THORNTON — The Rex Abelein Memorial Invitational swim meet saw over 30 teams in the field, but it was a two-team battle most of the night between the Fairview Knights and the Cherry Creek Bruins for the best team score in the meet.
Cherry Creek took the lead through four events at the Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center, but the Knights finished strong to win the meet by 103.5 points in the final standings.
"As a team, we did really well," Fairview senior Riley Tapley said. "A lot of us just came back from big taper meets last weekend and the week before. We were going into this meet rested and I think we're swimming really well."
Tapley was one of the Knights who had a big day in Thornton. She started by helping the 200 medley relay win the first championship event of the day and then won the 100 butterfly. Her night ended with a pair of third-place finishes in the 100 backstroke and the 400 freestyle relay to close the meet.
"I'm really happy with (my performance)," Tapley said. "I've had a really long week of hard training. With that performance, I'm really happy."
Fairview was one of the teams that qualified for all 12 final heats in the meet and finished in the top three in seven of those events. In addition to the wins in the 200 medley relay and 100 butterfly, the Knights also won the 200 free relay with a time of 1 minute, 36.84 seconds. Morgan Simon took third in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle to go with her performance in the 400 freestyle relay. Mikayla Siegel was third in the 100 butterfly with Tapley for the other top-three finish.
Coming off a season where the Knights finished in second place at state, the team has goals set on returning to state and coming home with the title this season.
"Coming in our freshman year and winning (state) with our class, we definitely set the expectation that we want to win it all this year," Tapley said. "I think it's definitely a doable thing."
With what the team showed Saturday and so far this season, Tapley believes the Knights are heading in the right direction to reach those high goals.
"We need to go back and train harder than we have before," Tapley said. "We need to give everything we have left."
Legacy, Monarch the other local standouts
The Legacy Lightning, fresh off a second-place finish in their home invitational a week ago, returned to the VMAC and secured a spot in 10 of the 12 final heat events Saturday. As a result, the Lightning would finish in fifth place in the team standings.
Freshman Indigo Armon competed in a handful of finals again for the Lightning to lead the way.
"The team was really excited from what we had done and that definitely carried over into this week," Armon said. "We wanted to build on the team spirit and the energy. We really build off each other."
While there were no top-three finishes for the Lightning, their qualification in 10 final events was enough to put them in the top five of the team standings.
"The team is really good," Armon said. "We're a lot bigger than we have been before. We want to have a strong season because we have strong numbers."
The other highlight for Boulder County was Katey Lewicki of the Monarch Coyotes. The junior qualified for two individual finals and finished second in both the 200 individual medley (2:07.31) and the 100 backstroke (54.85). Monarch also saw a pair of relays and diver Angeline Settle reach the finals.
Rex Abelein Memorial Invitational
At Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center
Team standings — Fairview 468, Cherry Creek 364.5, Arapahoe 219.5, Valor Christian 218, Legacy 202, Rampart 192, Chatfield 177, Lewis-Palmer 163, Fossil Ridge 135, Heritage 130, ThunderRidge 129, Regis Jesuit 120.
200 medley relay — 1. Fairview (Riley Tapley, Emma Weber, Jenna Reznicek, Kaia Reznicek), 1:43.96*; 2. Rampart (Claire Timson, Edenna Chen, Laelle Brovold, Lindsey Immel), 1:46.82*; 3. Cherry Creek (Jenna Smith, Ella Drury, Sude Yimazturk, Audrey Dixon), 1:48.80*.
200 freestyle — 1. Kathryn Shanley (Chatfield), 1:53.28*; 2. Elizabeth Brock (Cherry Creek), 1:53.84; 3. Morgan Simon (Fairview), 1:56.42*.
200 IM — 1. Renee Gillilan (Fossil Ridge), 2:04.01*; 2. Katey Lewicki (Monarch), 2:07.31*; 3. Jenna Smith (Cherry Creek), 2:08.01*.
50 freestyle — 1. Meredith Rees (Lewis-Palmer), 23.28*; 2. Lindsay Stenstrom (Valor Christian), 23.58*; 3. Meredith Smithbaker (Rocky Mountain), 23.59*.
Diving — 1. Izzy Gregersen (Grandview), 520.15*; 2. Franny Cable (Arapahoe), 518.55*; 3. Gretchen Wensuc (ThunderRidge), 480.65*.
100 butterfly — 1. Riley Tapley (Fairview), 55.33*; 2. Lucy Bell (Fossil Ridge), 55.51*; 3. Mikayla Siegel (Fairview), 56.50*.
100 freestyle — 1. Lindsay Stenstrom (Valor Christian), 51.01*; 2. Anna Shaw (Heritage), 51.26*; 3. Taylor Juran (Columbine), 52.62*.
500 freestyle — 1. Kathryn Shanley (Chatfield), 5:01.93*; 2. Elizabeth Brock (Cherry Creek), 5:03.53*; 3. Morgan Simon (Fairview), 5:04.68*.
200 free relay — 1. Fairview (Kaia Reznicek, Emma Weber, Morgan Lukinack, Mikayla Seigel), 1:36.84*; 2. Chatfield (Avery Turney, Meghan Mulvihill, Abigail Storm, Kathryn Shanley), 1:37.57*; Valor Christian (Ashley Stenstrom, Kalie Linden, AJ Adams, Lindsay Stenstrom), 1:37.95*.
100 backstroke — 1. Meredith Rees (Lewis-Palmer), 54.14*; 2. Katey Lewicki (Monarch), 54.85*; 3. Riley Tapley (Fairview), 55.78*.
100 breaststroke — 1. Edenna Chen (Rampart), 1:03.51*; 2. Anna Wetzel (Arapahoe), 1:05.02*; 3. Ella Drury (Cherry Creek), 1:05.13*.
400 free relay — 1. Valor Christian (Ashley Stenstrom, AJ Adams, Makayla Hoehn, Lindsay Stenstrom), 3:32.12*; 2. Cherry Creek (Jenna Smith, Mikaela Kirton, Ella Drury, Elizabeth Brock), 3:35.19*; 3. Fairview (Mya Drost-Parra, Morgan Simon, Riley Tapley, Amelie Lessing), 3:35.19*.
* — denotes state-qualifying mark