Having claimed 21 state championships overall, the Regis Jesuit (Aurora)
boys swimming program is no stranger when it comes to success in the pool.
But after a run of 19 state titles in Class 5A in 20 seasons – Highlands Ranch won it all in 2010 – the Raiders have found themselves out of the top spot in each of the past two seasons.
Regis Jesuit is hoping to end that hiatus – albeit a brief one – and reclaim the 5A crown in 2017 from Fossil Ridge (Fort Collins)
, which has won each of the past two team championships. With less than two months until the 5A classification converges on the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton, the spring season is always more of a sprint than anything.
In 4A, Cheyenne Mountain (Colorado Springs)
captured its second consecutive team title by nearly 100 points over Valor Christian. The Indians secured two relay titles and two individual titles along the way.
The season may already be a few weeks old, but here is a quick look at both classifications moving forward into April:
Regis Jesuit got the season off on the right foot by claiming the team championship at the Dick Rush Coaches Invitational at the VMAC earlier this month, defeating runner-up Fossil Ridge in 5A by nearly 100 points.
The Raiders captured the 200-medley relay title at the state meet last May, and the team lost only one senior from that group. Senior Alexander Strepman
and junior Elijah Warren
helped pace the Raiders that day, with Warren also taking the 100 breaststroke title.
Fossil Ridge won the 200 free relay and Danny Kovac
was first in the 100 backstroke for the Sabercats. Kovac won his title as a sophomore, and Kris Malinin
and Shamzi Alkaff
were juniors on the winning relay team.Michael Zarian
of Fairview (Boulder)
was the only swimmer in 5A to bring home two individual titles. Zarian won the 200 individual medley and 500 free as a junior. Arapahoe (Centennial)
standout Griffin Eiber
is back to defend his 100 free title.Boulder
took the 400 free relay. Three-fourths of that group were seniors, but Nathan Rock
was only a junior for the Panthers.
In diving, Octavio Lucero
of Bear Creek (Lakewood)
returns for the Bears looking to win a second consecutive state title. Arapahoe's Caleb Ives
, also a junior this spring, finished second to Lucero.Defending State Champion:
Fossil RidgeState Meet:
May 19-20, VMAC in ThorntonReturning all-state swimmers:
Shamzi Alkaff, Sr., Fossil Ridge (200 free relay); Griffin Eiber, Sr., Arapahoe (100 free); Caleb Ives, Jr., Arapahoe (diving); Danny Kovac, Jr., Fossil Ridge (100 backstroke); Octavio Lucero, Jr., Bear Creek (diving); Kris Malinin, Sr., Fossil Ridge (200 free relay); Nathan Rock, Sr., Boulder (400 free relay); Alexander Strepman, Sr., Regis Jesuit (200 medley relay); Elijah Warren
, Jr., Regis Jesuit (200 medley relay, 100 breaststroke); Michael Zarian, Sr., Fairview (200 IM, 500 free).Class 4A
After three consecutive years of Air Academy
bringing home the 4A crown, Cheyenne Mountain has now won back-to-back state championships. The Indians graduated three seniors who were members of the two relay titles, but have five swimmers who took first in various events who are back. Kyle Leach
won the 200 free as a sophomore for Cheyenne Mountain.
Swimmer of the Year Tommy Baker of Air Academy – the state champion in the 50 and 100 free and a member of the winning 200 free relay team – graduated, as did two other members of the 400 free. Griffin Ayotte
was the fourth member of the title-winning group as a freshman.Liam Gately
of Thompson Valley (Loveland)
won the 500 free as a junior. Silver Creek (Longmont)
, which won the 4A title at the Dick Rush Coaches Invite, graduated Samuel Willett, who won titles in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke.Casey Fellows
of Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch)
won the diving title as a freshman, and none of the top-10 placers graduated. Defending State Champion:
Cheyenne MountainState Meet:
May 19-20, Air Force Academy in Colorado SpringsReturning all-state swimmers:
Griffin Ayotte, So., Air Academy (200 free relay); Jacob Bielmaier
, Sr., Estes Park (diving); Jerry Birnbaum
, Sr., Cheyenne Mountain (200 medley relay, 400 free relay); Casey Fellows, So., Valor Christian (diving); Liam Gately, Sr., Thompson Valley (500 free); Tristan Gess
, Sr., Green Mountain (diving); Gabe Grauvogel
, So., Cheyenne Mountain (200 medley relay); Kyle Leach, Jr., Cheyenne Mountain (200 free, 400 free relay); Westin Stieglitz
, Sr., Cheyenne Mountain (400 free relay).