THORNTON — There is always that one swim in the preliminaries at the state championships that catches your attention.

Boulder's Quinton Pierce made a few people do a double take on Friday on Day 1 of the Class 5A state meet at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center.

Maybe it was a little sandbagging for the yearround club guy, but its hard not to notice when you shave five seconds off in one event and 14 in another.

"I did really well in my sectional meet over spring break and high school season really has been the best until now," said Pierce, who moved up 10 spots in the 200-yard freestyle — besting his seed time of 1:46.42 to a personal best 1:41.48. "It felt really good."

His time in the 200 was the second fastest of the day behind Arapahoe's Indiana University-bound Griffin Eiber, who went 1:38.45.

Then later in the 500, where he has gone as fast as 4:29, Pierce — who had just done enough to qualify for the event during the season, qualifying with a 4:49 — went 4:35.53 and sits right behind teammate Nathan Rock (4:35.30).

"I was really nervous today and I actually woke up a little earlier than I wanted to," Pierce said. "I guess that helps too."

All in all it was a good day for the Panthers, who also got a great swim from senior Jack Studebaker in the 50 free (21.54) that propelled him to the championship finals. Boulder will also be back in the finals of the 400 freestyle relay.


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Fairview's Michael Zarian and Justin Li more than exceeded expectations on the fast first day at VMAC.

The Harvard-bound Zarian, was four second faster than the field in the 200 IM, going 1:48.24 and then he followed that up with a pool record 47.75 in the 100 fly.

"When I saw that (Fossil Ridge's) Danny (Kovac) went 48.1 two heats before me, I knew that he wasn't playing games this prelims," said Zarian, who set a personal best in the event by .2 seconds. "State prelims is always an experiment because everyone is shaved, tapered and ready to swim fast and it is really a test run of what we should expect to see tomorrow."

The Knights' premier sprinter, Li, is right in the mix of both the 50 free (21.16) and the 100 (46.45). He also helped both of Fairview's freestyle relay teams back to the championship finals.

Heading into state there was a lot of expectations for a Broomfield team that opened a lot of eyes statewide with fast times during the season and the Eagles didn't shy away from the big stage.

They will be back in the finals of both the 200 medley and 400 free relays and individually freshman Harrison Lierz — fourth in the IM (1:54.31) and third in the 500 (4:40.19) — long with senior Austin Crump (sixth in the 100 fly in 50.88 despite a nagging shoulder injury) put a smile on coach Emily Austin's face.

"It is hard to amp up for a conference meet an then come here; because we had to bust our butts at conference and we wanted to," she said. "All in all I am really pleased and we have never had a relay make it back to the finals in 5A, so that is huge."

Legacy's Casey Hamilton (200 IM and 100 backstroke) and Daniel Bradford (500 free) will make the podium with their times on Friday.

Down at Class 4A at the Air Force Academy, that by the way is 2,000 feet higher than what a lot of the swimmer are used to, Silver Creek had a few bright spots.

The Raptors Chris Wingfield qualified for the championship finals in the 100 freestyle and just missed in another event, placing ninth in the 50 free. Teammate Hayden Dickinson also just missed in the 500, missing the final by a less than a second.

Silver Creek made the 'A' finals in the 200 free relay.

Longmont's Octavio Querol finished 12th in the 500 freestyle and will swim in the consolation heat of that event tomorrow.

The diving preliminaries begin at 9 a.m. at both sites on Saturday and the championship finals will get underway at 2:30 p.m.

Jon Yunt: yuntj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/JonEYunt

CLASS 5A STATE SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center

PRELIMINARIES

(Top 16 in each event return for Saturday's finals)

200 medley relay — 1. Fossil Ridge 1:31.63; 2. Regis Jesuit 1:31.87; 3. Cherry Creek 1:33.66; 4. Highlands Ranch 1:35.10; 5. Broomfield 1:36.22; 6. Fort Collins 1:36.49; 7. Ponderosa 1:37.30; 8. Legacy 1:38.02; 11. Fairview 1:38.84; 12. Boulder 1:39.74.

200 freestyle — 1. Griffin Eiber, Arapahoe; 2. Quinton Pierce, Boulder, 1:41.48; 3. Richard Dauksher, Fossil Ridge, 1:41.93; 4. Nathan Rock. Boudler, 1:42.73; 5. Lars Worlund, Fossil Ridge, 1:42.76; 6. Jack Holter, Fort Collins, 1:42.83; 7. Nicholas Fox, Ralston Valley, 1:43.15; 8. Blake Wilton, Ponderosa, 1:43.19; 13. John Paul Phillips, Fairview, 1:44.02.

200 IM — 1. Michael Zarian, Fairview, 1:48.24; 2. William Goodwin, Regis Jesuit, 1:52.07; 3. Sam Ybarra, Fossil Ridge, 1:52.83; 4. Harrison Lierz, Broomfield, 1:54.31; 5. Alex Dragan, Fort Collins, 1:54.49; 6. Charles Sturgeon, Palmer, 1:54.81; 7. Casey Hamilton, Legacy, 1:55.39; 8. Brendan Eckerman, Cherry Creek, 1:55.42.

