SWIMMERS TO WATCH
Daniel Bradford, Sr., Legacy: A versatile swimmer for the Lightning, who has hopes of helping his team climb up the standings at state.
Austin Crump, Sr., Broomfield: University of the Pacific-bound Eagles senior has a chance to make some serious noise at the state meet.
Duncan Lester, Sr., Fairview: A two-time state placer for the Knights, should have little trouble getting back for a third straight year.
Nathan Rock, Sr., Boulder: Second in the 5A 500 freestyle behind Zarian, he medaled in two individual events and won gold with the Panthers' 400 freestyle relay last season.
Cooper Welsh, Jr.., Longmont:Finished seventh in Class 4A diving compeittion last season and will be right back in the mix in a deep field, where the top 10 from last year were all underclassmen.
Christopher Wingfield, Jr., Silver Creek: Coach Debbie Stewart is counting on his leadership to help guide a young group of Raptors back to a top 10 state finish.
Michael Zarian, Sr., Fairview: The only 5A swimmer to win gold in two individual events at last year's championships, the reigning BoCoPreps.com Swimmer of the Year is headed to Harvard in the fall.
• 5A State Championship May 19-20 at VMAC, Thornton
• 4A State Championship May 19-20 at Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs
TEAM BY TEAM OUTLOOK
Coach: Emily Sampl (2nd season).
Last year: Finished 5th at Class 5A state meet.
Returning state qualifiers: Henry Maier (Sr., 50 free and 100 free); Quinton Pierce (Jr., 200 IM and 500 free); Nathan Rock (Sr., 200 free and 500 free); Jack Studebaker (Sr., 50 free and 100 free).
Others to watch: Ozzie Davis (So.); Grant Freeman (So.); Max Kreidl (Fr.); Matt Slade (Jr.); Luke Stapleton (Fr.).
Outlook: The Panthers lost three fourths of their state championship 400 free relay team to graduation, but with a strong group of underclassmen, the team should still be in the mix for a top five team finish at state. Junior Quinton Pierce and senior Nathan Rock, who signed to swim at DU, should be major point scorers again this season, along with senior Jack Studebaker and freshman Luke Stapleton. With nine swimmers already posting times under the 5A state qualifying times, Boulder could have up to a dozen swimmers at state in May.
Coach: Emily Austin (19th season).
Last year: Finished tied for 22nd at Class 5A state meet.
Returning state qualifiers: Sam Anderson (So., relays); Austin Crump (Sr., 200 & 100 free, relays); Ryan Davis (Jr., 50 & 100 free, relays); Jacob Hahn (Sr., backstroke and relays); Sam Hahn (So., relays); Zach Hudson (Sr., relays); AJ Nitchoff (Sr., relays); Bo St.Onge (Jr., relays).
Others to watch: Jon Kim (So.); Luke Knaley (Fr.); Harrison Lierz (Fr.).
Outlook: Said Austin: "All of our strongest competitors return from last year, so that's a huge bonus. To have that much strength and leadership returning is unprecedented. I'm really excited to see the improvement of our returning swimmers and also to see what our new kids can bring to the pool. Should be a fun and productive season for the Eagles - as always."
Coach: Lauren Sampl (1st season).
Last year: Finished 4th at Class 5A state meet.
Returning state qualifiers: Will Brown (Jr., 50 free and 100 back); Jack Casebolt (Jr. 100 fly); Breyden Fano (Sr., 100 free and 200 free); Joe Felton (Jr., 50 free and 100 free); Chris George (So., 100 free); Duncan Lester (Sr., diving); Justin Li (Sr., 50 free and 100 free); Walker Martin (Sr., 100 free); John Paul Phillips (Jr., 200 free and 100 back); Michael Zarian (Sr., 200 IM and 500 free).
Others to watch: Aaron Adler (Fr., free); Brad Bolles (Fr., back); Spencer Derthick (So., breast and IM); Brandon Li (Fr., back); Lochlain Renfrow (Sr., free); Ben Sullivan (Jr., fly and back); Luka Visnjic (Jr., free); Cody Yan (Fr., breast).
Outlook: Fairview lost a strong senior class and several transfer students but returns 10 state qualifiers, led by state champion Michael Zarian. The Knights have great depth across the board and welcome a speedy group of new freshmen. They will look to some fresh faces to step up in the relays and maintain their top 5 state ranking.
Coach: Tony Helfrich (6th season).
Last year: Finished tied for 22nd at Class 5A state meet.
Returning state qualifiers: Daniel Bradford (Sr., 200 IM, 200 and 500 free); Casey Hamilton (Jr., 200 IM, 100 back and 100 fly); Alex Nielsen (Sr., 200 IM, 200 and 500 free).
Others to watch: Ryo Arakawa (So.); Pax Armon (Fr.); Nathan Miller (Jr.).
Outlook: Legacy, again shoots for a strong finish in the Front Range League Championships and cracking that top 20 finish at state.
Coach: Jill LeGault (7th season).
Last year: Finished 21th at Class 4A state meet.
Returning state qualifiers: Braxton Davis (Sr., back and relays); Octavio Querol (So., relays); Derek Rossi (Sr., relays); Matthew Solc (Jr., relays); Justin Warner (Sr., fly and relays); Cooper Welsh (Jr., diver); Calib Young (Jr., diver).
Others to watch: Joey Granneman (Jr.); Ethan Wilson (Sr.).
Outlook: Said LeGault: "We are looking forward to a great season, we have a lot of strong talent that has returned from last year for both diving and swimming. We've added few new members that bring a strong skill set. This season should be fun for swimmers, divers, and coaches."
Coach: Amber Sullivan (3rd season).
Last year: Did not score at Class 5A state meet.
Returning state qualifiers: Alan Ferrera (Sr., relays); Tanner Filion (So., relays); Ethan Glenn (So., relays); Nate Johnson (Sr., relays); Aidan Jones (So., relays); Brandon Wallace (Sr., relays).
Others to watch: Curran Carter (Sr.); Justin Darr (So.); Ethan Eltrich (So.); Andre Fouque (Fr.); Cody Glastetter (Fr.); Rodrigo Gutierrez (Fr.); Kyle Mak (Jr.); Austen Schunk (Fr.); Dylan Shafer (Fr.); Andrew Vo (Fr.); Tachi Williams (So.).
Outlook: Said Sullivan, whose team is looking to break a two years scoreless drought at state: "With solid growth in our program and strong underclassman, the team is the largest it's been in years and we look forward to utilizing our depth and talent, proving ourselves to be competitive, and seeing where this season takes us."
SILVER CREEK RAPTORS
Coach: Debbie Stewart (16th season).
Last year: Finished 5th at Class 4A state meet.
Returning state qualifiers: Roland Bailey (Sr., 200 free and 100 back); Sam Beaudry (Jr., 200 IM and 500 free); Kendrick Choong (Jr. 200 free and 100 free); Ashton Hubert (Jr., diving); Matthew Teta (So., diving); Ben Willett (Jr., diving); Chris Wingfield (Jr., 50 free and 100 fly); Colby Wingfield (So., 100 breast); Andrew Wu (So., 100 breast).
Others to watch: Hayden Dickinson (So.); Noah Simon (Jr.); Matthew Winn (Jr.).
Outlook: Said Stewart, who lost both Sam Willett and Noah Jepson to graduation and will be counting on Chris Wingfield to lead a young Raptors team: "This will be a rebuilding year and our hopes would be to stay in the top 10 at state. A large freshmen class is coming in and it will be exciting to see what they can bring to the team."