THORNTON -- The smile on head coach Sarah Heller's face said it all.

The Niwot girls swim team served notice on Saturday that it will be a force to contend with in two months at the Class 4A state meet, using a stellar individual day from junior Hannah Driscoll and an impressive third-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay to put together a strong team performance at the annual Colorado Coaches Invitational.

Niwot finished 11th overall and second among the Class 4A teams competing at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center.

"It's very exciting. We certainly didn't think they would come out and get third at coaches in that 200 free relay," Heller said. "Hopefully it's a sign of good things to come at state."

Driscoll was the lone Cougars individual swimmer to advance to the championship heats on Saturday, reaching the final eight in the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle.

The junior placed third in the 50 with a time of 24.14 seconds. Driscoll finished seventh in the 100 freestyle but, like the 50 free, she was the top finisher among 4A entrants.

"It was a great meet to start the season with," Driscoll said. "I love swimming against the 4A and 5A schools at this meet. It's a really great experience. We were really excited about that (200 free relay). Our relays are going to do really well this year."

Niwot saved its most impressive race for the 200 freestyle relay, as the team of Driscoll, Kylie Pillard, Elise Cranny, and Zoie Jordan took 1.12 seconds off their preliminary heat mark to turn in a time of 1:40.08. The Cougars trailed only 5A powers Fairview and Fossil Ridge in the race.

That same combination of swimmers also placed 11th in the 400 freestyle relay.

"Definitely some positives we take away from this is that we love swimming against higher competition," Driscoll said. "That's always a really fun experience. We're going to continue to work really, really hard so we can do even better at state."

Silver Creek advanced only one entrant to finals on Saturday, with junior Kylie Rembert finishing 13th in the 100 freestyle.

Follow Pat on Twitter: @prooney07

 

Colorado Coaches Invitational

At Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center

Team scores -- Fairview 268.5, Fossil Ridge 171, Regis Jesuit 162, Thompson Valley 158, Loveland 154, Chaparral 138, Ralston Valley 131, Arapahoe 111, Cherry Creek 102.5, Grandview 91, Niwot 72, Rock Canyon 70, Mountain Range 65, Monarch 65, ThunderRidge 63, Heritage 63, D'Evelyn 56, Broomfield 41, Lakewood 35, St. Mary's Academy 28, Liberty 27, Legacy 27, Lewis-Palmer 26, Fort Collins 25, Mountain Vista 20, Castle View 20, Brighton 18, Mullen 16, Greeley West 16, Legend 16, Chatifeld 13, Windsor 13, Smoky Hill 6, Silver Creek 4, Littleton 4, Dakota Ridge 3, Highlands Ranch 2.

200 medley relay -- 1. Regis Jesuit (Lindsay Painton, Marielle Renehan, Delaney Lanker, Taylor Wilson), 1:50.07; 2. Fairview 1:51.13; 3. Loveland 1:52.25; 4. Thompson Valley 1:52.30; 5. Chaparral 1:54.28; 6. Rock Canyon 1:55.20; 7. Liberty 1:55.47; 8. Fossil Ridge DQ; 13. Monarch 1:55.51; 15. Broomfield 1:57.72.

200 freestyle -- 1. Abbie Houck, Fairview, 1:51.98; 2. Erin Metzger-Seymour, Ralston Valley, 1:52.04; 3. Maddie Myers, Ralston Valley, 1:53.42; 4. Madison Dirks, Grandview, 1:55.55; 5. Mary Hinton, Heritage, 1:57.02; 6. Emily Mayo, Arapahoe, 1:57.26; 7. Adee Weller, Fairview, 1:57.61; 8. Kate Peterson, Broomfield, 2:02.46; 10. Mary Lombardi, Legacy, 1:59.54; 14. Catherine Kuhn, Fairview, 2:01.12; 16. Abi Young, Broomfield, 2:04.45.

200 IM -- 1. Shelly Drozda, Mountain Range, 2:05.86; 2. Baily Nero, Fossil Ridge, 2:06.30; 3. Kelly Hatanaka, Loveland, 2:11.82; 4. Ella Moynihan, Arapahoe, 2:12.57; 5. Mattea Wabeke, Thompson Valley, 2:13.32; 6. Sammie Guay, Fossil Ridge, 2:13.50; 7. Madison Evans, Windsor, 2:14.95; 8. Victoria Papke, Lakewood, 2:16.08; 9. Sandra Freeman, Fairview, 2:12.04.

50 freestyle -- 1. Annie Ochitwa, ThunderRidge, 23.74; 2. Rhianna Williams, Fossil Ridge, 23.80; 3. Hannah Driscoll, Niwot, 24.14; 4. Abigail Kochevar, Rock Canyon, 24.54; 5. Lacey Smith, Fairview, 24.55; 6. Colleen Olson, D'Evelyn, 24.86; 7. Meghan Lahr, Lakewood, 25.12; 8. Taylor Wilson, Regis Jesuit, 25.18; 9. Jessie Li, Fairview, 24.42; 12. Amanda Sanders, Monarch, 25.01; 13. Fiona Dretzka, Legacy, 25.13.