50 freestyle — 1. Keegan Bundy, Denver South, 21.10; 2. Shamzi Alkaff, Fossil Ridge, 21.12; 2. Kris Malinin, Fossil Ridge, 21.12; 4. Elijah Warren, Regis Jesuit, 21.16; 5. Justin Li, Fairview, 21.22; 6. Matt Geraghty, Fossil Ridge, 21.44; 7. Jack Studebaker, Boulder, 21.54; 8. Alexander Strepman, Regis Jesuit, 21.56; David Griffith, Hinkley, 21.56; 12. Walker Martin, Fairview, 21.74.

100 butterfly — 1. Michael Zarian, Fairview, 47.75; 2. Danny Kovac, Fossil Ridge, 48.19; 3. Ty Coen, Regis Jesuit, 48.54; 4. Sam Ybarra, Fossil Ridge, 50.36; 5. Blake Wilton, Ponderosa, 50.54; 6. Austin Crump, Broomfield, 50.88; 7. Alexander Sironen, Cherry Creek, 51.21; 8. Jack Holter, Fort Collins, 51.37.

100 freestyle — 1. Griffin Eiber, Arapahoe, 45.00; 2. Matt Geraghty, Fossil Ridge, 46.29; 3. Keegan Bundy, Denver South, 46.36; 4. Justin Li, Fairview, 46.45; 5. Shamzi Alkaff, Fossil Ridge, 46.48; 6. Kris Malinin, Fossil Ridge, 47.04; 7. Sam Jones, Regis Jesuit, 47.22; 8. Austin Hegemann, Highlands Ranch, 47.39; 9. Walker Martin, Fairview, 47.49; 13. Lochlainn Renfrow, Fairview, 47.86; 14. Jack Studebaker, Boulder, 47.88.

500 freestyle — 1. Nathan Rock, Boulder, 4:35.30; 2. Quinton Pierce, Boulder, 4:35.53; 3. Harrison Lierz, Broomfield, 4:40.19; 4. Richard Dauksher, Fossil Ridge, 4:40.92; 5. Nicholas Fox, Ralston Valley, 4:43.67; 6. Nathan Kenigsberg, Greeley West, 4:43.90; 7. Daniel Bradford, Legacy, 4:44.10; 8. Elliot Steinberg, Regis Jesuit, 4:44.11.

200 free relay — 1. Fossil Ridge 1:24.03; 2. Fairview 1:25.80; 3. Highlands Ranch 1:26.69; 4. Arapahoe 1:26.81; 5. Regis Jesuit, 1:27.25; 6. Cherry Creek 1:27.33; 7. Fort Collins, 1:27.54; 8. Lewis-Palmer 1:27.55; 10. Boulder 1:28.68; 11. Broomfield, 1:28.99.

100 backstroke — 1. Danny Kovac, Fossil Ridge, 49.05; 2. Gavin Olson, Columbine, 49.92; 3. Ty Coen, Regis Jesuit, 49.99; 4. Casey Hamilton, Legacy, 51.45; 5. Lucius Gau, Fort Collins, 51.69; 6. Sawyer Kruse, Rocky Mountain, 51.94; 7. Alex Bruce, Cherry Creek, 52.03; 8. Frank Ruppel, Highlands Ranch, 52.56; 9. John Paul Phillips, Fairview, 52.66; 10. Kyle Mak, Monarch, 52.79.

100 breaststroke — 1. Elijah Warren, Regis Jesuit, 55.62; 2. Joshua Lenzmeier, Liberty, 55.68; 3. John Strain, Cherry Creek, 57.30; 4. Josh Pales, Fossil Ridge, 57.71; 5. Charles Sturgeon, Palmer, 57.78; 6. William Goodwin, Regis Jesuit, 57.79; 7. Spencer Smith, Cherry Creek, 58.07; 8. Cameron Weese, Regis Jesuit, 58.19.

400 free relay — 1. Fossil Ridge 3:05.06; 2. Regis Jesuit 3:06.97; 3. Cherry Creek 3:08.59; 4. Fairview 3:08.90; 5. Broomfield 3:09.33; 6. Boulder 3:10.36; 7. Arapahoe 3:11.00; 8. Lewis-Palmer 3:11.34.

CLASS 4A STATE SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Air Force Academy

PRELIMINARIES

200 medley relay — 1. Cheyenne Mountain 1:37.41; 2. Golden 1:37.59; 3. Valor Christian 1:38.74; 4. Windsor 1:38.92; 5. Coronado 1:39.10; 6. Thompson Valley 1:39.18; 7. Pine Creek 1:40.94; 8. Montrose 1:42.02; 14. Silver Creek 1:45.41.

