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Perhaps more so than in recent years, holding onto the top spot in Class 5A might be more challenging for annual favorites.
and Fossil Ridge (Fort Collins)
have combined to win the previous five 5A state championships in the sport, but both programs have some big shoes to fill. Fairview rode tremendous depth to the 2018 state title last February, but the Knights graduated some key seniors from their winning relay teams.
Fossil Ridge graduated standout Coleen Gillilan, who won two individual titles last winter and was on a winning relay as well. Gillian holds the Colorado state record in the 100-yard butterfly and was on two record-setting relay teams as well. The SaberCats did have a pair of standout freshmen last season in Renee Gillilan
and Lucy Bell
. Also, Meredith Rees of Lewis-Palmer (Monument)
, who won the 50 free and 100 backstroke, also graduated.
That means of the eight individual swimming events, at least half of them will crown new champions in February. Diving will also have a new champion with the departure of two-time defending title-holder in Franny Cable from Arapahoe (Centennial)
Fairview won two relay titles in 2019, and brings back a pair of swimmers from those quartets. Morgan Lukinac was on the 200 medley and 200 free relays as a freshman, and Jenna Reznicek
was on the 200 medley relay as a sophomore.
Rampart (Colorado Springs)
has claimed the previous two 4A titles, and the Rams are reloaded to go after a three-peat. Even after graduating Edenna Chen, who won the 100 breaststroke and was on the winning 200 medley and 400 free relays, Rampart has the pieces to defend again.
won the 100 free, was on both winning relays, and took second in the 50 free. Claire Timson
was on both championship relays as a freshman and placed second in the 100 backstroke. Laelle Brovold
(200 medley) and Johanna Miller
(400 free) also return from those relays, and Maggie Buckley
won the diving title as a sophomore.
Before last year, Evergreen
's previous state titles came in 4A in back-to-back years in 2014-15. The Cougars took their first 3A championship in 2019, becoming the third different team in three years to do so, with an impressive 428 meet points.
Evergreen accomplished that feat thanks to plenty of depth. The Cougars won only three titles overall – the 400 free relay, and Remi Gucker
took the 200 and 500 free events as a junior. Gucker and Hope Atkins
were juniors on the 400 free relay title team.
Swimmer of the Year Davy Brown of Aspen
graduated, meaning new champions will be crowned in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke. The Skiers won the 200 free relay with Brown and three underclassmen – Laila Khan-Farooqi
, Emily Kinney
and Kayla Tehrani
. Pueblo County
, which placed second to Evergreen in the team standings, was the 200 medley relay champion.
Besides Brown, Erie
's Payten Irwin
was the only swimmer to win multiple individual titles. Irwin captured the 50 free and 100 fly as a junior.