10 TO KNOW

Morgan Commander, Sr., Monarch: Commander was a consolation finalist in the backstroke and should be a threat to reach the finals in that event in addition to the 100 freestyle.

Hannah Driscoll, Jr., Niwot: Sprint specialist is eyeing a top-eight finish in both of her individual events.

Mackenzie Dwyer, So., Skyline: Dwyer narrowly missed reaching the second day of the state finals in the 500 freestyle and will help to give the Falcons solid relay teams.

Fairview’s Lacey Smith gives her teammates a thumbs up before swimming the 200 freestyle at a meet last winter.
Fairview's Lacey Smith gives her teammates a thumbs up before swimming the 200 freestyle at a meet last winter. ( CLIFF GRASSMICK )

Abigail Houck, Sr., Fairview: The Louisville recruit, who missed the state finals last year while focusing on her training for the Olympic Trials, is eager to add another crown to the 500 freestyle state title she won two seasons ago.

Elizabeth Peterson, So., Broomfield: Peterson helped Broomfield set a 4A state record in the medley relay and also finished fourth in the 100 butterfly.

Kylie Rembert, Jr., Silver Creek: Rembert reached the consolation finals in the 200 IM and the 100 freestyle and is poised to make a push for the finals heats this season.

Amanda Richey, Jr., Boulder: The distance specialist should contend for state titles in the 200 and 500 freestyle events.


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Haley Rowley, So., Boulder: Rowley burst on the scene last season with a pair of top-four finishes, placing third in the 100 backstroke and fourth in the individual medley.

Amanda Sanders, Sr., Monarch: The Coyotes' standout is an early favorite to win the 5A state title in the 100 breaststroke and also will be a threat in the individual medley.

Lacey Smith, Sr., Fairview: Recently signed with Northwestern, Smith will be the leader of a formidable Knights squad.




POSTSEASON INFORMATION

5A state meet: February 8-9, at Edora Pool and Ice Center, Fort Collins.

4A state meet: February 8-9, at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, Thornton.



BOULDER PANTHERS

Coach: Curt Colby (15th year).

Returning state qualifiers: Erin Houlihan (Sr., 200 free relay, 12th; 400 free relay, 11th; 200 free, 100 free); Cori Orr (Jr., 200 free relay, 12th); Amanda Richey (Jr., 200 free, 7th; 500 free, 6th; 200 free relay, 12th; 400 free relay, 11th); Amber Richey (Sr., qualified in 200 IM in 2011); Olivia Rock (Jr., 200 medley relay, 12th; 400 free relay, 11th; 50 free, 100 free); Haley Rowley (So., 200 medley relay, 12th; 200 IM, 4th; 100 back, 3rd; 400 free relay, 11th); Miranda Sullivan (So., 200 IM, 500 free); Hannah Varner (So., 200 free, 500 free); Heidi Veigele (Sr., 200 medley relay, 12th; 50 free); Rain Wlad-Menering (So., 100 fly).

Others to watch: Claire Carlin (Fr., 100 free); Lindsay Coe (Fr., 100 free, 100 back); Hannah Dorris (Fr., 100 breast); Mia Dorris (Fr., 100 back); Jenny Granston (Fr., 100 fly); Alec Haukeness (So., 200 IM, 100 back); Meg Houlihan (Fr., 200 IM, 100 back); Sayaka Kitabatake (Jr., 100 fly); Haley Kotsaftis (Fr., 100 free); Grace McCarthy (Sr., diving); Michaela McKeown (Sr., 100 breast); Ali O'Donnell (So., 100 breast); Natasha Reidenbach (So., 500 free, 100 back); Danie Thomas (Fr., 100 breast); Lily Valentine (So., 100 breast); Josie Valette (Fr., 50 free, 100 free); Molly Webb (Jr., 50 free).

Boulder’s Amanda Richey will once again be one of the Panthers’ top swimmers along with Haley Rowley.
Boulder's Amanda Richey will once again be one of the Panthers' top swimmers along with Haley Rowley. ( MARK LEFFINGWELL )

Outlook: With 11 returning swimmers with state experience, the Panthers should make a charge at a top-10 state finish after placing 11th last year. Rowley and Amanda Richey, both of whom qualified for last summer's Olympic Trials, will compete for state titles in each of their individual events. Boulder was disappointed in its finishes at state in the three relay events but should crack the top eight in each of those events this year.


BROOMFIELD EAGLES

Coach: Emily Austin (15th year).

