THORNTON -- Throughout the course of the girls swim season, Niwot's Hannah Driscoll usually receives only a few opportunities to match her skills against the state's elite swimmers from Class 5A.

The most prominent of those opportunities occurred last month at the annual Colorado Coaches Invitational and again on Friday during the 25th annual Boulder County Invitational. If the results of those two races are any indication, Driscoll may be developing an interesting rivalry with Fairview senior Lacey Smith.

Driscoll turned in another strong meet at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center on Friday, winning the 50-yard freestyle in a heated match against Smith before Smith returned the favor by outpacing Driscoll in the 100 freestyle.

Driscoll and Smith are teammates on the club at RACE Aquatics, and the almost daily competition clearly is helping Driscoll raise her skills.

"I would call it more of a friendship than a rivalry," Driscoll said. "It's just so much fun to race and we grow closer every time. We really push each other. It's a lot of fun."

Overall, Driscoll, Victoria Jepson and Zoie Jordan, who finished in the top 10 in two events, helped lead the Cougars to a fifth-place finish in the team standings.

Jordan and Jepson each turned in Niwot's only other top-eight finishes besides Driscoll's, with Jordan finishing in a tie for fifth in the 50 freestyle and Jepson placing eighth in the individual medley. Jordan also finished 10th in the 100 freestyle and Jepson placed 13th in the butterfly. Niwot junior Elise Cranny took ninth in the breaststroke.

Driscoll also helped Niwot go toe-to-toe with meet champion Fairview in the freestyle relay events, as the Cougars finished second behind the Knights in the 200 freestyle relay before placing third in the 400 freestyle relay.

"Another good meet for Hannah and another good meet for a lot of the girls at the top end of our lineup," Niwot coach Sarah Heller said. "We had a great showing coming off the break. We had a lot of time-dropping across the board and we were able to hold where we were at the Coaches (Invite) before the break. It was fun."

Because the Boulder County Invite, which originally was slotted for its typical mid-January date, was forced to go through a somewhat late rescheduling and a change-of-venue to the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, conflicts prevented Silver Creek and Longmont from competing.

Skyline did compete but did so without top swimmer Mackenzie Dwyer, who was ill. The Falcons still salvaged an eighth-place finish from Jamie Koch in the 500 freestyle and a ninth-place finish from freshman Alexandra Hellenberg in the 50 freestyle.

"We survived, but it was tough without Mackenzie," Skyline coach Karolyn Schultz said. "We had to rework a lot of our relays, but they actually ended up stepping up and allowing us to keep our times. Alex Hellenberg, she did pretty awesome."

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Boulder County Invitational

At Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center

Team scores -- Fairview 896.5, Boulder 599, Monarch 525, Broomfield 507, Niwot 423.5, Centaurus 210, Skyline 184.

200 medley relay -- 1. Fairview (Julia Box, Caitlin Reck, Taylor Bissert, Jessie Li), 1:52.77*; 2. Monarch, 1:52.88*; 3. Boulder, 1:54.84*; 4. Fairview B, 1:55.14*; 5. Broomfield, 1:58.06*; 6. Fairview C, 2:00.93*; 7. Monarch B, 2:04.19; 8. Boulder C, 2:04.29*.

200 freestyle -- 1. Abigail Houck, Fairview, 1:56.13*; 2. Adee Weller, Fairview, 1:59.44*; 3t. Alaina Gossett, Broomfield, 2:00.51*; 3t. Abi Young, Broomfield, 2:00.51*; 5. Aveline Marshall, Centaurus, 2:00.63*; 6. Claudia Flores, Monarch, 2:01.94*; 7. Hannah Varner, Boulder, 2:04.33; 8. Morgan Commander, Monarch, 2:06.96.

200 IM -- 1. Haley Rowley, So., 2:06.88*; 2. Amanda Sanders, Monarch, 2:08.86*; 3. Sandra Freeman, Fairview, 2:13.85*; 4. Sidney Andrew, Fairview, 2:14.63*; 5. Taylor Bissert, Fairview, 2:18.04*; 6. Cori Orr, Boulder, 2:20.51; 7. Caitlin Reck, Fairview, 2:21.92; 8. Victoria Jepson, Niwot, 2:22.92*.

