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Silver Creek brothers Tyler (left) and Chase Lis have provided key contributions for the Raptors this season.
Matthew Jonas
Silver Creek brothers Tyler (left) and Chase Lis have provided key contributions for the Raptors this season.

LONGMONT — Raptors junior Chase Lis is one of Silver Creek’s best swimmers and has been for a couple years. But his freshman brother Tyler may be even better.

They challenge each other in practice and swim a lot of the same events, but they don’t compete in a way that outlines the typical sibling rivalry. Chase is better than Tyler in butterfly and breaststroke. Tyler is better than Chase at backstroke and freestyle.

“For the last year, year and a half, we’ve been in the same group on our club team,” Chase Lis said Wednesday. “I hope he’s always kind of looked up to me. I think my times have always kind of been a goal for him to reach toward. Now that he’s catching me, I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Whichever brother beats the other in a given event, the Lis brothers are collecting state qualifications as rapidly as Mario and Luigi collect gold coins.

At the 2011 4A state championships his sophomore year, Chase Lis took ninth in the 100 butterfly, 12th in the 200 individual medley and swam the third leg of the Raptors 200 medley relay, which won the state title. He also swam the second leg of the 400 freestyle relay, which took fifth.

Chase has qualified for state in every event he has swam this season. So has Tyler, who hopes to equal the success his older brother found early in his career.

“I’d like to make finals in at least one event at state,” Tyler Lis said.

The Lis brothers rely on each other’s support to achieve success. And they have while swimming club together for nine years, including a move to RallySport Aquatic Club in Boulder this year. And they will for the next two years at Silver Creek.

“It’s been awesome. I like what he brings,” Chase Lis said of having Tyler join the Raptors. “He and I, we definitely battle it out. When we swim, we work together to swim faster. This last year we lost a lot of seniors, so it’s good to have my brother around.”

As happy as Chase is to have his brother on the team, Tyler is equally excited about joining the prep scene.

“I’m happy to be in high school because the last couple years I’ve watched my brother go to all the meets and all the team dinners and stuff,” Tyler Lis said. “It’s nice being a part of that now, a part of the whole team.”

Tyler said he’s focusing his freshman season on doing whatever he can to help the Raptors, who finished third in the state last year. His best events are the individual medley and backstroke but Tyler swims anything head coach Debbie Stewart asks him to do at a given meet, making him one of the team’s most dependable swimmers.

Chase and Tyler Lis aren’t your typical bickering brothers. They learned to play nice at early age. Chase claims the last time they got in a fight was eight years ago.

Their ability to get along transcends Chase and Tyler’s brotherly bonds.

“Both of them have hearts of gold,” Stewart said. “They’re just so easy-going. They care about the team. They care about the guys. Their personalities just tell it all.”

Stewart said at one of the first practices this year, the Raptors picked relay groups the old-school, schoolyard way as a method of getting to know one another. Rather than choosing one of the other top swimmers or one of his buddies first, Chase Lis picked the slowest swimmer on the team.

“Both of them are that way,” Stewart said. “They want to see nothing but the best for the team and they want help out as much as they can.”

Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradCochi

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