FORT COLLINS — It says a lot about Niwot diver Madison Barkow's ability that she was disappointed with third place at the Class 4A girls swimming state championships on Saturday.
At Edora Pool Ice Center, Barkow scored a 448.80 in the one-meter diving competition, placing third behind Highlands Ranch's Kyriana Chambo (450.80) and champion Izzi Mroz (484.65) from Valor Christian. It was the third time in her four-year prep career that Barkow finished third in the state.
"I started off a little rough and I picked it up but I'm a little disappointed in my finals and how I finished my senior year," Barkow said. "Overall, I really enjoyed the past four seasons and diving for Niwot has been a great experience."
Barkow placed third in both her freshman and sophomore seasons, and placed sixth as a junior as a part of one of the deepest diving fields in recent memory.
As good as she has been since her freshman season, diving isn't even Barkow's primary sport. She will play soccer for the University of Northern Colorado next season. Even though it wasn't her number one focus, the Cougars senior certainly left an impression on the swim and dive community in the Longmont area.
"She has a right to be disappointed," St. Vrain diving coach Shawn Gregg said. "But like I always tell her, in terms of divers in the Longmont area, she's the best that's come through."
Gregg also coach Skyline senior Alaina Hellenberg in Saturday's diving finals. After placing 10th as a junior in 2016, Hellenberg capped her senior season with a 12th-place finish. She scored a 366.45.
"I had a really good start to the meet and once we got to six, seven and eight, I had a little bit of a rough time," Hellenberg said. "I didn't have an easy time of making it to finals but I made it in seeded 15th out of 16. I did really well in finals and it was nice to come back."
She won't be doing diving, but Hellenberg will go to school next year at Montana State, where her older sister and Skyline alumnae Alex Hellenberg is a member of the track and field team.
Also in the diving competition, Silver Creek's Morgan Weygandt made it through the first round of cuts and finished in 17th with a score of 261.90. Teammate Ally Smith scored a 169.90 in the first round and placed 21st.