THORNTON — When she came on the scene for Monarch as a freshman in 2013-14, it was obvious that Sidney Trimm was going to be one of Boulder County's most hard-to-catch swimming stars.
A student of the sport who had done remarkably well with every stroke, Trimm was a multi-event individual finalist at the Class 5A state championships each of the past three years leading up to this year's event, which began with the preliminaries Thursday at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton.
Her first entry into the pool this time around, however, represented not only the end of a brilliant prep career but also the end of a tumultuous senior season.
Four months removed from a car accident that has had lingering affects, Trimm looked at her times in the 50 free and 100 free knowing she's had better. But at the same time, there was a little bit of pride in pulling through for her teammates when it mattered.
And, she'll be back on Friday afternoon (4 p.m., VMAC) in a familiar place, scoring points for the Coyotes. Her final state meet will include the 'B' (consolation heat) finals in the sprint distance events and two relay legs for MoHi.
"I just came out here to represent my team as best as I could and have some fun, because it is my senior meet," said Trimm, who has signed to swim at the University of Houston next year. "My best times have been better, for sure, but it's been a tough season and I'm trying to get through, get to college and start again.
"I'm just extremely grateful to have swam for Monarch for four years."
Trimm got in the accident in October and was cleared of whiplash, but just three weeks ago became injured while lifting weights. Trimm said that she seized up and "almost felt paralyzed, in a weird way." She was reduced to kick swimming for two weeks and only got her strokes back involved last week at the Front Range League meet.
But this being her senior year, she wanted to go out as strong as possible. In the 50, her time of 24.53 was right on par with her seed time, but the meet proved faster and she went from 8th to 13th. She reversed that, though, in the 100 — going from 25th seed to 14th with a time of 54.17.
"I'm just making the best of it," Trimm said.
The Coyotes will have six swims on Friday, joining the likes of Boulder (five), Legacy (two swims plus a diver) and Broomfield (two).
For the Panthers, notables included the freshmen duo of Emilia Culberson and Grace Valette. Culberson just qualified for state in two events last week, and she was able to move up from 41st seed to 15th in the 100 backstroke.
Valette's big move came in the 200 free, jumping from 23rd to sixth with a near six-second drop in time (down to 1:54.62). Valette also will swim the 500 free consolation final and legs of the 200 and 400 free relays, both of which were against-the-odds finishes.
"My best year-round (200) time was 1:55, so it was really all about just getting past that one and being motivated to get into that top 8," Valette said, noting that the 400 free relay hinged on senior Riley Swift's sub 1-minute leg. "I was hoping for a better 500, but I know that I can go back faster (Friday) so I am excited."
Fairview's Cailen Chinn had a similar drop in the 200 free, and that allowed the Knights junior to also be part of Friday's championship final in that event. Swimming a heat that included teammates Brittney Beetcher and Mikayla Seigal, Chinn jumped from 22nd to eighth with a time of 1:56.08.
The Knights, the Class 5A defending team champions, once again put themselves in the conversation for a top-two finish by getting back 23 swims. They'll be hard-pressed to match Fossil Ridge's top-heavy talent, but Chinn knows her team did about as good as they could have done and that preparation was the key.
"Brittney and Mikayla are great competition for me and for anyone, but I also knew I wanted to swim fast today because my season hasn't been going the way I wanted," said Chinn, who snuck into the championship finals of the 100 free, as well. "I just went out and swam my heart out. I was able to swim with my teammates and go after some goals.
"Coach Bob (Smartt) was really focused on us cracking down on the nit-picky little things in each event, just so we were ready to go for it all today and (Friday). He let us focus on what each individual needed in order to do well today."
Fossil Ridge swimmers tied or broke two state records in prelims and will have the top seed in all three relays and six of the eight other swims. Fairview's Brittney Beetcher has the other two as she will attempt to defend her titles in the 200 free and 500 free.
Class 5A State Championships
At Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center
(Top three and other local qualifiers)
200 medley relay — 1. Fossil Ridge (Stewart, Bartel, Gillilan, Niemann), 1:42.53; 2. Fairview (Tapley, Schwier, Lanaghen, Reznicek), 1:45.86; 3. Arapahoe, 1:47.57; 12. Legacy (Walters, Romano, Romero, Feran), 1:51.99; 13. Monarch (Lewicki, Atkinson, Trimm, Tymoszuk), 1:52.04.
