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Boys swimming: Zarian caps brilliant prep career as most decorated Knight

  • Fairview's Walker Martin competes during the Class 5A state championships...

    Jeffery Tucker / For

    Fairview's Walker Martin competes during the Class 5A state championships Saturday at VMAC.

  • Fairview's John Paul Phillip does the backstroke during the Class...

    Jeffery Tucker / For

    Fairview's John Paul Phillip does the backstroke during the Class 5A state championships Saturday at VMAC.

  • Fairview's Duncan Lester dives during the Class 5A state championship...

    Jeffery Tucker/ For

    Fairview's Duncan Lester dives during the Class 5A state championship Saturday at VMAC.

  • Fairview's Duncan Lester dives during the Class 5A state championship...

    Jeffery Tucker / For

    Fairview's Duncan Lester dives during the Class 5A state championship Saturday at VMAC.



THORNTON — There is very little Michael Zarian hasn’t done in his days at Fairview.

The Harvard-bound Knights senior has written a book, been an inspirational leader and most of all, is the best swimmer to ever roam the halls of Fairview High School.

On Saturday afternoon, with his family in the stands at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, Zarian swam away with state titles No. 4 and 5, surpassing the great Brian Smith — who won four titles in 1976-77 — as the most prodigious in school history.

“It’s a huge honor, Fairview has had so many great swimmers come through and to even be considered with some of them is huge,” said Zarian, who was voted by all the coaches at the state meet as the Swimmer of the Year.

Zarian started with a defense of his 200-yard individual medley, winning in a time of 1 minute, 47.25 seconds that was three seconds better than Broomfield freshman Harrison Lierz.

With two 500 free titles already under his belt, including one as a sophomore that he called his most memorable prep race, Zarian challenged himself to win the 100 butterfly.

And swimming against Fossil Ridge’s Danny Kovac — who himself was a state champion last year — he went out fast and maintained his lead all the way through; winning in the same time he swam in the preliminaries on Friday, 47.75 seconds.

“I had no idea what Danny was going to do and I just decided to swim my own race and hope for the best,” Zarian said. “There were actually a lot of things I did not like about that race … and even though there were some errors in that race, you can’t complain about the outcome and being able to represent Fairview.”

Zarian, whose book “Success as a Teen Athlete: A Guide to Reaching Your Athletic Potential” has received rave reviews from readers all over the country, might have to write a follow-up.

“Have fun with. High school swimming is all about having fun and contributing to the team as best you can,” he said. “I’m just grateful I had the chance to represent Fairview.”

Zarian’s club teammate on the Jeffco Hurricanes, Boulder High’s Quinton Pierce was also a sate champion on Saturday.

In a thrilling race with Lierz in the 500, a race the Broomfield frosh lead for 450-yard, Pierce seized the moment and finished with a flourish, winning in a time of 4:31.78.

“He was already ahead of me and I knew I just had one more 100 to give it all I’ve got,” said Pierce, who entered the event on Friday as the seventh overall seed. “So that’s what I did. I expected it, I guess, I just had to go for it.”

Fairview diver Duncan Lester had visions of a state title, but a missed dive early on in the fifth round hampered his chances of catching Bear Creek’s Octavio Lucero.

Despite the misstep, Lester — who nearly had another mistake on his 11th and final dive, only to catch himself and score well — battled back for a second place finish with a score of 506.20 points.

“I knew I was out of contention for first, so I was just trying to have the best rest of the meet I possibly could,” said Lester, who missed the challenging back two and half. “When I went in here today, I wanted to win, but as the meet progressed it was about doing as best I could, and I’m happy with how the last three dives turned out.”

Fairview finished fourth in the team race, getting a strong performance from senior Justin Li — who finished 5th in the 50 free (21.20) and the 100 free (46.77).

Broomfield had its best season to date in Class 5A, finishing 11th overall on the strength of Lierz, Austin Crump and powerful relay finishes in the 200 medley (4th at 1:35.50) and the 400 free (5th at 3:08.82).

