Senior Gabriella Goris, one of Smoky Hill’s Valedictorians for the 2019-20 school year, is one of four Academic All-Americans for the Buffaloes as recognized by the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA). Goris and Smoky Hill also received the Gold team award thanks to owning the eighth-highest team Grade Point Average in the country. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | The Smoky Hill girls swim team had a strong season in the pool in the winter, but exceeded that performance in the classroom.

Coach Scott Cohen’s Buffaloes have a tradition of academic excellence and added to that last week when they received a Gold Award from the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) and

Bolstered by four seniors who garnered individual Academic All-American accolades — and all were part of their team’s tie for 18th place as a team at the Class 5A girls state swim meet in February at the Veterans’ Memorial Aquatic Center — Smoky Hill accrued a team Grade Point Average of 3.928, which ranked it eighth in the entire country among teams that submitted applications.

Another traditional academic powerhouse program, Grandview, was the only other Colorado girls program to make the NISCA/ list with a 3.704 GPA that brought with it a Silver Award.

Smoky Hill’s contingent of Academic All-Americans — who had to be seniors who lettered during the season and earned an individual GPA of 3.750 or higher — is made up of Gabriella Goris, Blythe Iverson, Katie Power and Maggie Robben.

Robben, a Seattle University signee, earned top-20 5A state places in both the 200 yard freestyle (10th) and 100 yard breaststroke (19th), while she also contributed to the Buffaloes’ 15th-place 400 yard freestyle relay team, as well as their 17th-place 200 yard medley relay squad.

Iverson (bound for Trinity (Texas) University) matched Robben with a 10th-place finish, hers coming in the 500 yard freestyle, while Power (Smoky Hill’s Multi-Sport Athlete of the Year) swam on both of Smoky Hill’s scoring relays. Goris — one of her school’s Valedictorians — was a four-time letterwinner and a relay stalwart.

Regis Jesuit had two Academic All-Americans who also earned All-American status in the pool (story) with relays in Isalina Colsman and Ariana Mitsuoka. Swimmers Frannie Hutchens, Ava Leege,  Miriam Skari and diver Sarah Sykora also garnered the award for the Raiders.

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


Girls: Smoky Hill (Gold Award), 3.928 GPA; Grandview (Silver Award), 3.704 GPA

Boys: Fossil Ridge (Silver Award), 3.704 GPA


Girls: Caitlyn Cairns, St. Mary’s; Margaret Carson, Fossil Ridge; Kandice Chandra, Legacy; Carol Cho, Mountain Vista; ISALINA COLSMAN, REGIS JESUIT; Robin Cruz-Abrams, Fairview; Rylee Ehnes, ThunderRidge; Brooke Ford, Mountain Vista; GABRIELLA GORIS, SMOKY HILL; Riley Green, Fossil Ridge; Skylar Hennessee, Mountain Vista; FRANNIE HUTCHENS, REGIS JESUIT; BLYTHE IVERSON, SMOKY HILL; Erin Keown, Fairview; AVA LEEGE, REGIS JESUIT; Jasmine Li, Fairview; Heather Maclachlan, Fairview; Josie Martus, Mountain Vista; ARIANA MITSUOKA, REGIS JESUIT; Allison O’Brien, Mountain Vista; Annie Osmun, Mountain Vista; Ella Peterson, Fossil Ridge; Stefanie Pfahnl, Fossil Ridge; KATIE POWER, SMOKY HILL; Mary Roalstad, Cheyenne Mountain; MAGGIE ROBBEN, SMOKY HILL; MIRIAM SKARI, REGIS JESUIT; Emma Stahl, Fossil Ridge; SARAH SYKORA, REGIS JESUIT; Emily Timmons, Fossil Ridge; Isabel Wade, Cheyenne Mountain; Emilie Xu, Boulder

Boys: Zachary Bartel, Fossil Ridge; Charles Jackson Bradford, Fossil Ridge; Joshua Goodrich, Fossil Ridge; Kieran Henry, Fossil Ridge; John Platenak, Fossil Ridge