• Spotlight Sports Photography

    Boulder's Christian Feiler gives a thumbs-up after winning the 50 freestyle and finishing second in the 10 at the 5A boys swimming state finals.

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AIR FORCE ACADEMY — The message was clear after the first race of the Class 5A boys state swimming and diving championships. The Boulder schools were not to be ignored.

The 200-yard medley relay started the festivities at the Natatorium on the Air Force Academy grounds, and it was Boulder High School that stood above all others in the event. Fairview refused to be left out and came away with a win of its own as the two schools both cracked the top five in the team race.

“Boulder High has finished in the top five only twice,” Panthers swimmer Christian Feiler said. “We’re really happy with the result, tying our best finish ever at state. So we can’t be too bummed.”

The initial race is what gave Boulder the surge of energy it needed to stay competitive in the meet. By the time Feiler hit the water, he had some ground to make up if he was going to come away with the win.

He was quick to point out that he wasn’t just swimming for himself, but for three of his best friends in Chris Nicholson, Mick Bartholomew and P.J. Stapleton.

“I saw right when I dove in that I made up a little bit of ground,” he said. “At the turn I saw I was even so I knew we could do it with the crowd behind us and the team there for us.”

Feiler’s day wasn’t done after the relay. He went on to the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.67 seconds. Those two races were a huge factor in Boulder finishing with 177 points on the day for a fourth place finish.

Right over their shoulders was rival Fairview, which was hoping to at least match its third place finish from a year ago. The Knights were hoping to get a huge boost from Michael Zarian in the 200-yard individual medley and the 500-yard freestyle. Zarian had the fastest qualifying time of the individual medley group, coming at 1:52.19.

His finals time was over a quarter of a second faster, but he finished second to Pomona’s Keefan Foulke who torpedoed through the field with a time of 1:50.13.

“Right before the race, I was really nervous. Maybe that threw me off,” Zarian said. “Keegan did really well and I’m really proud of him.”

Zarian was able to shake off the loss and get himself focused for the 500-yard freestyle, which was a major factor in keeping his team in the top five for overall points. The Knights finished with 149 points on the day.

“His love is the 500 freestyle,” Knights coach Amy Webb said. “He was going for in the IM but winning the 500 was really really big for him.”

Part of the reason for Fairview falling back two spots from where they were a year ago is the youth of the team.

The future looks good for the program with Zarian looking to back for his junior year and lead a team that now has experience in competing with the top teams at the state meet.

“I’m perfectly fine with (our finish),” fellow sophomore Justin Li said. “Everyone had amazing swims and I think we had great morale today.”

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Class 5A state championships

At Air Force Academy

Team scores — Fossil Ridge 297, Regis Jesuit 274, Cherry Creek 209, Boulder 177, Fairview 149, Highlands Ranch 125, Arapahoe 118, Chatfield 115, Lewis-Palmer 108, Grandview 107, Ponderosa 97, Smoky Hill 85, Coronado 71, Pomona 62, Heritage 58, Rampart 47, Lakewood 39, Bear Creek 38, Greeley West 33, Cherokee Trail 33, Broomfield 13, Palisade/Grand Junction/Fruita 10, Fort Collins 8, Fountain-Fort Carson 7, George Washington 6, Loveland 5, Legacy 5, Denver East 4, Rocky Mountain 3.

200 medley relay — 1. Boulder, 1:33.19; 2. Regis Jesuit, 1:33.50; 3. Highlands Ranch, 1:34.46; 4. Fossil Ridge, 1:35.31; 5. Fairview, 1:36.48; 6. Cherry Creek, 1:36.71; 7. Chatfield, 1:37.16; 8. Coronado, 1:38.07; 16. Legacy, 1:40.99.

200 freestyle — 1. Coffman, Cherry Creek, 1:39.19; 2. Eiber, Arapahoe, 1:41.09; 3. Dauksher, Fossil Ridge, 1:41.41; 4. Kohlman, Smoky Hill, 1:41.59; 5. Boone, Grandview, 1:41.89; 6. Willis, Fossil Ridge, 1:42.90; 7. Kuebler, Grandview, 1:44.42; 8. Wilton, Ponderosa, 1:44.54; 10. Crump, Broomfield, 1:43.96; 14. Rock, Boulder, 1:45.72.

200 IM — 1. Foulke, Pomona, 1:50.13; 2. Zarian, Fairview, 1:51.90; 3. Stuart, Regis Jesuit, 1:53.08; 4. Kovac, Fossil Ridge, 1:54.26; 5. Bains, Lewis-Palmer, 1:54.57; 6. Lewis, Greeley West, 1:54.90; 7. Kelley, Heritage, 1:56.35; 8. Tinucci, Highlands Ranch, 1:57.32; 10. Bartholomew, Boulder, 1:56.14; 14. Hendricks, Fairview, 1:58.45.