200 freestyle — 1. Brittney Beetcher, Fairview, 1:51.88; 2. Emily Barrier, Rocky Mountain, 1:51.96; 3. Cameron Kovac, Fossil Ridge, 1:52.89; 5. Mikayla Seigal, Fairview, 1:53.70; 6. Grace Valette, Boulder, 1:54.62; 8. Cailen Chinn, Fairview, 1:56.08; 10. Jillian Martin, Broomfield, 1:56.91.
200 IM — 1. Zoe Bartel, Fossil Ridge, 2:02.44; 2. Bailey Kovac, Fossil Ridge, 2:03.62; 3. Bayley Stewart, Fossil Ridge, 2:06.41; 4. Alex Schwier, Fairview, 2:07.82; 5. Amelie Lessing, Fairview, 2:08.39; 8. Morgan Simon, Fairview, 2:09.86; 10. Mya Drost-Parra, Fairview, 2:10.27.
50 freestyle — 1. Kylee Alons, Fossil Ridge, 22.64; 2. Meredith Rees, Lewis-Palmer, 23.36; 3. Coleen Gillilan, Fossil Ridge, 23.39; 11. Kaia Reznicek, Fairview, 24.42; 13. Sidney Trimm, Monarch, 24.53.
Diving — 1. Lexie Barker, Douglas County, 346.85; 2. Franny Cable, Arapahoe, 332.45; 3. Sydney Fulton, Cherry Creek, 322.40; 6. Georgia Brookstein, Legacy, 319.20.
100 butterfly — 1. Coleen Gillilan, Fossil Ridge, 53.22*; 2. Natalie Arky, Mountain Vista, 55.83; 3. Kim Lanaghen, Fairview, 56.26; 7. Mya Drost-Parra, Fairview, 57.41; 8. Mikayla Seigal, Fairview, 57.59; 13. Una Forsythe, Fairview, 58.87.
100 freestyle — 1. Kylee Alons, Fossil Ridge, 49.60; 2. Jada Surrell-Norwood, Regis Jesuit, 50.79; 3. Meredith Rees, Lewis-Palmer, 50.82; 8. Cailen Chinn, Fairview, 52.96; 13. Jillian Martin, Broomfield, 53.66; 14. Sidney Trimm, Monarch, 54.17; 15. Kaia Reznicek, Fairview, 54.66.
500 freestyle — 1. Brittney Beetcher, Fairview, 4:59.47; 2. Cameron Kovac, Fossil Ridge, 5:05.79; 3. Patricia Van Law, ThunderRidge, 5:05.82; 6. Amelie Lessing, Fairview, 5:08.21; 9. Morgan Simon, Fairview, 5:14.88; 12. Grace Valette, Boulder, 5:17.81; 15. Robin Cruz-Abrams, Fairview, 5:18.73.
200 free relay — 1. Fossil Ridge (B. Kovac, Niemann, C. Kovac, Gillilan), 1:35.03; 2. Arapahoe, 1:36.04; 3. Regis Jesuit, 1:36.31; 4. Fairview (Chinn, Seigal, Reznicek, Lessing), 1:37.20; 11. Monarch (Tymoszuk, Webster, Rens, Trimm), 1:42.62; 12. Boulder (Culberson, Warner, Katnik, Valette), 1:42.73.
100 backstroke — 1. Bayley Stewart, Fossil Ridge, 53.94; 2. Bailey Kovac, Fossil Ridge, 54.72; 3. Natalie Arky, Mountain Vista, 55.09; 7. Riley Tapley, Fairview, 57.38; 11. Katey Lewicki, Monarch, 58.58; 14. Randi Rens, Monarch, 1:00.07; 15. Emilia Culberson, Boulder, 1:00.12.
100 breaststroke — 1. Zoe Bartel, Fossil Ridge, 1:00.39*; 2. Caraline Baker, Fossil Ridge, 1:03.74; 3. Delaney Smith, Arapahoe, 1:04.31; 5. Alex Schwier, Fairview, 1:05.79; 11. Isabel Rich, Fairview, 1:07.12.
400 free relay — 1. Fossil Ridge (B. Kovac, C. Kovac, Stewart, Bartel), 3:28.98; 2. Arapahoe, 3:32.75; 3. Regis Jesuit, 3:33.03; 5. Fairview (Seigal, Lessing, Chinn, Beetcher), 3:35.38; 9. Legacy (Romero, Chandra, Feran, Nielsen), 3:42.23; 16. Boulder (Valette, Culberson, Warner, Swift), 3:45.04.
* — denotes state record