200 freestyle — 1. Liam Gately, Thompson Valley, 1:40.79; 2. Griffin Ayotte, Air Academy, 1:41.22; 3. Kyle Leach, Cheyenne Mountain, 1:42.60; 4. Seth Hendrix, Evergreen, 1:44.09; 5. Liam Dooley, Valor Christian, 1:44.18; 6. Ryan King, Montrose, 1:44.74; 7. Christopher Eddy, Thompson Valley, 1:44.84; 8. Cory Leidich, Golden, 1:44.89.

200 IM — 1. Dylan Nasser, Valor Christian, 1:55.67; 2. Blayze Jessen, Mullen, 1:55.67; 3. Ryan Peterson, Wheat Ridge, 1:58.38; 4. Cayden Christianson, Montrose, 1:59.29; 5. Sheridan Harder, Cheyenne Mountain, 2:00.09; 6. Robert Clayton, Discovery Canyon, 2:00.45; 7. Benjamin Smith, Thompson Valley, 2:00.50; 8. Gabe Grauvogel, Cheyenne Mountain, 2:00.91.

50 freestyle — 1. Daniel Carr, Cheyenne Mountain, 20.65; 2. Cole Sibelius, George Washington, 21.47; 3. Tyler Cohan, Golden, 21.77; 4. Marley Kaiser, Coronado, 21.89; 5. Erik Stolz, Thomas Jefferson, 21.98; 5. Caleb Kim, Valor Christian, 21.98; 7. Max Moreland, Pueblo County, 22.14; 8. Matthew Wyatt, Valor Christian, 22.18; 9. Christopher Wingfield, Silver Creek, 22.23.

100 butterfly — 1. Seth Hendrix, Evergreen, 50.70; 2. Kyle Leach, Cheyenne Mountain, 51.14; 3. Daric Sundeen, Golden, 51.51; 4. Drake Manuello, Greeley Central, 52.23; 5. Treven Wertz, Pueblo County, 52.54; 5.Colby Horton, Windsor, 52.54; 7. Robert Clayton, Discovery Canyon, 52.89; 8. Reade Warner, Golden, 53.18; 8. Matthew Wyatt, Valor Christian, 53.18.

100 freestyle — 1. Liam Gately, Thompson Valley, 45.85; 2. Nicholas Sherman, Pine Creek, 46.10; 3. Griffin Ayotte, Air Academy, 46.39; 4. Ryan Peterson, Wheat Ridge, 47.19; 5. Jerry Birnbaum, Cheyenne Mountain, 47.23; 6. Cole Sibelius, George Washington, 47.47; 6. Tyler Cohan, Golden, 47.47; 8. Christopher Wingfield, Silver Creek, 48.43.

500 freestyle — 1. Ryan King, Montrose, 4:39.94; 2. Riley Miller, Windsor, 4:49.62; 3. Braden Whitmarsh, Discovery Canyon, 4:51.15; 4. Ethan Hansbury, Windsor, 5:08.74; 5. Jakob Borrman, Loveland, 5:10.49; 6. Reed Charron, Thompson Valley, 5:11.19; 7. Drew Koreker, Pine Creek, 5:14.94; 8. Alex Spiecker, Coronado, 5:17.33; 9. Hayden Dickinson, Silver Creek, 5:17.61; 12. Octavio Querol, Longmont, 5:20.94.

200 free relay — 1. Valor Christian 1:28.71; 2. Cheyenne Mountain 1:28.80; Evergreen 1:29.85; 4. George Washington 1:30.70; 5. Golden 1:31.38; 6. Silver Creek 1:31.46; 7. Pueblo County 1:31.83; 8. Thompson Valley 1:31.99.

100 backstroke — 1. Nicholas Sherman, Pine Creek, 51.00; 2. Daric Sundeen, Golden, 51.50; 3. Dylan Nasser, Valor Christian, 52.33; 4. Jerry Birnbaum, Cheyenne Mountain, 52.89; 5. Christian Moden, Cheyenne Mountain, 53.93; 6. Colby Horton, Windsor, 54.13; 7. Riley Miller, Windsor, 54.73; 8. Lenny Den, Valor Christian, 55.10.

100 breaststroke — 1. Drake Manuello, Greeley Central, 57.42; 2. Blayze Jessen, Mullen, 59.64; 3. Sheridan Harder, Cheyenne Mountain, 1:00.10; 4. Daniel Turner, Loveland, 1:00.49; 5. Jack Moranetz, D'Evelyn, 1:00.49; 6. Gabe Grauvogel, Cheyenne Mountain, 1:00.89; 7. Caleb Kim, Valor Christian, 1:01.10; 8. Marley Kaiser, Coronado. 1:01.40.

400 free relay — 1. Cheyenne Mountain 3:08.00; 2. Golden 3:13.63; 3. Valor Christian 3:15.25; 4. Thompson Valley 3:15.73; 5. Pine Creek 3:18.33; 6. George Washington 3:19.17; 7. Evergreen 3:19.39; 8. Windsor 3:20.93; 9. Silver Creek, 3:25.03.