BOULDER -- Head coach Bob Smartt dubbed it the "silver anniversary" as the Fairview girls swim team posted its 25th consecutive dual-meet victory against rival Boulder on Thursday.
It is an impressive feat, and one that certainly did not come easily for the Knights despite a 191-124 final score. Yet afterward the celebration was somewhat muted as Smartt and his powerhouse Fairview program pondered the sudden reality of possibly missing senior Abbie Houck for a second consecutive state meet.
Houck, who won the 2010 Class 5A state championship in the 500 freestyle, missed the cross-town showdown at the North Boulder Recreation Center due to a partially-torn left rotator cuff she suffered during a training session with her
Houck, a Louisville recruit, opted to not defend her 500 freestyle crown last year at state in order to focus on her training for last summer's U.S. Olympic Trials. Houck is planning to test the shoulder in the water next week, yet with the state meet only three weeks away, her availability remains up in the air.
"As much as she wants to swim at state, she has to think about the long-term health of her shoulder," said Houck's mother, Jane Houck. "This has been pretty devastating for her. She's still hopeful she can help the team at state, maybe even in shorter events or something like that."
Fairview's state title hopes were dashed a year ago when Houck opted to not compete at state, with the Knights ultimately finishing sixth. Yet a talented freshman class has improved Fairview's depth, giving the Knights a better chance of successfully offsetting Houck's potential absence from state this year.
For instance, Lacey Smith, normally a sprint specialist, qualified for state in the 200 freestyle Thursday while finishing second to Boulder's Amanda Richey. Smith, who has signed with Northwestern, could replace Houck in at least one of her signature distance events.
"This is the type of injury where a small amount of pain might be necessary to (Houck's) rehabilitation, but too much pain and she'll be out of the water for months," Smartt said. "Lacey swims a very good 200 free. She has placed at U.S. junior nationals in the 200 free. She and Abbie are good friends and they haven't wanted to collide. But that would be a strong event for (Smith) at state. We have more overall depth this year. If we're sans Abbie, we should still do better than the sixth-place we did last year."
Even without Houck, Fairview proved too powerful for Boulder on Thursday. The Knights swept all three relay events while getting individual victories from Smith (100 freestyle), Jessie Li (50 freestyle), Julia Box (100 butterfly) and Janaye Monica (100 breaststroke).
Fairview also added two more individual state qualifiers in freshman butterfly swimmers Michaela Mullison and Lauren Adler, allowing the Knights to reach their goal of 21 individual state qualifiers with several swimmers on the cusp of joining that club.
Richey and sophomore Haley Rowley each won a pair of individual events for Boulder, which also received a victory from senior diver Sophie Gordon.
"Fairview is always fun to swim against," Richey said. "Both teams did very well. Me and Haley just both strive to do our best. It's not always about winning, but that's always nice too."
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Fairview 191, Boulder 124
At North Boulder Recreational Center
200 medley relay -- 1. Fairview A (Julia Box, Janaye Monica, Taylor Bissert, Jessie Lie), 1:54.41*; 2. Boulder A, 1:54.57*; Fairview B, 1:58.15*.
200 freestyle -- 1. Amanda Richey, Boulder, 1:56.22*; 2. Lacey Smith, Fairview, 1:57.05*; 3. Adee Weller, Fairview, 2:01.19*.
200 IM -- 1. Haley Rowley, Boulder, 2:10.04*; 2. Sandra Freeman, Fairview, 2:14.41*; 3. Sidney Andrew, Fairview, 2:16.70*.
50 freestyle -- 1. Jessie Li, Fairview, 25.42*; 2. Josiane Valette, Boulder, 25.53*; 3. Logan Tidstrom, Fairview, 26.12.
Diving -- 1. Sophie Gordon, Boulder, 210.90*; 2. Rachel Ryan, Fairview, 182.70; 3. Grace McCarthy, Boulder, 168.45.
100 butterfly -- 1. Julia Box, Fairview, 59.71*; 2. Michaela Mullison, Fairview, 1:00.84*; 3. Lauren Adler, Fairview, 1:03.37*.
100 freestyle -- 1. Lacey Smith, Fairview, 54.44*; 2. Josiane Valette, Boulder, 55.86*; 3. Sidney Andrew, Fairview, 56.67*.
500 freestyle -- 1. Amanda Richey, Boulder, 5:01.82*; 2. Sandra Freeman, Fairview, 5:25.18*; 3. Catherine Kuhn, Fairview, 5:27.87*.
200 free relay -- 1. Fairview A (Jessie Li, Sienna Stonesmith, Sidney Andrew, Lacey Smith), 1:43.39*; 2. Boulder A, 1:44.66*; 3. Fairview B, 1:45.95*.
100 backstroke -- 1. Haley Rowley, Boulder, 59.70*; 2. Julia Box, Fairview, 1:02.14*; 3. Kyla Dickerson, Boulder, 1:06.34*.
100 breaststroke -- 1. Janaye Monica, Fairview, 1:12.19; 2. Caitlin Reck, Fairview, 1:12.55*; 3. Cori Orr, Boulder, 1:13.58.
400 free relay -- 1. Fairview A (Sidney Andrew, Adee Weller, Lacey Smith, Julia Box), 3:42.58*; 2. Boulder A, 3:44.52; 3. Fairview B, 3:52.60*.
* -- Denote state-qualifying mark.