THORNTON — It happens every few years, and the 2015-2016 school calendar shows quite the hectic day for Boulder High senior swimmers in late May.

Yes, the Class 5A state championships at the Air Force Academy are slated for the same day as Boulder's graduation. When that was brought up in conversation at Saturday's Coaches Invitational, Mick Bartholomew rolled his eyes at the thought.

However, he is crossing his fingers that it does pose a bit of a dilemma for him and his teammates come season's end.

"I really think the scheduling works out to where we'll be able to do both, but I think if it came down to it I'd choose swimming over graduation. Most of my teammates would, too, I think," Bartholomew said after two top-10 finishes at the biggest early season meet of the year. "We'll be able to figure it out."

The quicker-than-you-may-think road to state began Saturday for Bartholomew, who finished top-16 in two different events at last year's state meet — helping Boulder finish fourth overall.

He was also on the Panthers' 200 medley relay team that captured gold at the meet, but there's a certain drive in him get in the championship heats this year — especially in the 200 individual medley where a disappointing preliminary race parlayed into a 10th place finish.

"I'm really excited to be back in the high school season, and I just love the atmosphere of it," Bartholomew said. "I feel like last year I really had a shot in the 200 IM but my prelims swim wasn't great. I just have to go into it this year knowing I have to nail prelims ... just attack prelims a bit more and know it matters."


Advertisement

First year Boulder coach Emily Sampl has seen that overdrive barely a week into the year. In Saturday's 50 freestyle, Bartholomew went 22.06 seconds (good for sixth) and he finished second in the 100 backstroke with a time of 53.40 — though he went 52.78 in the prelims.

"I know he's one of the best swimmers we have who hasn't made that finals heat before, and I know it's on his mind," Sampl said. "We've talked about him maybe doing the 100 back instead of the breaststroke (at state) ... With graduation that same day, we want them to pick events they know they can be there for.

"He wanted to swim some off events (Saturday), but you can't really call them off events for Mick."

The Panthers only had a handful of competitors at the meet and did not swim any relays. Nathan Rock finished sixth in the backstroke (54.72), while PJ Stapleton just missed finals in the 50 free. Freshman Ozzie Davis also got his first chance to get acclimated to the big team meet.

Boulder placed 16th overall. Fossil Ridge brought a strong contingent and finished first, just ahead of Regis Jesuit and Cherry Creek.

The Panthers were the only local squad to finish in the top 25.

Adam Dunivan: dunivana@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/AdamDunivan24

2016 Coaches Invitational

At Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center

Team scores — Fossil Ridge 428, Regis Jesuit 360, Cherry Creek 294, Arapahoe 256, Ponderosa 182, Smoky Hill 179, Heritage 165, Greeley West 138, Fort Collins 132.50, Grandview 128, George Washington 119, Highlands Ranch 112.5, Estes Park 102, Lakewood 79, Lewis-Palmer 68, Boulder 55, Chatfield 53.5, Denver South 52, Wheat Ridge 51, Mullen 49, Liberty 47, District 51 Griffins 46, Montrose 45, Rampart 43, Northglenn-Thornton 42, Denver East 38.5, Rocky Mountain 37, Greeley Central 32, Valor Christian 28, Bear Creek 26, Fairview 25, Cherokee Trail 17, Broomfield 15, Pomona 13, Green Mountain 11, Windsor 10, Ralston Valley 6, Mountain Range 4.

200 medley relay — 1. Regis Jesuit, 1:36.31; 2. Fossil Ridge, 1:38.43; 3. Fort Collins, 1:39.05; 18. Broomfield, 1:47.28.

200 freestyle — 1. Hinton, Heritage, 1:42.22; 2. Willis, Fossil Ridge, 1:43.57; 3. Jang, Cherry Creek, 1:46.47.

200 IM — 1. Kelley, Heritage, 1:54.52; 2. Lewis, Greeley West, 1:56.03; 3. Jessen, Mullen, 1:56.95.

50 freestyle — 1. Eiber, Arapahoe, 21.12; 2. Grogan, Ponderosa, 21.22; 3. Bundy, Denver South, 21.53; 6. Mick Bartholomew, Boulder, 22.06.

Diving — 1. Bellamy, Smoky Hill, 585.40; 2. Duncan Lester, Fairview, 538.50; 3. Ives, Arapahoe, 525.85.

100 butterfly — 1. Gillilan, Fossil Ridge, 51.96; 2. Kelley, Heritage, 51.97; 3. Warren, Regis Jesuit, 53.05.

100 freestyle — 1. Eiber, Arapahoe, 46.02; 2. Grogan, Ponderosa, 47.61; 3. Park, Estes Park, 47.92.

500 freestyle — 1. Hinton, Heritage, 4:43.03; 2. King, Montrose, 4:43.57; 3. Snowberg, Lakewood, 4:50.43.

200 free relay — 1. Regis Jesuit, 1:27.66; 2. Arapahoe, 1:28.33; 3. Fossil Ridge, 1:28.40; 20. Broomfield, 1:36.14.

100 backstroke — 1. Kovac, Fossil Ridge, 50.83; 2. Mick Bartholomew, Boulder, 53.40; 3. Esayev, Cherry Creek, 54.06; 6. Nathan Rock, Boulder, 54.72; 14. Jacob Hahn, Broomfield, 56.72; 17. John Paul Phillips, Fairview, 57.18.

100 breaststroke — 1. Lewis, Greeley West, 58.64; 2. Manuello, Greeley Central, 59.46; 3. DuFauchard, Arapahoe, 1:00.25.

400 free relay — 1. Fossil Ridge, 3:12.02; 2. Arapahoe, 3:14.54; 3. Cherry Creek, 3:17.11.