Jon Yunt: or


At veterans Memorial Aquatic Center

Team scores — Fossil Ridge 358, Regis Jesuit 253, Cherry Creek 217, Fairview 191.5, Highlands Ranch 135.5, Boulder 133.5, Arapahoe 129, Lewis-Palmer 119.5, Fort Collin 105, Ponderosa 100, Broomfield 98, Legacy 71, Denver South 51, Ralston Valley 44, Smoky Hill 43, Rocky Mountain 40, Hinkley 31, Columbine 29, Palmer 26, Palisade/Grand Jct./Fruita 24, Bear Creek 23, Greeley West 22, Liberty 20, Denver East 11, Grandview 9, Heritage 7, Fountain-Fort Carson 6, Mountain Range 6, Arvada West 5, Thornton 5, Monarch 4, Chatfield 4, Lakewood 2.

200 medley relay — 1. Fossil Ridge 1:30.69 AAA; 2. Regis Jesuit 1:31.35 AAA; 3. Cherry Creek 1:33.32 AAA; 4. Broomfield (Harrison Lierz, Jacob Hahn, Austin Crump, Sam Anderson) 1:35.50; 5. Highlands Ranch 1:35.79; 6. Fort Collins 1:36.67; 7. Legacy (Casey Hamilton, Daniel Bradford, Luke Miller, Nathan Miller) 1:37.52; 8. Ponderosa 1:39.93; 10. Fairview (John Paul Phillips, Cody Yan, Justin Li, Joe Felton) 1:38.63; 11. Boulder (Max Kreidl, Isaac Copeland, Grant Freeman, Henry Maier) 1:39.05.

200 freestyle — 1. Griffin Eiber, Arapahoe, 1:39.03 AAA; 2. Quinton Pierce, Boulder, 1:40.76 CAA; 3. Blake Wilton, Ponderosa, 1:41.38 CAA; 4. Nicholas Fox, Ralston Valley, 1:41.89; 5. Nathan Rock, Boulder, 1:42.06; 6. Richard Dauksher, Fossil Ridge, 1:42.88; 7. Lars Worlund, Fossil Ridge, 1:43.26; 8. Jack Holter, Fort Collins, 1:43.40; 14. John Paul Phillips, Fairview, 1:45.35.

200 IM — 1. Michael Zarian, Fairview, 1:47.25 AAA; 2. Harrison Lierz, Broomfield, 1:50.83 AAA; 3. William Goodwin, Regis Jesuit, 1:52.09 CAA; 4. Sam Ybarra, Fossil Ridge, 1:52.50 CAA; 5. Brendan Eckerman, Cherry Creek, 1:53.49 CAA; 6. Alex Dragan, Fot Collins, 1:54.43; 7. Casey Hamilton, Legacy, 1:54.55; 8. Charles Sturgeon, Palmer, 1:56.18.

50 freestyle — 1. Keegan Bundy, Denver South, 20.59; 2. Shamzi Alkaff, Fossil Ridge, 21.04; 3. Matt Geraghty, Fossil Ridge, 21.12; 4. Elijah Warren, Regis Jesuit, 21.13; 5. Justin Li, Fairview, 21.20; 6. Kris Malinin, Fossil Ridge, 21.21; 7. David Griffith, Hinkley, 21.52; 8. Jack Studebaker, Boulder, 21.57; 15. Walker Martin, Fairview, 21.89.

Diving — 1. Octavio Lucero, Bear Creek, 556.30; 2. Duncan Lester, Fairview, 506.20; 3. Noah Bettner, Lewis-Palmer, 505.75; 4. Caleb Ives, Arapahoe, 468.25; 5. Aric Althouse, Lewis-Palmer, 462.70; 6. Timothy Domashevich, Smoky Hill, 459.20; 7. Jack Nagle, Lewis-Palmer, 454.00; 8. Quinn Poppert, Denver East, 448.30.

100 butterfly — 1. Michael Zarian, Fairview, 47.75 AAA; 2. Danny Kovac, Fossil Ridge, 48.33 AAA; 3. Ty Coen, Regis Jesuit, 48.95 AAA; 4. Blake Wilton, Ponderosa, 49.81 CAA; 5. Sam Ybarra, Fossil Ridge, 50.51; 6. Alexander Sironen, Cherry Creek, 51.05; 7. Jack Holter, Fort Collins, 51.10; 8. Tylen Phillips, Smoky Hill, 51.85.

