Lyssa Wood, Abigail Smith), 4:01.37; 4. Smoky Hill B (Vickie Liu, Carlie Andrie, Kelly Saindon, Lauren Zurcher), 4:08.21; 5. Grandview C (Hannah Shuster, Sylvia Johnson, Erin Cieraszynski, Naomi Ross), 4:24.17; 6. Smoky Hill C (Grace Jones, Catherine Franks, Ana Oldham, Maya Vazquez), 4:59.50