FORT COLLINS — Even as her prep career was coming to a close, Elizabeth Peterson couldn’t help but think about the future of Broomfield swimming.
The Eagles senior, who will continue her swimming career next season at Cal Poly, was the vital cog in Broomfield’s transition from Class 4A to 5A swimming and was the school’s lone individual to compete in Saturday’s championship finals.
“I’m really excited for what our freshmen and even our juniors will be able to do next year,” Peterson said.
Peterson, who finished fourth last season in Class 4A — also at EPIC — made it back to the consolation heat of the same event this year. Her finals time on Saturday of 57.74 was just .01 second faster than the time she swam last year in the finals.
“There are definitely more girls here and a lot more room for talent,” Peterson said. “And it was a big jump, but I was glad I was able to make it, do it and do well.
“I’m glad that I made it back and did the best I could, I tried my hardest. I was a little off with my time, but that is okay. All that matters is that I cut time and that I am here.”
Peterson was also on the Eagles’ 400 freestyle relay team that made it back to Saturday. The quartet of Madelaine McClain, Kate Peterson, Grae Roda and Elizabeth Peterson had the 13th-fastest time in Friday’s prelim swim and moved up a spot to 12th on Saturday.
Broomfield coach Emily Austin didn’t have any sort of expectations of her team going in, but kind of knew what to expect at the bigger and faster 5A meet.
“It was hard to have anything specific (expectation wise) and I know that 5A is always a major time drop, just from hearing about it and seeing it in the paper,” she said. “So we knew we would have to swim our best times in order to make it back to Saturday.
“It was our second-best time of the year (in the 400 relay) and second-best ever. A couple of the girls tapered for conference because they were hoping to get state quals and so it is hard to break your taper and then come back, so you sort of have to rely on sort of sheer will and excitement.”
The only other area swimmer to make it back to Saturday was Legacy’s Mary Lombardi.
The Lightning distance swimmer, who actually attends Holy Family, qualified for the consolation final in the 500 free, where her time of 5:13.93 was good enough for a 14th-place finish.
“I came in with the mindset of just wanting to have fun,” said Lombardi, who will continue her swimming career next season with her sister at Mount St. Mary’s in Maryland. “I did my best and I had fun with it and that is the way to end my high school career.”
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