THORNTON — The Niwot Cougars and Rampart Rams were in a tight race for the Class 4A state title at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center Friday night.
Niwot took the early lead, but a pair of first-place finishes in diving and the 100 breaststroke that Niwot did not race in made the difference for the Rams to take home the team title. A valiant effort across the board in the rest of the events put Niwot in second place and gave them some hardware to take home from the meet.
"This whole season, we've been really strong," Niwot's Abigail Shaw said. "We won our all-city meet and our conference meet, so coming into state I think we came in with a ton of confidence. We wanted to place high."
Shaw got things going early for Niwot by helping the 200 medley relay team finish fourth in the first event of the night. Right after her run in the relay, she turned around to race the 200 freestyle and finished second with a time of 1:54.68, copying her second-place run in the event during the prelims on Thursday.
"I'm feeling really good," Shaw said after the 200 freestyle. "I've been training very hard, so it's exciting to see it all pay off."
Then came the performance of the night from Mary Codevilla in her first state meet. The freshman, who also swam on the 200 medley relay team, took an early lead over Katey Lewicki of Monarch in the 200 IM. As the gap started to close, it took a strong finish in the final stretch for Codevilla to pull away just enough to win the event in 2:03.99. It was the lone first-place finish by an individual for the Cougars in the meet.
"It feels really good, but I couldn't have done it without (my teammates)," Codevilla said. "Everyone on the team is very supportive. It's very fun to be a part of the team."
The start, Codevilla said, made the difference for her to take first place in the final.
"I knew I would lose some ground in the backstroke," Codevilla said. "I don't remember (the end), it was just a blur kind of... It was mind-blowing."
Codevilla would also get off to a fast start in the 500 freestyle and led for the first half of the race. Erin Lang of Loveland, the fastest swimmer in the prelims Thursday, would eventually pull away in the second half to put Codevilla in second place.
The Cougars would place 10 times in the meet to finish with 303.5 points, holding off a late run from Cheyenne Mountain to take second place and the trophy.
"Niwot has such a good team atmosphere and we all want the best for each other," Codevilla said.
Lewicki wins 100 backstroke
Lewicki came into Friday with the second-fastest time in the 200 IM and gave Codevilla a run for the title by making up ground in the backstroke leg of the race. In the end, her run was not enough to overtake the Niwot swimmer as she finished in third place.
The run in the backstroke, however, provided a preview of the run she would make in the 100 backstroke final later in the meet.
Lewicki got to swim in the coveted Lane 5 after posting the fastest time in the prelims on Thursday. An early lead was never in danger as she won the race with a time of 54.36 for the Monarch Coyotes.
Winning the state title in the backstroke shows the work Lewicki has put in that stroke pay off in a big way.
"It's been a growing process," Lewicki said. "If you compare my freshman year to now, I've come so far. It's exciting to see the hard work pay off."
The biggest adjustment Lewicki made in the backstroke was how she would come off the blocks and turns underwater for a longer period of time before coming up to the surface. In the final race, she swam the longest lengths underwater out of the 10 finalists before coming up.
"My coach always tells me that underwater is where I'm fastest in the race," Lewicki said. "I was trying to really utilize that."
In addition to the two individual performances, Lewicki competed on relay teams that reached the medal podium. Her efforts led Monarch to eighth place in the team standings.
"We had 12 girls come to state and never really had that many make it before," Lewicki said. "It was super exciting to see everyone here wanting to do well. It was a fun process."
Other top local performers
The Silver Creek Raptors scored in seven of the 12 events and worked their way to a fifth-place in the team standings.
Emma Hermeston and Maddie Black each placed multiple times in individual and relay events to lead the Raptors to a strong finish to the season, one that has been challenging for the school without a full-time facility to practice at.
"It was a great season for the girls with all the obstacles they had to go through during the season," Silver Creek coach Debbie Stewart said. "The girls rose to the challenge to end their season in fifth place at state. I couldn't have asked for a better ending to a crazy season."
Flirting with a top-10 finish was the Broomfield Eagles. Mairead Powers and Kaylee Austin each placed in the 500 freestyle and swam on some relay teams to help the Eagles come in 12th place with 128.50 points. Powers also placed in the top eight in the 200 IM.
Plenty of younger athletes stepped up for the Eagles this season, but it was the veterans who were the ones feeling the best from the performance by the team in the state meet.
"My team has done amazing and I'm so thankful for the support we have for each other," Jillian Martin said. "It's really bittersweet. I'm excited to move on, but this team and my teammates have been amazing."
Longmont saw star swimmer Lucille Matheson compete in the 200 and 500 freestyle to help the Trojans score 38 points in the meet. After winning an individual state title in Class 3A last season, Matheson was able to secure top-five spots in both events in Class 4A this year.
