THORNTON — Last season, the Legacy Lightning fielded many young swimmers that were counted on to place in meets and qualify for state at the end of the season.
Back with a year of experience, the younger swimmers are looking to take another step forward this season.
Legacy hosted its annual invitational at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center over the weekend. As one of the bigger schools in the meet, the Lightning used that advantage to win multiple events and pull away for a decent win in the team standings on Saturday.
“The whole team was really excited about it,” Legacy’s Sydney Bales said about the meet. “We’ve had a good attitude with everyone cheering for each other which is good. It’s a great atmosphere and we’re all here for each other.”
Bales, now a sophomore, was one of those swimmers counted on last season to step in right away and is being looked at for another good season in her second year with the team. She finished second in the 200 IM and third in the 100 freestyle at the Lightning Invitational.
Legacy also garnered top-five finishes from multiple swimmers that return to the team this year. Kandice Chandra took first place in the 100 fly with a time of 1:01.48 and was fourth in the 200 free, while Tasmin Izard was the fastest swimmer in the 50 free at 23.45. Abigail Zadorozny was third in the 200 free and fourth in the 100 free, Indigo Armon finished fourth in the 200 IM and Emma Kulbida was fourth in the 100 breast. In addition to their individual placings, the swimmers also helped all three relay teams finish in the top four of the meet.
While there is more experience back on the roster, Legacy also welcomes some talented freshmen who are again stepping up for the team. Among them, Abbie Kehmeier showed her potential in swimming in the 200 medley relay that took first place with a time of 1:54.76 and also on the 400 freestyle relay that won with a time of 3:44.36. She would finish second in the 100 back (1:00.07) in her individual event of the meet.
“It’s really fun to be a part of the team and to swim with girls I’ve never swam with before,” Kehmeier said. “I just enjoy it and practice is really fun. We have a really good team and all the new people know each other.”
One of the reasons Legacy feels it can follow a similar mantra to last season is with the team’s vision of working together and using a more team-oriented culture under first-year coach Tate Fisher.
“We’re going to get stronger and we have more team-bonding activities this year,” Bales said. “It all goes back to the idea of that teamwork and everyone working for the top goal of winning our league and our top swimmers making it to state. I think it’s going to happen.”
Niwot looking for success with smaller roster
The Niwot Cougars had some of their top swimmers in the field and came away with a top-10 finish in the meet. Coming off a season where they were state runner-ups in Class 4A, the Cougars know it will be a test to get back there but believe in the core group that returns to lead the way.
“We definitely lost a few state swimmers, but we’re hoping to go back to state and do just as well,” Niwot’s Emiley Yie said.
Yie led Saturday’s effort by winning the 200 IM with a time of 2:12.19 and taking second in the 100 breaststroke. For Yie, these are new events she is working on for this season in hopes to help the team score and place in meets.
“The 200 IM is getting better and the 100 breast is definitely a new one for me,” Yie said. “It’s nice to be able to go out and swim fast and to compete against some of the girls that I will see at state.”
Yie was also a part of the 200 freestyle relay team that finished fifth. Other top finishes for the Cougars included Sofia Gasper, another swimmer in the relay, who finished in the top 10 in both the 200 free and 100 free. Lucca Fulkerson was fifth in the 100 fly to go with her run in the relay.
Other top results
Silver Creek and Broomfield were in a tight battle for second place in the Legacy meet just four days after Silver Creek won a dual meet over Broomfield 95-91. Broomfield held the early lead for the second spot, but a win by the Silver Creek 200 freestyle relay team pushed the Raptors ahead. In the end, Broomfield’s strong finish in the remaining events propelled the Eagles to second.
Broomfield dominated the 500 free with the combination of Mairead Powers (5:27.22), Kaylee Austin (5:27.29) and Rebecca Thompson (5:30.47) finishing 1-2-3. In the final three events, Jordan Dolan finished third in the 100 backstroke, Natalie Hewitt and Ellianne Effland all finished high in the 100 breast and the 400 freestyle relay team finished second overall.
Silver Creek opened the meet with a second-place run in the 200 medley relay, and the team also saw fifth-place finishes in individual events from Madison Black in the 200 free and 100 back, Emma Hermeston in the 50 free and Elena Moore in the 100 free.
Centaurus, Longmont and Erie all had swims to build on, as well. Erie was led by Payten Irwin finishing third in the 50 free and sixth in the 100 breast while teammate Anna Dunn took seventh in the 500 free. Lara Franco had a big day for Centaurus, finishing fifth in the 100 breast and sixth in the 100 fly, and Madison Lin was 10th in the 100 back. Longmont saw Emma Svendsen take sixth place in the 200 IM and Grace Geyer finish seventh in 200 free to go with their run in relays.