• Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer

    Longmont's Octavio Querol swims in the 500 free during Thursday's meet with Silver Creek. Go to BoCoPreps.com for more photos.

  • Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer

    Silver Creek's Commor Hassert competes in the 200 IM during Thursday's meet with Longmont. Go to BoCoPreps.com for more photos.

  • Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer

    Longmont's Dallas Dye swims in the 100 back during Thursday's meet with Silver Creek. Go to BoCoPreps.com for more photos.

  • Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer

    Silver Creek's Sam Beaudry competes in the 500 free during Thursday's meet with Longmont. Go to BoCoPreps.com for more photos.

  • Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer

    Silver Creek's Ashton Hubert dives during Thursday's meet with Longmont. Go to BoCoPreps.com for more photos.



LONGMONT — On January 13, Carson Simon and his father were in a single engine plane accident at Vance Brand Municipal Airport in Longmont.

The furthest thing from Simon’s mind was whether or not he would be able to compete this spring on the Silver Creek Raptors swim team.

After all, the Niwot sophomore had suffered a concussion, a fractured L1 vertebrae and a myriad of other injuries … and to be honest, he was lucky to walk away with just that.

“I’m excited that he is here. It is a miracle, a blessing and I reached out to his brother (Noah, a senior) after his mom had posted photos,” Silver Creek coach Debbie Stewart said. “And the first day I saw him with that big black and blue eye, I couldn’t look at him and I was really afraid he wasn’t going to get to swim the season.”

Said Carson, who doesn’t remember much of the crash: “I thought it was going to be forever before I was OK. I had to keep seeing the doctor, and I think it was a week before the season that he actually cleared me.”

On Thursday at Centennial Pool, Simon showed that he was 100 percent, winning the 100-yard fly in a state-qualifying time of 58.44 seconds and helped the second-ranked Raptors to a 126-56 victory over rival Longmont.

To this day, Carson and his father have yet to really figure out what went wrong on that January afternoon.

On Thursday in the fly — a race that Stewart was admittedly hesitant to put him in due to his injuries and the stress the stroke puts on the body — Simon was brilliant. He caught up to, and passed Longmont’s JT Sears, who had earlier won the 50 free in a state qual time of 23.72, and beat him to the wall to win by .09 seconds.

“Fly is my favorite and I was worried that it was going to be slow because I broke my back and I was worried that I wouldn’t even be able to do it,” said Simon, who was also a part of the winning 200 medley and 200 free relay teams.

And swimming is no different than any other sport in terms of if you compete not to get hurt, that’s when bad things happen and the possibility of exacerbating an existing injury goes up.

“It was one of the first meets of the year that we were afraid of the fly because the doctor said to be careful with the concussion and diving in and fly is so much more strenuous,” Stewart said. “I was afraid and I held him back a little bit, but he swam on the relay and swam his best time.”

Other winners for the Raptors on Thursday included Hayden Dickinson (1:52.31 in the 200 free), Connor Hassert (2:08.73 in the 200 IM), Ian Curd (54.83 in the 100 free), Matt Winn (1:03.89 in the backstroke) and Pierce Bigelow (1:11.64 in the 100 breast).

The most intriguing competition of the night was in the diving well. All four divers that competed train together throughout the week under the watchful eye of St. Vrain dive coach Kyle Stewart, Debbie’s son.

On the strength of a big final dive that carried a 2.8 degree of difficulty, Longmont’s Cooper Welsh scored 269.65 to win by 10 points over Silver Creek’s Matthew Teta.

“This year they are closer than ever to challenging me, so it makes me want to work harder to stay at the top,” said Welsh, who had to change up his strategy. “I had to throw in one dive that was a little harder (an inward double), but I ended up doing better than I ever had before.”

The other winner for the Trojans was junior Octavio Querol, whose 500 free time of 5:22.49 was 12 seconds better than the field.

Jon Yunt: yuntj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/JonEYunt


At Centennial Pool

200 medley relay — 1. Silver Creek (Matt Winn, Andrew Wu, Carson Simon, Noah Simon) 1:43.48*; 2. Silver Creek 1:51.38*; 3. Silver Creek 1:55.23.

200 freestyle — 1. Hayden Dickinson, Silver Creek, 1:52.31*; 2. Pierce Bigelow, Silver Creek, 1:52.75*; 3. Chris Wingfield, Silver Creek, 1:53.55*.

200 IM — 1. Connor Hassert, Silver Creek, 2:08.73*; 2. Andrew Wu, Silver Creek, 2:12.39*; 3. Matthew Solc, Longmont, 2:16.27.

50 freestyle — 1. JT Sears, Longmont, 23.72*; 2. Matt Winn, Silver Creek, 23.80*; 3. Caleb Fischmann, Silver Creek, 25.19.

Diving — 1. Cooper Welsh, Longmont, 269.65 points*; 2. Matthew Teta, Silver Creek, 259.50 pts.*; 3. Ashton Hubert, Silver Creek, 250.20 pts.*.

100 butterfly — 1. Carson Simon, Silver Creek, 58.44*; 2. JT Sears, Longmont, 58.53*; 3. Noah Simon, Silver Creek, 59.43*.

100 freestyle — 1. Ian Curd, Silver Creek, 54.83; 2. Liam Kendrick, Silver Creek, 55.43; 3. Sean Findley, Longmont, 56.36.

500 freestyle — 1. Octavio Querol, Longmont, 5:22.49*; 2. Sam Beaudry, Silver Creek, 5:34.52; 3. Finn Dangerfield, Longmont, 6:03.41.

200 free relay — 1. Silver Creek (Dakota Casey, Connor Hassert, Carson Simon, Pierce Bigelow) 1:37.61*; 2. Silver Creek 1:37.85*; 3. Silver Creek 1:45.07.

100 backstroke — 1. Matt Winn, Silver Creek, 1:03.89; 2. Chris Wingfield, Silver Creek, 1:08.09; 3. Dallas Dye, Longmont, 1:09.95.

100 breaststroke — 1. Pierce Bigelow, Silver Creek, 1:11.64; 2. Hayden Dickinson, Silver Creek, 1:12.46; 3. Jack Ranglos, Silver Creek, 1:15.63.

400 free relay — 1. Longmont (Octavio Querol, Matthew Solc, JT Sears, Sean Findley) 3:38.51*; 2. Silver Creek 3:43.26*; 3. Silver Creek 3:56.25.

* — denotes state-qualifying mark

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