Returning state qualifiers: Anissa Mata (Sr., relays, 200 free 13th; 100 fly,); Elizabeth Peterson (So., relays, 100 fly, 4th; 100 back, 7th); Kendall Wingfield (Jr., relays, 50 free, 100 breast); Abi Young (Sr., relays, 200 free, 14th; 500 free).

Others to watch: Madelaine McClain (Fr., 500 free, 100 back); Kate Peterson (Fr., 200 freestyle, 200 IM); Ally Vincent (Jr., 100 back, 100 breast); Jennifer Young (Fr., 50 free, 100 back).

Outlook: Although the Eagles graduated two standouts in Katalena Laufasa-Duncan and Heather Shaver, Broomfield should be in position to make another run at a top-five spot at the Class 4A state meet. Wingfield and Elizabeth Peterson teamed with that pair to help set a 4A record in the medley relay, and Elizabeth Peterson will be a title contender in each of her two individual events. Austin believes a strong freshman class will help offset the loss of last year's seniors.


CENTAURUS WARRIORS

Coach: Ashley Scott (3rd year).

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Erin Jenkins (So., 100 free, 200 free); Heidi Kaeck (Sr., 50 free, 100 free); Brandy Marquardt (Sr., 100 breast); Merritt Shepard (So., 100 back, 200 IM);

Outlook: Scott, a CU alum, begins her third season of her quest to turn around the Warriors' program. Centaurus boasts improved numbers overall on its roster, and after narrowly missing state qualifying times in relay events last year, Scott expects the youthful Warriors to make state appearances in several events this season.

 

FAIRVIEW KNIGHTS

Coach: Bob Smartt (13th year).

Returning state qualifiers: Quinn Adams (So., 100 breast); Sidney Andrew (So., 200 free, 100 breast); Taylor Bissert (Sr., 200 free, 100 fly); Julia Box (So., 100 back, 6th; 100 fly, 10th); Kyla Dickerson (Jr., 100 back); Jhana Gottlieb (Sr., 100 back); Hannah Frick (Sr., 100 fly, 100 back); Abigail Houck (Sr., 500 free, 1st in 2011; 200 free, 3rd in 2011); Jennifer Kuhn (Sr., 500 free); Jessica Li (So., 50 free, 100 free, 200 free); Caitlin Reck (Jr., 100 breast); Lacey Smith (Sr., 100 free, 4th; 200 free, 6th); Sienna Stonesmith (So., 50 free, 100 fly).

Others to watch: Sandra Freeman (Fr., 200 IM); Catherine Kuhn (Fr., 500 free, 100 fly); Janaye Monica (Sr., 100 breast); Michaela Mullison (Fr., 50 free, 100 fly); Adee Weller (Fr., 500 free).

Outlook: The always-powerful Knights finished sixth at the Class 5A state meet last season and will be harboring legitimate state championship aspirations this year. Houck missed the state meet last year while focusing on training for the Olympic Trials and will be a threat to win a second title in the 500 freestyle. Already deep and talented, Fairview's four freshmen could reach state finals in individual events.

 

LEGACY LIGHTNING

Coach: Diana Wiles (1st year).

Returning state qualifiers: Fiona Dretzka (Jr., 200 medley relay, 16th; 200 IM, 500 free, 400 free relay); Elysia Hartojo (So., 200 medley relay, 16th; 200 free relay, 100 back); Mary Lombardi (So., 200 IM, 500 free, 200 free relay); Rachel Wood (Sr., 200 free relay).

Others to watch: Kaitlynn Allee (Jr., 100 free); Jessica Davis (Fr.); Lyndsey Fremling (Fr.); Gabriella Miyasaki (Fr.).

Outlook: After years of an unsettled coaching situation, Wiles is hoping to establish some consistency in her second year with the program after spending last year as an assistant. Lombardi and Hartojo are among a wide group of Lightning swimmers who should display marked improvement in individual events. In relays, Legacy finished 16th at state in the medley relay and narrowly missed reaching the consolation finals in the freestyle relays. The Lightning should be in position to make that jump this year.

 

LONGMONT TROJANS

Coach: Jill LeGault (3rd year).

Returning state qualifiers: Maggie Fell (Sr., 200 medley relay, 200 free relay); Emily LaPlante (Sr., 200 medley relay, 200 free relay); Jessica Thompson (Sr., 200 medley relay, 200 free relay).

Others to watch: Izzy Brandt (So., 100 fly, 50 freestyle); Baylie Coleman (Jr., 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle); Kelcy Coleman (Sr., 100 fly, 50 freestyle); Abby Levesque (So., 100 breast); Julie Morrison (Sr., 50 free, 100 free); Hannah Orbanosky (Jr., diving).

