THORNTON | The Regis Jesuit girls swim team was smaller than usual this season, but it packed plenty of punch at the Class 5A state meet Feb. 10.

Coach Nick Frasersmith’s Raiders had 17 individual qualifiers for the state meet at the Veterans’ Memorial Aquatic Center — down significantly from 32 the season before — but produced the program’s highest state finish since 2016 as it came in as the state runner-up behind runaway winner Cherry Creek.

Junior Charlotte Burnham made sure Regis Jesuit didn’t depart without a state championship as she won the 100 yard breaststroke in dramatic and emotional fashion — see story, here — and joined seniors Samantha Aguirre and Sophia Frei and freshman Taylor Johannsen as Raiders to make two championship finals apiece, while all three relay teams were top six and two were runners-up.

Three of Regis Jesuit’s placers came in the diving competition Feb. 7, when juniors Sarah Mann, Kathryn Jewell and Maya Kriz combined to pick up a whopping 53 points for their team ahead of the swimming finals. Mann led Aurora qualifiers on the diving board with her third-place finish, while Jewell and Kriz ended up sixth and seventh, respectively.

The 200 yard medley relay team of Frei, Burnham, senior Sophia Mitsuoka and sophomore Taylor Hoffman held their seeding coming into the meet of second and closed the gap a bit on Cherry Creek between the prelims and finals. The Raiders would have bookend runner-up relays, as they concluded the meet with a second place finish from Aguirre, Frei, Burnham and Johannsen.

In between, Burnham prevailed in a battle of Aurora’s top two 100 breaststrokers when she surged to the wall to edge Grandview senior Paige Dailey by just 0.06 of a second. The transfer from Mullen also finished third in the 200 yard individual medley, which marked a three-spot rise from her seeding coming into the meet.

Frei had designs on a state championship of her own in the 100 backstroke and had the event’s top seed coming into the meet as well, but she finished second behind Cherry Creek’s Charlotte Wilson in both prelims and finals. The North Carolina commitment also touched the wall in seventh place in the 100 yard butterfly, which was four spots lower than she came into the meet seeded.

Johannsen had a very impactful state meet debut and finished fourth in the 200 yard freestyle (jump from the No. 9 seed) and fifth in the 500 yard freestyle, which was right on her seeding, while she also had anchor honors on the 6th place 200 freestyle relay and second place 400 freestyle relay. Johannsen was one of two freshmen who contributed significantly as fellow frosh Lexi Stramel made the championship finals in the 500 freestyle (in which she was 10th) and placed 16th in the 200 freestyle as well.

Juniors Tierney Kohl (10th, 100 yard breaststroke and 18th, 200 yard IM), Amelia Marsicek (13th, 100 backstroke) and Marian Penry (17th, 100 breaststroke) and sophomore Hoffman (20th, 100 freestyle) also contributed in the scoring column individually.

Regis Jesuit loses Frei and Aguirre, but expect to have back 10 individual point scorers and another that swam on a relay team.

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

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...

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