SWIMMERS TO WATCH
Casey Hamilton, Sr., Legacy: The Lightning senior finished fourth at the 5A state meet in the backstroke in his home pool at the VMAC in an event full of underclassmen last season.
Ashton Hubert, Sr., Silver Creek: Just missed out on the podium in diving last season, finishing 12th overall.
Harrison Lierz, So., Broomfield: One of the most talented all-around in BoCo, has the chance to be the Eagles first Class 5A champion in whatever event he decides to swim at state.
Kyle Mak, Sr., Monarch: The Coyotes captain made the 'B' finals in the backstroke last season, and would love nothing more to be swimming in two events on Saturday at state.
John Paul Phillips, Sr., Fairview: Will be one of the leaders for a Knights squad that graduated a ton, but still has visions on a top five finish at state.
Quinton Pierce, Sr., Boulder: The Panthers senior surprised a majority in attendance last season at state when he won the 500 free. What does he do for an encore?
Cooper Welsh, Sr.., Longmont: Finished eighth in Class 4A state diving last season and has vision of moving up the podium.
Benjamin Willett, Sr., Silver Creek: One of the rare combinations of swimmer and divers in the state. Will look to excel at both for the Raptors.
Christopher Wingfield, Sr., Silver Creek: One of Class 4A's premier sprinters, was a finalist in the 100 free last season.
• 5A State Championship May 18-19 at VMAC, Thornton
• 4A State Championship May 18-19 at Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs
TEAM BY TEAM OUTLOOK
Coach: Emily Sampl (2nd season).
Last year: Finished tied for 6th at Class 5A state meet.
Returning state qualifiers: Henry Crouch (Jr., breast); Ozzie Davis (Jr., IM/breast); Grant Freeman (Jr., fly/back); Max Kreidl (So., fly/back); Mason Pendergast (Sr., 50 free); Quinton Pierce (Sr., 200/500 free); Matt Slade (Sr., fly); Luke Stapleton (So., 50/100 free).
Others to watch: AJ Dolan (Sr.); Colin Pendergast (Sr.); Zach Shoffner (Fr.); CJ Turf (Jr.); Josh Winter (Jr.).
Outlook: Boulder features a versatile, well-rounded group of swimmers this season, led by defending state champion Quinton Pierce. Several kids have improved drastically since last year and will be in the mix to make multiple finals at state. With eight returning state qualifiers and a few others already under the state cuts, the Panthers will be shooting for another top six finish at state. .
Coach: Emily Austin (20th season).
Last year: Finished 11th at Class 5A state meet.
Returning state qualifiers: Sam Anderson (Jr., IM/free/fly/breast); Ryan Davis (Sr., sprint freestyles/back); Sam Hahn (Jr., back/100 free); Harrison Lierz (So., IM/back/500 free); Bo St.Onge (Sr., 200 free/IM/fly).
Others to watch: Nathan Cote (So.); Jon Kim (Jr.); Luke Knaley (So.);
Outlook: Said Austin: "We lost some great depth with our four graduating seniors. So we're looking to fill those gaps. We've got some kids who are really primed to step up and I hope that we'll still be a solid team this year ... for the bulk of our team, strong swims and finishes at the conference meet is the ultimate goal."
Coaches: Murphy Alafoginis and Angelique Dousis (1st season).
Last year: Finished 4th at Class 5A state meet.
Returning state qualifiers: Will Brown (Sr.); Spencer Derthick(Sr.); Chris George (Jr.); John Paul Phillips(Sr.); Cody Yan(So.).
Others to watch: Noah Anderson(So.); Jack Casebolt (Sr.); Andrew Jones(Fr.); Brandon Li (So.); Ben Sullivan(Sr); Luka Visnjic (Sr.).
Outlook: Fairview lost a strong senior class and several transfer students but return quite a few state qualifiers. 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 five state ranking.
Coach: Tony Helfrich (6th season).
Last year: Finished 12th at Class 5A state meet.
Returning state qualifiers: Luke Miller (So.); Nate Miller (Sr.); Alex Young (Sr.).
Others to watch: Pax Armon (So.); Nicolas Corringrato (So.); Owen Cunnington (Jr.); Jonus Ortega (Jr.); Michael Truong (Jr.).
Outlook: Said Helfrich, who owns the best breaststroke coaching whistle in the state: "Our standing goals are top five finish in the Front Range League and a top 20 finish at 5A state as a team. With a small squad, we have our work cut out for us but with a good core of leaders these goals are within our reach."
Coach: Jill LeGault (7th season).
Last year: Finished 25th at Class 4A state meet.
Returning state qualifiers: Dallas Dye (So., relays); Josh Hoffmaster (Sr., relays); Octavio Querlo (Jr., 200/500 free and relays); Matt Solc (Sr., fly/relays); Cooper Welch (Sr., diving); Calib Young (Sr., diving).
Others to watch: JT Sears (So.).
Outlook: Said LeGault: "We have a few spots to fill on our relays, but plenty of talent to choose from. We are excited for the new season, we will find success and continue to rise up to our opponents."
Coach: Amber Sullivan (4th season).
Last year: Finished tied for 31st at Class 5A state meet.
Returning state qualifiers: Justin Darr (Jr.); Tanner Filion(Sr.); Andre Fouque (So.); Cody Glastetter (So.); Ethan Glenn (Jr.); Rodrigo Gutierrez (So.); Kyle Mak (Sr.); Austen Schunk (So).
Others to watch: Dawson Bell (Jr.); Jeffrey Chen (Fr.); Sean Crawford (So.); Ethan Elterich (Jr.); Jake Fassora (Fr.,); Fabián Gines-Torres (Fr.); Peter Kowalski (So.); Noel Semanik (Jr.); Dylan Shafer (So.); Ethan Sundberg (So.); Andrew Vo (So.); Tachi Williams (Jr.).
Outlook: With a now more established team, great captain leadership and team camaraderie, and having broken the two-year scoreless drought at state, the Coyotes are the most focused and inspired they've ever been. The competitive depth that returns since only having graduated a couple of seniors should set them up for a productive, successful season. They hope to have their best finish yet at the Front Range League championships and to send multiple qualifiers and all of their relays to state and the state finals.
SILVER CREEK RAPTORS
Coach: Debbie Stewart (17th season).
Last year: Finished 11th at Class 4A state meet.
Returning state qualifiers: Sam Beaudry (Sr., IM/500 Free); Weston Call (So., 200 free/100 back); Dakota Casey (So., 200 and 100 free); Kendrick Choong (Sr., freestyles and relays); Hayden Dickinson (Jr., 200/500 free); Caleb Fischmann (Sr., 100 free); Ashton Hubert (Sr., diving); Liam Kendrick (Sr., 200/100 f and relays); Carson Simon (So., fly/relays); Noah Simon (Sr., IM/fly); Matthew Teta (Jr., diving); Benjamin Willett (Sr., relays/diving); Christopher Wingfield (Sr., 50/100 free and relays); Matthew Winn (Sr., 50 free and relays); Andrew Wu (Jr., IM/breats and relays).
Others to watch: Pierce Bigelow (Fr.); Ian Curd (Fr.); Connor Hassert (Fr.); Connor Hook (Sr.); Charlie Shrader (So.); Alex Wright (Sr.); Eric Yi (Jr.).
Outlook: Said Stewart: "We only lost three seniors last year so we are looking for the growth and experience of the returning swimmers to carry the team. We have some strong incoming freshmen that will help with the growth of the team and to help get the team back up into a top ten finish at state this year."