Diving -- 1. Michal Bower, Loveland, 468.35; 2. Alexa Beckwith, St. Mary's Academy, 464.90; 3. Katie Russ, Mullen, 443.05; 4. McKensi Austin, Regis Jesuit, 437.15; 5. Ashley Peterson, Mountain Vista, 427.40; 6. Averly Hobbs, Chatfield, 408.50; 7. Kaitlin Costello, Castle View, 403.90; 8. Grace Newell, Monarch, 367.40; 11. Savannah Magness, Monarch, 348.20.

100 butterfly -- 1. Erin Metzger-Seymour, Ralston Valley, 55.67; 2. Bailey Nero, Fossil Ridge, 57.62; 3. Morgan King, Greeley West, 57.70; 4. Brooke Hansen, Loveland, 57.97; 5. Delaney Lanker, Regis Jesuit, 58.12; 6. Kaylie Breslin, Regis Jesuit, 59.29; 7. Madison Dirks, Grandview, 59.45; 8. Naomi Einhellig, Loveland, 1:00.02; 9. Julia Box, Fairview, 59.49; t-15. Taylor Bissert, Fairview, 1:00.19.

100 freestyle -- 1. Annie Ochitwa, ThunderRidge, 51.72; 2. Rhianna Williams, Fossil Ridge, 52.05; 3. Lacey Smith, Fairview, 52.16; 4. Shelly Drozda, Mountain Range, 52.22; 5. Ella Moynihan, Arapahoe, 52.98; 6. Megan Grier, Chaparral, 53.50; 7. Hannah Driscoll, Niwot, 53.73; 8. Colleen Olson, D'Evelyn, 53.80; 11. Jessie Li, Fairview, 54.38; 13. Kylie Rembert, Silver Creek, 54.72.

500 freestyle -- 1. Eryn Eddy, Thompson Valley, 4:54.11; 2. Maddie Myers, Ralston Valley, 4:57.73; 3. Emily Mayo, Arapahoe, 5:07.48; 4. Mary Hinton, Heritage, 5:10.14; 5. Adee Weller, Fairview, 5:13.87; 7. Mary Lombardi, Legacy, 5:15.84; 8. Kate Peterson, Broomfield, 5:16.20; 15. Catherine Kuhn, Fairview, 5:24.16.

200 free relay -- 1. Fairview (Jessie Li, Sienna Stonesmith, Lacey Smith, Abbie Houck), 1:38.90; 2. Fossil Ridge 1:39.78; 3. Niwot 1:40.08; 4. Grandview 1:40.54; 5. Arapahoe 1:40.63; 6. Chaparral 1:40.94; 7. Heritage 1:41.62; 8. Cherry Creek 1:42.77; 12. Monarch 1:42.08; 14. Broomfield 1:43.11.

100 backstroke -- 1. Makenna Wilson, Chaparral, 57.73; 2. Andie Turner, Lewis-Palmer, 57.92; 3. Hailey Spratte, Brighton, 57.96; 4. Lindsay Painton, Regis Jesuit, 58.60; 5. Kelly Sheldon, Thompson Valley, 59.15; 6. Brenna Bushey, D'Evelyn, 59.66; 7. Naomi Einhellig, Loveland, 59.83; 8. Annie Graves, Chaparral, 59.99; 9. Sandra Freeman, Fairview, 1:00.46; 12. Morgan Commander, Monarch, 1:00.65; 13. Fiona Dretzka, Legacy, 1:01.43.

100 breaststroke -- 1. Amanda Sanders, Monarch, 1:05.04; 2. Brooke Hansen, Loveland, 1:05.90; 3. Mackenzie Atencio, Ralston Valley, 1:07.33; 4. Sammie Guay, Fossil Ridge, 1:07.71; 5. Nicole Cassou, Rock Canyon, 1:08.29; 6. Marielle Renehan, Regis Jesuit, 1:08.41; 7. Caitlin Reck, Fairview, 1:08.51; 8. Claire State, St. Mary's Academy, 1:10.58; 13. Sidney Andrew, Fairview, 1:10.16; 16. Taylor Bissert, Fairview, 1:13.84.

400 free relay -- 1. Fairview (Julia Box, Sidney Andrew, Taylor Bissert, Jessie Li), 3:35.85; 2. Thompson Valley 3:36.05; 3. Cherry Creek 3:38.31; 4. Fossil Ridge 3:38.45; 5. Chaparral 3:38.73; 6. Grandview 3:39.90; 7. Loveland 3:42.09; 8. Arapahoe 3:43.36; 11. Niwot 3:46.99; 13. Broomfield 3:48.31.