It might not have the "blink and you'll miss it" feel of the 50-yard freestyle, but the 100 free sprint does seem to go too fast sometimes.
One dash the length of the pool, a quick turn and then back to the other end – it seems simple enough, but execution is crucial in all facets of the event. Make a mistake, and there just isn't enough time to make up for it.
But the 100 freestyle is still an event that swimmers and fans alike can get behind. After a pair of photo finishes in the event last winter – Kylie Andrews
of Heritage (Littleton)
edged Lindsay Painton of Regis Jesuit (Aurora)
by 0.47 seconds in 5A, and Brooke Stenstrom of Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch)
held off Aspen's Kennidy Quist
in 0.36 seconds in 4A – the 2017 version is sure to be one to watch.Colorado MaxPreps girls swimming leaders
Andrews, a junior, will attempt to repeat her 2016 feat in the 4A classification Feb. 10-11 at EPIC in Fort Collins. The Harvard-bound Quist and her Skiers teammates are at VMAC in Thornton in the brand-new 3A classification Feb. 10-11, while 5A is up for grabs Feb. 9-10, also at VMAC.
"Colorado is talented and it's clearly one of the events that's at the
top this year," Fossil Ridge coach Carolyn Fries said. "The girls keep
wanting to train hard and it makes it more fun for everyone. You get to
see some really, really fast times."
Andrews went against some of the state's best in December at the Coaches Invitational at VMAC, posting a time of 50.28 in the 100 to win the event. Fossil Ridge (Fort Collins)
junior Kylee Alons
was second at 50.54, followed by Laurel Eiber
of Arapahoe (Centennial)
in third. Emily Barrier
of Rocky Mountain (Fort Collins)
and Meredith Rees
of Lewis-Palmer (Monument)
tied for fourth.
"I think any competition is great, and I think Kylie would agree. She
knows, and I know, there are going to be kids at the 4A meet who want to
step up and race and beat Kylie Andrews," Heritage coach Tom Byorick
said. "I also know that she's going to be very curious how the other
"She has the motivation to be fastest across all three classifications."
Part of the appeal for the swimmers in the event is the opportunity to put together a race that can lead to a sub-50 time. Regis Jesuit graduate and Olympian Missy Franklin holds the state record at 48.45 seconds. No one in 4A has ever gone under 50 seconds, though Eryn Eddy of Thompson Valley (Loveland)
came close two years ago at 50.08.
Fries said that Alons turned in a sub-50 time on the back end of Fossil Ridge's 400 free relay recently in her first year of swimming in high school.
"People love seeing good competition, and there's a handful of girls – a good number of girls – who on a great day with a great race and good competition, several of them could go under 50 seconds," Byorick said. "That's an exciting thing to see."
Quist is among those swimmers. She came close to edging out Stenstrom – now at Stanford – last winter and will continue to pursue her first state championship next month.
"It was a very exciting and close race for her," Aspen coach Kathleen Callahan said. "She didn't win, so her goal will be to win. She doesn't give up."
The prospect of competing at 3A is a new twist for the 42 schools that dropped down this winter. Callahan said if Quist had her way, she'd be competing against 5A because she loves competition, but the coach added that her senior is also embracing the challenge of a new classification.
"I think Kennidy was born and physically meant to be a swimmer. But in addition to that, this kid has one of the best work ethics I've ever seen," she said. "She brings it hard to very practice. She works as hard in the pool as she does at academics – she's super, super focused."
Fossil Ridge and Fairview (Boulder)
figure to be the top contenders for the 5A crown after the Front Range League teams split the past two state titles. Valor Christian will look to defend its 4A title, with Heritage, Evergreen
and Silver Creek (Longmont)
also in the mix. In 3A, St. Mary's Academy (Englewood)
and senior Alex Reddington
is among the favorites.
In all three meets, expect the 100 to elicit some strong reactions.
"You have to have a great day. Everything has to go right for you," Fries said. "To get to the caliber where Missy Franklin (who holds state records in six events) is is a little bit different than where we're at, but we still have some phenomenally fast girls gunning for state this year."