50 freestyle — 1. Feiler, Boulder, 20.67; 2. Pieseki, Regis Jesuit, 21.09; 3. Grogan, Ponderosa, 21.27; 4. Berg, Chatfield, 21.39; 5. Shaffer, Bear Creek, 21.52; 6. Fuqua, Cherry Creek, 21.64; t-7. Malinin, Fossil Ridge, 21.81; t-7. Fine, Fossil Ridge, 21.81; 10. Li, fairview, 21.77; 16. Van Boven, Fairview, 22.50.

Diving — 1. Goodwin, Regis Jesuit, 611.85; 2. Bellamy, Smoky Hill, 583.55; 3. LeBlang, Arapahoe, 562.85; 4. Lucero, Bear Creek, 542.90; 5. Ives, Arapahoe, 501.45; 6. Lammon, Cherokee Trail, 501.25; 7. Lester, Fairview, 476.55; 8. Zusi, Arapahoe, 472.10.

100 butterfly — 1. Sasia, Highlands Ranch, 49.16; 2. Nicholson, Boulder, 50.52; 3. Fine, Fossil Ridge, 51.16; 4. Coen, Regis Jesuit, 51.25; 5. Gillilan, Fossil Ridge, 52.10; 6. Garcia, Chatfield, 52.40; 7. Kelley, Heritage, 52.94; 8. Warren, Regis Jesuit, 52.95; 11. Crump, Broomfield, 52.61; 12. Stapleton, Boulder, 52.95; 14. Edgerly, Fairview, 53.31; 15. Guthrie, Fairview, 53.76.

100 freestyle — 1. Coffman, Cherry Creek, 45.24; 2. Feiler, Boulder, 45.68; 3. Eiber, Arapahoe, 46.26; 4. Pieseski, Regis Jesuit, 46.29; 5. Willis, Fossil Ridge, 46.57; 6. Kohlman, Smoky Hill, 46.70; 7. Boone, Grandview, 46.78; 8. Grogan, Ponderosa, 47.18; 11. Li, Fairview, 47.27.

500 freestyle — 1. Zarian, Fairview, 4:36.98; 2. Sett, Lakewood, 4:38.62; 3. Dauksher, Fossil Ridge, 4:42.81; 4. Rock, Boulder, 4:44.23; 5. Delahoyde, Lewis-Palmer, 4:44.36; 6. Wilton, Ponderosa, 4:46.07; 7. Hinton, Heritage, 4:48.80; 8. Reynolds, Chatfield, 4:49.59; 15. Hendricks, Fairview, 4:52.82.

200 free relay — 1. Fossil Ridge (Fine, Willis, Kovac, Dauksher), 1:25.52; 2. Cherry Creek (Stain, Cremer, Fuqua, Coffman), 1:25.53; 3. Grandview (Kuebler, Schweitzberger, Turner, Boone), 1:25.66; 4. Regis Jesuit (Warren, Strepman, Morales, Pieseski), 1:25.67; 5. Chatfield (Reynolds, Berg, Garcia, Sage), 1:27.79; 6. Coronado (Kay, Fulks, Topper, Chaney), 1:28.50; 7. Ponderosa (Holtzman, Veltrie, Meints, Wilton), 1:28.71; 9. Fairview (Li, Graham-Bell, Martin, Van Boven), 1:27.29; 15. Boulder (Kelly, Studebaker, Thom, Lewis), 1:31.77

100 backstroke — 1. Kovac, Fossil Ridge, 50.53; 2. Sasia, Highlands, 50.67; 3. Nicholson, Boulder, 50.84; 4. Coen, Regis Jesuit, 52.01; 5. Berg, Chatfield, 52.20; 6. Clear, Fossil Ridge, 52.51; 7. Suter, Regis Jesuit, 52.59; 8. Ruppel, Highlands Ranch, 53.00; 13. Manoff, Fairview, 53.90; 14. Hamilton, Legacy, 54.01.

100 breaststroke — 1. Lewis, Greeley West, 56.60; 2. Stuart, Regis Jesuit, 56.90; 3. Weiss, Rampart, 56.97; 4. Foulke, Pomona, 57.41; 5. Bains, Lewis-Palmer, 57.60; 6. Stephens, Cherry Creek, 58.87; 7. Mercer, Smoky Hill, 59.28; 8. Chaney, Conronado, 59.57; 14. Bartholomew, Boulder, 1:00.03.

400 free relay — 1. Cherry Creek (Strain, Cremer, Fuqua, Coffman), 3:07.21; 2. Fossil Ridge (Willis, Clear, Kovac, Dauksher), 3:07.42; 3. Grandview (Kuebler, Schweitzberger, Turner, Boone), 3:08.37; 4. Boulder (Nicholson, Stapleton, Bartholomew, Feiler), 3:08.99; 5. Arapahoe (Eiber, Speck, Wilson, Torres), 3:10.28; 6. Fairview (Li, Hendricks, Van Boven, Zarian), 3:11.36; 7. Regis Jesuit (Allen, Miller, Stuart, Pieseski), 3:12.81; 8. Ponderosa (Rast, Meints, Holtzman, Wilton), 3:17.43.