"I think this season has been successful given the fact we moved up this year," Matheson said. "It was exciting to be able to race these girls... I was pretty happy with it."
Centaurus finished with 28 points that came in a handful of events as well.
Class 4A state swimming championships
At Veteran's Memorial Aquatic Center
Team scores — Rampart 366, Niwot 303.50, Cheyenne Mountain 299, Mullen 258, Silver Creek 226, Highlands Ranch 210, Dakota Ridge 207, Monarch 191, Loveland 175, Grand Junction 147, Arvada West 143, Broomfield 128.50, Golden 111, George Washington 100, Greeley West 91, Windsor 87, Coronado 85, Wheat Ridge 81, Pine Creek 49, Thompson Valley 40, Longmont 38, Denver South 29, Centaurus 28, Fruita Monument 23, Standley Lake 22, Ponderosa 18, Liberty 18, Air Academy 11, Pueblo West 6, Mesa Ridge-Widefield 2, Pueblo Centennial 2.
200 medley relay — 1. Rampart (Timson, Chen, Brovold, Immel), 1:42.49; 2. Mullen (Clode, Chahbandour, Sowitch, Zinis), 1:46.48; 3. Loveland (Lang, Peet, Reichhardt, Morrison), 1:47.82; 4. Niwot (Shaw, Codevilla, Fulkerson, Vu), 1:48.45; 5. Cheyenne Mountain (Lehman, Krasovec, Lightfood, Bricker), 1:48.65; 6. Silver Creek (Hermeston, Pearson, Dirks, Black), 1:489.88; 7. Dakota Ridge (Huebsch, Hobbs, Cowan, Johnson), 1:49.94; 8. Monarch (Lewicki, Zhang, Webster, Mitchell), 1:50.05; 14. Centaurus (Brooker, Jenkins, Franco, Boyer), 1:56.63; 16. Broomfield (Thompson, Lingbeck, Austin, Martinez), 1:57.75.
200 freestyle — 1. Erin Lang (Loveland), 1:52.15; 1. Abigail Shaw (Niwot), 1:54.68; 3. Laelle Brovold (Rampart), 1:55.75; 4. Lucille Matheson (Longmont), 1:55.79; 5. Frances Hayward (Cheyenne Mountain), 1:56.00; 6. Josie Carpenter (Greeley West), 1:56.30; 7. Celia Webster (Monarch), 1:56.69; 8. Grace Shaw (Niwot), 1:58.78; 9. Emiley Yie (Niwot), 1:58.78; 13. Kaylee Austin (Broomfield), 1:58.98; 15. Elena Moore (Silver Creek), 1:59.34
200 IM — 1. Mary Codevilla (Niwot), 2:03.99; 2. Harper Lehman (Cheyenne Mountain), 2:04.99; 3. Katey Lewicki (Monarch), 2:05.11; 4. Anelise Hedges (Arvada West), 2:07.51; 5. Sophia Bricker (Cheyenne Mountain), 2:09.99; 6. Lindsey Sowitch (Mullen), 2:10.04; T-7. Mairead Powers (Broomfield), 2:11.20; T-7. Hanna Luo (Niwot), 2:11.20; 12. Kylie Dirks (Silver Creek), 2:12.93; 19. Sofia Gasper (Niwot), 2:17.57; 20. McKenzie Jenkins (Centaurus), 2:17.63.
50 freestyle — 1. Sofia Zinis (Mullen), 23.43; 2. Lindsey Immel (Rampart), 23.75; 3. Aimee Burton (Highlands Ranch), 23.91; Madison Black (Silver Creek), 24.05; 5. Claire Timson (Rampart), 24.42; 6. Claire Chahbandour (Mullen), 24.48; 7. Lauren White (Golden), 24.62; 8. Nina English (Grand Juction), 24.67; 18. Megan Mitchell (Monarch), 25.72.
Diving — 1. Maggie Buckley (Rampart), 498.65; 2. Lindsey Hammer (Denver South), 475.50; 3. Geneva Pauly (Arvada West), 460.90; 4. Kyriana Chambo (Highlands Ranch), 446.30; 5. Makenna Sanger (Windsor), 428.30; 6. Gabrielle Peltier (Rampart), 427.05; 7. Julianna Zinis (Mullen), 426.20; 8. Lauren Gryboski (Coronado), 425.45; 9. Angeline Settle (Monarch), 412.85; 13. Micaela Kimmett (Silver Creek), 392.00; 15. Alexandrea Smith (Silver Creek), 384.70; 20. Kathey Weygandt (Silver Creek), 347.90.
