The final wall is ahead for the girls swimming season, which concludes for local competitors over three days at the Veterans’ Memorial Aquatic Center.
In the wake of league championship meets, a combined total of 44 individual swimmers and divers and 15 relay teams from five city programs — Cherokee Trail, Eaglecrest, Grandview, Regis Jesuit and Smoky Hill — earned the chance to compete in the Class 5A state meet, which runs Feb. 7 (diving) and Feb. 9-10 (swimming). Swim prelims take place at 10 a.m. Feb. 9, with finals set for 5 p.m. Feb. 10.
Regis Jesuit enters the state meet coming off a Continental “A” League meet at Heritage in which it did not swim its state qualifiers as it gave some younger swimmers a chance to qualify.
Coach Nick Frasersmith’s Raiders dominated the diving portion, however, as Sarah Mann won the championship (with a score of 412.10 points) with fellow junior Kathryn Jewell (387.90) as the runner-up. The pair will be joined by junior Maya Kriz and sophomore Jasmine Munn at the state meet. Diving could get Regis Jesuit — which has been ranked No. 2 behind Cherry Creek for the majority of the season — off to a strong start in terms of points before the other 13 individuals and three relay teams get into the water.
The highest-seed swimmer for the Raiders is senior Sophia Frei, who enters the state meet as the top seed in the 100 yard backstroke with a top time of 54.34 seconds. She is also seeded third in the 100 butterfly as one of three Regis Jesuit swimmers (which also includes junior Charlotte Burnham and freshman Taylor Johannsen) seeded to make the championship finals in two events.
The Raiders’ highest-seeded relay is the 200 yard medley, which comes in second.
Cherokee Trail comes into state with a compliment of 10 individuals (plus three relays) and some momentum after a third-place finish at the Centennial “A” League meet. Even missing freshman standout Jameson Young, the Cougars managed to finish in front of rival Grandview for the first time at the league meet.
Cherokee Trail’s strength with sprint freestylers has helped its 200 yard freestyle relay team to the No. 6 seed going into the event. Junior Sarah Woren holds the team’s highest individual seed in the No. 14 spot in the 50 yard freestyle (in which she was the Centennial “A” League runner-up) and is seeded to possibly score in two events, as are senior Morgan Walker and Young.
Grandview has the second-most individual qualifiers among city teams with 13, which includes a trio of divers. Sophomore Addison Campbell won the Centennial “A” League title on the board with a season-best score of 488.95 points and will combine with juniors Tanvi Jitta and Hailey-Cate Bull in trying to get coach Karen Ammon’s Wolves off to a good start.
Grandview has a strong senior class that includes Paige Dailey, the No. 2 seed in the 100 yard breaststroke, along with Megan Doubrava and Kya Guikema, who are each seeded to potentially score in two events. After Dailey, junior Amelia Brown is the Wolves’ highest-seeded individual as she is No. 4 in the 50 freestyle and No. 5 in the 100. Brown won both events as the Centennial “A” League meet.
The Wolves could load up on points in the relays as all three are seeded in the top eight.
Smoky Hill’s cast of individual qualifiers (four in all) is all underclassmen, including a trio of freshmen. Leading the way in seeding is Cameryn Walkup, who comes into state seeded No. 7 in the 500 freestyle.
Walkup (the Centennial “A” League runner-up in the 200 individual medley) is also seeded to score in the 100 breaststroke. Mya Noffsinger also could earn points in two events if she holds or improves her seeds in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke.
Eaglecrest — whose coach, Jillian Fehringer, was voted as Centennial League Swim Coach of the Year — takes all three of its relay teams with the 400 freestyle seeded highest in 27th.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports