Girls Swimming: Aurora teams head out to league championship meets

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Grandview and Cherry Creek contested a very tight league dual and the Wolves will be among several teams trying to surpass the defending champion Bruins at the Centennial “A” League Championship girls swim meet Feb. 3-4, 2017, at Arapahoe High School. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | With the regular season in the rearview mirror, city girls swim teams take aim at league titles and get their last chance to build or expand their Class 5A state meet contingent.

Five Aurora schools head to the Centennial “A” League Championship meet at Arapahoe High School, with prelims set for 5:30 p.m. Friday and finals slated for 3 p.m. Saturday.

City teams found plenty of success at last season’s meet, as Grandview, Smoky Hill and Cherokee Trail finished 3-4-5 behind Cherry Creek and Arapahoe.

The Wolves, Buffaloes (who defeated Cherry Creek in a dual meet for the first time in 44 years to close out the regular season) and Cougars — already loaded with plenty of qualifiers for the 5A state meet Feb. 9-10 at Veterans’ Memorial Aquatic Center — again have high hopes, while Eaglecrest and Overland take aim at improving on their seventh and eighth-place finishes last season.

Gateway plays host to the EMAC Championship meet, which begins with prelims at 5:30 p.m. Friday and continues with finals at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

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Sophomore Keaghan Banaitis and the Rangeview girls swim team hope to win their first EMAC championship at the meet Feb. 3-4, 2017, at Gateway High School. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Rangeview closed out the regular season by winning all 12 events on its way to winning the annual Aurora Public Schools Championship meet for the 14th time and coach Peter Gerard’s team also finished undefeated in EMAC dual meets for the first time.

The Raiders seek to win their first EMAC title and at minimum improve on the program’s previous best finish of third. Sophomore diver Sarah Mortenson has been on the rise and could make a run at the EMAC meet record of 381.20 points set last season by Hinkley graduate Brooke Connelly.

Hinkley had its best showing at the EMAC meet last season when it took fourth, while Gateway was fifth and Aurora Central seventh last season.

Regis Jesuit is set for the Continental “A” League meet at Heritage High School, with prelims set for 4:30 p.m. Friday and finals at 2 p.m. Saturday. The full league diving competition takes place at Littleton High School, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The Raiders finished second behind Rock Canyon at last season’s league meet while holding out the majority of its state qualifiers to give other swimmers opportunities.

Because of that, coach Nick Frasersmith’s team added nine new 5A state qualifiers at last season’s league meet.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

2017 AURORA LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP GIRLS SWIMMING SCHEDULE

Centennial “A” League Championships (at Arapahoe High School)

Aurora teams: Cherokee Trail, Eaglecrest, Grandview, Overland and Smoky Hill. Other teams: Arapahoe, Cherry Creek and Mullen. Schedule: Swimming prelims, 5:30 p.m. Feb. 3; diving prelims, 9 a.m. Feb. 4; swimming & diving finals, 3 p.m. Feb. 4

Continental “A” League Championships (at Heritage High School)

Aurora team: Regis Jesuit. Other teams: Chaparral, Douglas County, Heritage, Highlands Ranch, Legend, Mountain Vista, Ponderosa, Rock Canyon, ThunderRidge. Schedule: Swimming prelims, 4:30 p.m. Feb. 3; diving prelims & finals, 9 a.m. Feb. 4 (at Littleton High School); swimming finals, 2 p.m. Feb. 4

EMAC Championships (at Gateway High School)

Aurora teams: Aurora Central, Gateway, Hinkley and Rangeview. Other teams: Adams City, Brighton, Northglenn/Thornton, Westminster. Schedule: Swimming prelims, 5:30 p.m. Feb. 3; diving prelims, 9:30 a.m. Feb. 4; swimming & diving finals, 12:30 p.m. Feb. 4