100 freestyle — 1. Griffin Eiber, Arapahoe, 44.65 AAA; 2. Keegan Bundy, Denver South, 45.58 CAA; 3. Matt Geraghty, Fossil Ridge, 46.44; 4. Shamzi Alkaff, Fossil Ridge, 46.54; 5. Justin Li, Fairview, 46.77; 6. Sam Jones, Regis Jesuit, 47.16; 7. Kris Malinin, Fossil Ridge, 47.64; 8. Austin Hegemann, Highlands Ranch, 48.22; 9. Walker Martin, Fairview, 47.53; 13. Lochlainn Renfrow, Fairview, 48.26; T15. Jack Studebaker, Boulder, 48.46.

500 freestyle — 1. Quinton Pierce, Boulder, 4:31.78 AAA; 2. Harrison Lierz, Broomfield, 4:33.09 AAA; 3. Nathan Rock, Boulder, 4:39.10 CAA; 4. Richard Dauksher, Fossil Ridge, 4:39.91; 5. Daniel Bradford, Legacy, 4:45.50; 6. Nathan Kenigsberg, Greeley West, 4:46.54; 7. Elliot Steinberg, Regis Jesuit, 4:46.76; 8. Nicholas Fox, Ralston Valley, 4:51.75.

200 free relay — 1. Fossil Ridge 1:23.64 AAA; 2. Fairview (Michael Zarian, Will Brown, Joe Felton, Walker Martin) 1:25.44 CAA; 3. Cherry Creek 1:25.65 CAA; 4. Arapahoe 1:26.52; 5. Highlands Ranch 1:26.55; 6. Fort Collins 1:27.00; 7. Regis Jesuit 1:27.08; 8. Lewis-Palmer 1:27.27; 9. Boulder (Jack Studebaker, Mason Pendergast, Luke Stapleton, Henry Maier) 1:27.32; 14. Broomfield (Sam Anderson, Zach Hudson, A.J. Nitchoff, Ryan Davis) 1:29.59.

100 backstroke — 1. Gavin Olson, Columbine, 48.35 AAA; 2. Danny Kovac, Fossil Ridge, 48.70 AAA; 3. Ty Coen, Regis Jesuit, 50.13 CAA; 4. Casey Hamilton, Legacy, 51.18; 5. Alex Bruce, Cherry Creek, 52.00; 6. Lucius Gao, Fort Collins, 52.01; 7. Sawyer Kruse, Rocky Mountain, 52.02; 8. Frank Ruppel, Highlands Ranch, 53.96; T10. John Paul Phillips, Fairview, 53.29; 13. Kyle Mak, Monarch, 53.69.

100 breaststroke — 1. Joshua Lenzmeier, Liberty, 55.66 AAA; 2. Elijah Warren, Regis Jesuit, 55.88 AAA; 3. Josh Pales, Fossil Ridge, 56.78 CAA; 4. Charles Strugeon, Palmer, 57.49 CAA; 5. John Strain, Cherry Creek, 57.71; 6. William Goodwin, Regis Jesuit, 58.10; 7. Spencer Smith, Cherry Creek, 58.87; 8. Cameron Weese, Regis Jesuit, 59.00.

400 free relay — 1. Fossil Ridge 3:03.87 AAA; 2. Fairview (Michael Zarian, Walker Martin, Lochlainn Renfrow, Justin Li) 3:02.28 AAA; 3. Regis jesuit 3:06.82; 4. Cherry Creek 3:08.51; 5. Broomfield (Sam Anderson, Ryan Davis, Harrison Lierz, Austin Crump) 3:08.82 CAA; 6. Arapahoe 3:09.54; 7. Boulder (Jack Studebaker, Quinton Pierce, Luke Stapleton, Nathan Rock), 3:10.03; 8. Lewis-Palmer 3:12.16; 14. Legacy (Daniel Bradford, Luke Miller, Nathan Miller, Casey Hamilton) 3:16.53.

AAA — Automatic All American

CAA — Consideration All American