Outlook: The Trojans might not have the depth they boasted last year, and they will have to offset the loss of diver Haley Schneider, who finished seventh at the 4A state meet last year before joining the diving program at Northern Colorado. LeGault should be able to piece together solid relay teams, but the Trojans will be challenged to make a splash in individual events at state.

 

MONARCH COYOTES

Coach: Ted Romero (3rd year).

Returning state qualifiers: Morgan Commander (Sr., 100 back, 15th; 100 free); Taite Henderson (Jr., 100 back); Grace Newell (So., diving); Amanda Sanders (Sr., 100 breast, 4th; 200 IM, 9th).

Others to watch: Claudia Flores (So., 100 fly); Mandy Frazier (Sr., 100 free, 100 breast); Elise Kinney (Sr., 50 free, 100 free); Savannah Magness (So., diver).

Outlook: Sanders is one of the top returning swimmers in the state, and she is one of the leading candidates to capture the state title in the breaststroke, as the three swimmers that finished ahead of her at state graduated. The Coyotes finished 20th at state last year but expect to improve this year given that several swimmers narrowly missed making state cuts.

 

NIWOT COUGARS

Coach: Sarah Heller (4th year).

Returning state qualifiers: Elise Cranny (Jr., 50 free, 100 free, 200 IM); Hannah Driscoll (Jr., 50 free, 10th; 100 free, 100 breast); Victoria Jepson (Sr., 100 fly); Zoie Jordan (Sr., 50 free, 18th; 100 free); Kylie Pillard (Jr., 50 free, 16th; 100 free).

Others to watch: Anna Beeck (So., 100 fly, 100 back); Jayne Benedict (Sr., diver); Gabby Casey (So., diver); Bekah Cass (Sr., 500 free); Kylie Fischer (Sr., 100 free, 200 free); Lauren FitzGibbons (Jr., 100 fly, 100 breast); Brooke Hanna (Fr., 100 free, 100 fly); Paige Hillen (So., diver); Jessie Moore (So., 50 free, 100 free, 100 breast); Cate Rose (Jr., 500 free, 100 back); Madison Studebaker (So., 50 free, 100 free, 100 back); Carolyn Vehrenkamp (Fr., 100 breast).

Outlook: The Cougars are expecting a strong season with a glut of returning state qualifiers getting bolstered by an infusion of youngsters and improving veterans. Niwot returns all the swimmers that led two relay teams into the second day of the Class 4A state tournament, while Driscoll and Pillard expect to compete for top-eight spots individually. The Cougars placed 12th at state last year but appears poised to at least crack the top 10 this season.

 

SILVER CREEK RAPTORS

Coach: Debbie Stewart (12th year).

Returning state qualifiers: Leah Burnett (Sr., 100 back); Emma Cisar (Jr., 200 free relay); Sierra Juvonen (So., 200 free relay; 400 free relay); Alyson Lhungay (So., 200 free relay); Olya Martin (So., 100 breast, 14th); Morgan McKean (Sr., 100 back); Madison Pelton (So., 200 medley relay, 200 free relay); Kylie Rembert (Jr., 200 IM, 16th; 100 free, 16th).

Others to watch: Seana Harker (So., 500 free); Gaberial Koski (Sr., 200 free, 500 free); Jenna Latsko (Fr., 100 breast, 200 free).

Outlook: The good news will be that the Raptors have depth, with Stewart reporting that the 55 athletes in the program marks the best numbers Silver Creek has boasted during her tenure. Unfortunately most of those athletes are young and inexperienced. The Raptors should feature solid relay teams, with Rembert and Martin eyeing jumps into top-eight finishes in their individual events at state.

 

SKYLINE FALCONS

Coach: Karolyn Schultz (1st year).

Returning state qualifiers: Lauren Bade (So., 200 free relay); Haley Balentine (Jr., 200 medley relay); Mackenzie Dwyer (So., 200 medley relay, 200 free, 500 free, 400 free relay); Brianna Hauck (Sr., 200 medley relay, 50 free, 400 free relay); Jamie Koch (Sr., 200 free relay, 400 free relay).

Others to watch: Alex Hellenberg (Fr., 50 free, 200 IM); Megan Oldham (So., diving).

Outlook: Skyline qualified all three relay teams for the Class 4A state finals last year and should be able to repeat that feat this year. Dwyer is an up-and-coming talent who should shine in the distance freestyle events, and the Falcons' improved depth makes them one of the challengers in the Tri-Valley League.


Follow Pat on Twitter: @prooney07