50 freestyle -- 1. Hannah Driscoll, Niwot, 24.66*; 2. Lacey Smith, Fairview, 24.71*; 3. Jessie Li, Fairview, 24.95; 4. Josianne Valette, Boulder, 25.73*; 5t. Zoie Jordan, Niwot, 25.99; 5t. Sienna Stonesmith, Fairview, 25.99*; 7. Kendall Wingfield, Broomfield, 26.08*; 8. Rachel Conway, Fairview, 26.13.

Diving -- 1. Grace Newell, Monarch, 387.10*; 2. Savannah Magness, Monarch, 366.15; 3. Sophie Gordon, Boulder, 311.85; 4. Melanie Stelling, Broomfield, 290.05; 5. Heather Betz, Fairview, 289.10; 6. Grace McCarthy, Boulder, 285.00; 7. Julia Benz, Fairview, 283.00; 8. Gabby Casey, Niwot, 270.75.

100 butterfly -- 1. Julia Box, Fairview, 59.86*; 2. Taylor Bissert, Fairview, 1:00.91*; 3. Elizabeth Dresselhaus, Fairview, 1:01.67*; 4. Claudia Flores, Monarch, 1:02.99*; 5. Elizabeth Peterson, Broomfield, 1:03.31*; 6. Rain Wlad-Mengering, Boulder, 1:03.76; 7. Sienna Stonesmith, Fairview, 1:03.95; 8. Anissa Mata, Broomfield, 1:05.04.*

100 freestyle -- 1. Lacey Smith, Fairview, 53.63*; 2. Hannah Driscoll, Niwot, :54.58*; 3. Jessie Li, Fairview, 56.11* 4. Erin Houlihan, Boulder, 56.15*; 5. Abi Young, Broomfield, 56.57*; 6. Josiane Valette, Boulder, 57.09* 7. Rachel Conway, Fairview, 57.40; 8. Mandy Frazier, Monarch, 57.57*

500 freestyle -- 1. Abbie Houck, Fairview, 5:12.48*; 2. Adee Weller, Fairview, 5:16.58*; . Kate Peterson, Broomfield, 5:16.93*; 4. Hannah Varner, Boulder, 5:33.58; 5. Miranda Sullivan, Boulder, 5:34.82; 6. Jennifer Kuhn, Fairview, 5:45.10; 7. Madelaine McClain, Broomfield, 5:48.41; 8. Jamie Koch, Skyline, 6:10.93.

200 free relay -- 1. Fairview (Jessie Li, Sienna Stonesmith, Lacey Smith, Abbie Houck), 1:40.92*; 2. Niwot 1:41.10*; 3. Monarch 1:43.14*; 4. Fairview B 1:44.27*; 5. Broomfield 1:44.64*; 6. Boulder 1:44.99; 7. Broomfield B 1:49.40*; 8. Monarch B 1:49.33.

100 backstroke -- 1. Haley Rowley, Boulder, 58.11*; 2. Morgan Commander, Monarch, 1:00.60*; 3. Julia Box, Fairview, 1:00.99*; 4. Sandra Freeman, Fairview, 1:02.04*; 5. Alaina Gossett, Broomfield, 1:02.11; 6. Elizabeth Peterson, Broomfield, 1:03.73*; 7. Anissa Mata, Broomfield, 1:04.04*; 8. Erin Houlihan, Boulder, 1:04.20.

100 breaststroke -- 1. Amanda Sanders, Monarch, 1:05.31*; 2. Caitlin Reck, Fairview, 1:08.44*; 3. Janaye Monica, Fairview, 1:09.77*; 4. Sidney Andrew, Fairview, 1:10.04*; 5. Quinn Adams, Fairview, 1:11.56*; 6. Cori Orr, Boulder, 1:13.39; 7. Brooklyn Fano, Fairview, 1:14.00; 8. Kendall Wingfield, Broomfield, 1:15.05.

400 free relay -- 1. Fairview (Abbie Houck, Adee Weller, Julia Box, Lacey Smith), 3:39.80*; 2. Boulder 3:45.41*; 3. Niwot 3:46.99*; 4. Fairview B 3:48.60*; 5. Broomfield 3:52.67*; 6. Monarch 3:53.14*; 7. Fairview C 3:55.18*; 8. Boulder B 4:05.36.

* -- Denote state-qualifying mark.