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Boys swimming: Longmont, Silver Creek aiming to climb at state

LONGMONT — Longmont High’s Connor Dwyer cautions against putting too much stock in his seed times for the state swim meet. The Silver Creek Raptors aren’t limiting their sights to their current status in the team rankings.

All believe their best swims are ahead of them this weekend.

The Class 4A state swim meet begins with Friday’s preliminaries at 4 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton. Diving prelims are at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, with swim and dive finals beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Dwyer enters the meet as the defending state champion in the 100-yard breaststroke. But because of a heavy club swimming slate this spring chasing Olympic trials qualification times, Dwyer had little time to emphasize his prep exploits.

His top time this spring in the breaststroke is 59.68 seconds, good for just third place. But he swam an All-American time of 57.14 in winning last year, he’s been tapering his club training in recent weeks.

“My times will drop at state,” said Dwyer, who is also seeded second in the 200 individual medley at 1:58.03. “There’s a lot of factors into it but hopefully I’ll be swimming fast. It’s so loud in there. State kind of brings you to another level.”

Silver Creek, meanwhile, enters state ranked sixth in the latest calculations done by Valor Christian swim coach Rob Nasser, who puts out state rankings each week.

But the Raptors feel like they still have the depth in the pool to follow up last year’s third-place finish with another top-five effort.

“The rankings have never been very accurate for us, so I think we can break through for sure,” Raptors junior Chase Lis said.

Silver Creek’s Drew Weibel is seeded among the top five in both the 100 fly and 100 back, while Tyler Lis, Chase’s brother, is top six in both the 200 IM and 500 free, and Chase Lis is eighth in the 200 IM. That’s not to mention the 200 medley and 400 free relays being seeded among the top 6.

“If the guys come out and perform like they’re supposed to we could come out top five,” SCHS coach Debbie Stewart said.


Confidence boost

Along with Dwyer, Longmont’s other senior expecting to make major waves is Tony Huff.

Huff was voted the Northern League’s swimmer of the year after winning both the 100 and 200 freestyle races at the conference championships.

He’s the first Trojan to win the award since 2002.

“The biggest confidence boost was my races themselves,” Huff said. “But (the award) gave me confidence in a different way knowing the other teams’ coaches voted for me.”

Like Dwyer, Huff is seeded among the top three in both of his events, and both figure to contribute to fast 200 medley and 200 free relays for the 11th-ranked Trojans.

“They would love to have good places,” said Longmont coach Marie Huff, Tony’s mother. “But they just want to get their best times.”


Cross-town brotherly love

With only their state qualifiers practicing this week, the Trojans and Raptors shared Centennial Pool to save money rather than practicing at separate pools in town as they do during the season.

Coexisting peacefully with their rivals is nothing new for the two teams, however. Last year, they shared a charter bus to the state meet in Grand Junction, and they’ll bus to state again on Saturday.

Members of the LHS squad even wrote a cheer incorporating both squads for the state meet.

“We’ve always kind of been friendly,” Weibel said. “We always race hard against each other at All-City, but we come together at state as a city. It’s nice.”


Wallace so fly

Broomfield’s Martin Wallace could have entered state seed first in both the 100 fly and 500 free, an event in which he placed third last season. But as a member of the Eagles’ 200 free relay, the order of events would have made for a daunting slate.

The fly is event No. 6. The 500 comes eighth. And the 200 free relay is ninth. So Wallace will swim the 200 freestyle, where he’s seeded second, earlier in the meet to space his events. He is the top seed entering the 100 fly and will skip the 500.

“He enjoys the 100 butterfly and he’s been working really hard on it so that’s what he wanted to do,” Broomfield coach Emily Austin said. “He’d rather have a little more rest.”


Fairview, Boulder facing tough 5A field

The Class 5A meet will be held at Edora Pool and Ice Center in Fort Collins, with the same start times as 4A.

One thing missing from the 5A meet this year is the usual healthy dose of Boulder and Fairview swimmers near the top of the psych sheet. Fairview’s Max Phillips (eighth in the 200 free) is the only racer from either school seeded among the top eight individually.

But while both squads are replacing some big guns from recent seasons, both are aiming to out-swim their seedings at state.

“We have a lot of depth,” said FHS coach Ted Romero, who believes all three of his relays can finish in the top eight. “We just don’t have those top five guys that are going to be at the top of the list.”