AURORA | By the slimmest of margins, the Rangeview girls swim team was its all-time best at the East Metro Athletic Conference Championship meet.
With the help of four individual event champions, the Raiders captured second place Saturday at Gateway High School by finishing just a half of a point in front of Brighton for the runner-up spot behind winner Northglenn/Thornton.
Freshman Jasmine Johnson won the 100 yard butterfly and 100 yard breaststroke, sophomore Keaghan Banaitis took the 500 freestyle and sophomore Sarah Mortenson won the diving competition — by less than a point — to lift coach Peter Gerard’s Rangeview team over the Bulldogs, who the Raiders also beat by just two points in a dual meet earlier this season.
Mortenson had by far the closest victory for Rangeview, as she overcame a zero dive to win her first league crown by with a score of 374.80 points, just 0.9 ahead of Brighton’s Samantha Chacon.
Johnson, a Class 5A state qualifier in two events, won the butterfly by a full two seconds and had an even larger margin in her victory in the 100 breaststroke, as she put nearly nine seconds between herself and teammate Sydney Comet. Johnson, Comet and Peyton Bogue gave Rangeview a 1-2-4 in the event, which was important given how close the finish turned out.
The Raiders also dominated the 500 freestyle with four of the six championship finalists, headed by Banaitis, who won the race by 15 seconds. Teammates Nikki Minikus, Julie Maldonado and Emily Haag finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
The 200 freestyle relay team of Johnson, Bogue, Avery Hill and Haley Zant also had a key late result for Rangeview by edging Northglenn/Thornton for second place to pick up two points.
With 273 points, Hinkley finished in fourth place, keyed by a pair of fourth places from the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams, plus a fifth-place result on the diving board from Aimee Nguyen.
Gateway came in fifth with Michelle Sanchez in third on the diving board and Leigha Kirby coming in fifth in the 50 freestyle.
Aurora Central posted a seventh-place finish.
Notes: Gerard won the EMAC Swim Coach of the Year award for the second straight season, while Tim Anderson of Hinkley was voted Dive Coach of the Year. Chacon won the league’s Diver of the Year honor, while Madi Dent of Brighton was the EMAC Swimmer of the Year.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2017 EMAC CHAMPIONSHIPS GIRLS SWIM MEET
Feb. 4 at Gateway High School
Team scores: 1. Northglenn/Thornton 632.5 points; 2. RANGEVIEW 605.5; 3. Brighton 605; 4. HINKLEY 273; 5. GATEWAY 206; 6. Adams City 166; 7. AURORA CENTRAL 110; 8. Westminster 77
Aurora championship placers: 200 yard medley relay — 3. Rangeview (Lauren Graff, Jasmine Johnson, Haley Zant, Keaghan Banaitis), 2 minute, 5.82 seconds; 4. Gateway (Melissa Alihodzic, Lessley Garcia, Tamry Romero, Leigha Kirby), 2:29.23; 5. Hinkley (Micayla Zugelder, Britney Gandara, Lauren Zugelder, Destiny Gandara), 2:21.06; 200 yard freestyle — 2. Keaghan Banaitis (Rangeview), 2:15.08; 6. Emily Haag (Rangeview), 2:23.47; 200 yard indiv. medley — 4. Nikki Minikus (Rangeview), 2:39.48; 5. Lauren Graff (Rangeview), 2:43.27; 6. Sydney Comet (Rangeview), 2:44.54; 50 yard freestyle — 5. Leigha Kirby (Gateway), 28.43; 1-meter diving — 1. Sarah Mortenson (Rangeview), 374.80 points; 3. Michelle Sanchez (Gateway), 237.35; 4. Lorena Munoz (Aurora Central), 237.20; 5. Aimee Nguyen (Hinkley), 226.95; 6. Beimnet Mulugeta (Rangeview), 209.80; 100 yard butterfly — 1. Jasmine Johnson (Rangeview), 1:05.74; 5. Chloe Cubbison (Rangeview), 1:17.16; 6. Tamry Romero (Gateway), 1:21.41; 100 yard freestyle — 6. Haley Zant (Rangeview), 1:03.94; 500 yard freestyle — 1. Keaghan Banaitis (Rangeview), 6:02.61; 4. Nikki Minikus (Rangeview), 6:25.28; 5. Julie Maldonado (Rangeview), 6:25.59; 6. Emily Haag (Rangeview), 6:27.91; 200 yard freestyle relay — 2. Rangeview (Jasmine Johnson, Peyton Bogue, Avery Hill, Haley Zant), 1:57.38; 4. Hinkley (Toptim Kelly Duffy, Andrea Durdic, Raiza Reyna, Emely Canales), 2:03.78; 6. Gateway (Celia Loya, Melissa Alihodzic, Kelli Sherman, Tamry Romero), 2:12.97; 100 yard backstroke — 5. Lauren Graff (Rangeview), 1:10.94; 100 yard breaststroke — 1. Jasmine Johnson (Rangeview), 1:12.51; 2. Sydney Comet (Rangeview), 1:21.23; 4. Peyton Bogue (Rangeview), 1:24.01; 400 yard freestyle relay — 3. Rangeview (Avery Hill, Brittany Ward, Julie Maldonado, Keaghan Banaitis), 4:21.70; 4. Hinkley (Toptim Kelly Duffy, Raiza Reyna, Andrea Durdic, Emely Canales), 4:39.90; 5. Gateway (Tamry Romero, Leigha Kirby, Celia Loya, Lessley Garcia), 4:53.12