100 butterfly — 1. Aimee Burton (Highlands Ranch), 56.87; 2. Mia Shaeffer (Coronado), 57.32; 3. Sarah Cook (Grand Junction), 57.48; 4. Emma Hermeston (Silver Creek), 57.68; 5. Celia Webster (Monarch), 57.69; T-6. Kylie Dirks (Silver Creek), 58.07; T-6. Harper Lehman(Cheyenne Mountain), 58.07; 8. Lindsey Sowitch (Mullen), 58.71; 9. Hanna Luo (Niwot), 59.44; 20. Megan Franco (Centaururs), 1:03.54
100 freestyle — 1. Lindsey Immel (Rampart), 52.16; 2. Edenna Chen (Rampart), 52.69; 3. Nina English (Grand Junction), 53.19; 4. Lauren White (Golden), 53.46; 5. Frances Hayward (Cheyenne Mountain), 53.51; 6. Sofia Zinis (Mullen), 53.62; 7. Madison Black (Silver Creek), 54.19; 8. Emiley Yie (Niwot), 54.44; 16. Jillian Martin (Broomfield), 55.65; Lara Franco (Centaurus), 56.71.
500 freestyle — 1. Erina Lang (Loveland), 4:58.35; 2. Mary Codevilla (Niwot), 5:01.19; 3. Josie Carpenter (Greeley West), 5:04.91; 4. Lucille Matheson (Longmont), 5:05.18; 5. Melinda Johnson (Dakota Ridge), 5:11.12; 6. Laelle Brovold (Rampart), 5:11.58; 7. Mairead Powers (Broomfield), 5:12.49; 8. Grace Shaw (Niwot), 5:16.60; 9. Kaylee Austin (Broomfield), 5:19.75; Rebecca Thompson (Broomfield), 5:18.89; 18. Elena Moore (Silver Creek), 5:27.74.
200 free relay — 1. Mullen (Zinis, Chahbandour, Sowitch, Zinis) 1:37.41; 2. Niwot (Luo, Yie, Shaw, Vu), 1:40.38; 3. Cheyenne Mountain (Hayward, Berry, Fisher, Bricker) 1:40.90; 4. Silver Creek (Dirks, Burns, Moore, Black) 1:41.45; 5. Grand Junction (Cook, Dalton,Kidd, English) 1:41.65; 6. George Washington (Kahn, Smith, Benko, Neid) 1:42.46; 7. Monarch (Mitchell, Cross, Jewett, Webster) 1:42.47; 8. Rampart (Miller, Fillere, Smith, Brovold) 1:42.49; 13. Broomfield (Martinez, Gailus, Martin, Powers), 1:43.11; 18. Centaurus (Boyer, Lin, Keenan, Maddocks) 1:45.92.
100 backstroke — 1. Katey Lewicki (Monarch) 54.36; 2. Claire Timson (Rampart) 55.37; 3. Abigail Shaw (Niwot), 55.67; 4. Emma Hermeston (Silver Creek) 58.20; 5. Anna Vermeluen (Golden) 59.00; 6. Kennedy Terry (Pine Creek) 59.09; 7. Sophia Hemingway (Dakota Ridge) 59.34; 8. Elsa Huebsch (Dakota Ridge) 598.43; 17. Claire Jepson (Niwot) 1:02.37.
100 breaststroke — 1. Edenna Chen (Rampart) 1:01.40; 2. Ashley Peet (Loveland) 1:04.71; 3. Sophia Bricker (Cheyenne Mountain) 1:04.94; 4. Sarah Cook (Grand Junction) 1:05.16; 5. Claire Chahbandour (Mullen) 1:05.15; 6. Anelise Hedges (Arvada West) 1:05.18; 7. Kira Hobbs (Dakota Ridge) 1:05.41; 8. Emma Krasovec (Cheyenne Mountain) 1:05.42; 16. McKenzie Jenkins (Centaurus) 1:11.61; 19. Karly Pearson (Silver Creek) 1:11.77.
400 free relay — 1. Rampart (Immel, Timson, Miller, Chen) 3:29.61; 2. Niwot (Luo, Yie, Shaw, Codevilla) 3:31.81; 3. Highlands Ranch (Burton, Roney, LaRiviere, Nollsch) 3:37.34; 4. Cheyenne Mountain (Hayward, Roalstad, Fisher, Lehman) 3:37.47; 5. Dakota Ridge (Huebsch, Hemingway, Hobbs, Johnson) 3:38.24; 6. Broomfield (Thompson, Austin, Martin, Powers) 3:42.28; 7. Golden (Deitmeyer, Lin, Vermulen, White) 3:44.00; 8. Arvada West (McShane, Pauly, Tuitele, Hedges) 3:44.42; 9. Silver Creek (Moore, Bush, Burns, Hermeston) 3:45.51; 10. Monarch (Cross, Lewicki, Norgard, DiFronzo) 3:45.80; .