THORNTON — Legacy senior Greg Allan likely has never played Hearts, but the Lightning swimmer is all in on shooting the moon before this year's Class 5A state swim meet.
His case for qualifying in every event got stronger on Saturday at the Mountain Range Mustang Invite with an unexpected win in the 100 breaststroke at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center. The win capped a strong showing for Legacy as a squad at the 15-team meet, as the Lightning finished third overall behind Fairview and Boulder.
Broomfield's Austin Crump also shined with two event wins as the Eagles placed sixth overall.
Midway through the season, Allan has just one event to knock out a state cut, that being the 50 freestyle, and he almost got it done Saturday with his time of 23.03 seconds (the cut is 23.00). But, that did not diffuse his elation at getting the breaststroke cut (1:03.96) in winning style from an outside lane.
"The breaststroke was a personal best for me, so that was exciting, but it also came out of nowhere," Allan said after he also helped the 200 free relay team move up in the state rankings. "I thought it was going to be a lot rougher than it was (on the outside), but I'm definitely happy.
"Just need one more."
Earlier in the week, the Lightning had a rude awakening in a dual meet against Fossil Ridge, and head coach Tony Helfrich challenged his team to come out stronger despite not being rested.
The team followed the lead set by the 200 medley relay foursome of Casey Hamilton, Andrew Otterson, Alex Nielsen and Ian Dretzka, who ended up taking first place at 1:41.61.
While several LHS swimmers are right on the brink of getting those cuts with three weeks before the Front Range League Championships, a few did get chiseled out for Andrew Jaschke (200 IM, 100 breast) and Hamilton (breast).
"We came here with a different mindset and pulled it together and swam well," Helfrich said. "It was a good effort by these guys, and we're hoping to show everyone just how hard they've been working."
"I think we showed what we're capable of. That first relay always seems to set a tone for us ... it's hard to recover from a bad first race but when we get it right like we did today it pushes us," Allan said.
Crump won back-to-back events including setting a meet record in the 100 butterfly with his swim of 51.98 seconds. That came after he won the 50 free from the second lane (22.32).
Things are starting to shake out a little bit around the state, meaning it is getting easier to see what events swimmers will tackle when all the chips are down. For Crump, the 50 free might still be a possibility. But he's sitting well in several other events, including the fly.
"We've really started to look into who might swim what at state and who to look out for, so I think it helps out in the process of what I want to swim," Crump said. "The 50 is an option, but we're still keeping an open mind about things and looking at what relays we're making back and all that. I was happy with the fly but again it's about getting ready for state and chipping away at times."
No other new state standards were established for BHS, but coach Emily Austin did say several times were lowered throughout the lineup.
Five meet records were broken overall.
Mountain Range Mustang Invitational
At Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center
Team scores — Fairview 509, Boulder 315, Legacy 259, Loveland 191, Rocky Mountain 189, Broomfield 175, Windsor 135, Monarch 114, Northglenn/Thornton 102, Mountain Range 85, Estes Park 48, Poudre 47, Valley 44, Thompson Valley 20, Horizon 11.
200 medley relay — 1. Legacy (Casey Hamilton, Andrew Otterson, Alex Nielsen, Ian Dretzka), 1:41.61; 2. Boulder, 1:41.74; 3. Fairview, 1:42.18.
200 freestyle — 1. Nathan Rock, Boulder, 1:44.96*; 2. Olson, Northglenn/Thornton, 1:48.53; 3. Walker Martin, Fairview, 1:49.27.
200 IM — 1. Michael Zarian, Fairview, 1:52.45*; 2. Chris Nicholson, Boulder, 1:57.55; 3. Buyers, Loveland, 2:00.23.
50 freestyle — 1. Austin Crump, Broomfield, 22.32; 2. Kailash Graham-Bell, Fairview, 22.66; 2. Joe Felton, Fairview, 22.66.
Diving (from Friday) — 1. Duncan Lester, Fairview, 520.25; 2. Bielmaier, Estes Park, 447.60; 3. Soguero, Estes Park, 418.20.
100 butterfly — 1. Crump, Broomfield, 51.98*; 2. Raymond Guthrie, Fairview, 52.71; 3. Olson, Northglenn/Thornton, 53.37;
100 freestyle — 1. Nicholson, Boulder, 46.83; 2. Martin, Fairview, 49.58; 3. Jack Studebaker, Boulder, 49.89.
500 freestyle — 1. Zarian, Fairview, 4:41.61*; 2. Rock, Boulder, 4:47.54; 3. Daniel Bradford, Legacy, 4:53.40.
200 free relay — 1. Boulder (Henry Maier, Quinton Pierce, Rock, Nicholson), 1:29.15; 2. Fairview, 1:29.58; 3. Legacy, 1:31.25.
100 backstroke — 1. Philip Manoff, Fairview, 52.98; 2. Buyers, Loveland, 53.47; 3. Will Brown, Fairview, 56.55.
100 breaststroke — 1. Greg Allan, Legacy, 1:03.96; 2. Denton, Loveland, 1:04.34; 3. Ilya Fedorchuk, Fairview, 1:04.53.
400 free relay — 1. Fairview (Guthrie, Martin, Manoff, Zarian), 3:14.19*; 2. Boulder, 3:22.18; 3. Fairview B, 3:24.06.
* — denotes meet record