Fairview’s state title win from last year won’t buy the Knights anything in the Class 5A race this winter. It’s a chlorine-clean slate, and if another banner should be risen, they’re well aware they’ll have to earn it all over again.
“We definitely use (last year’s state title) as motivation because that’s our end goal,” Fairview senior Isabel Rich said. “We want to build up to be state champions again this year. That would be amazing.”
With the Front Range League Championships just two weeks away, and the state meet three, the defending champs first celebrated their senior night with a 199-112 dual win over Boulder at the South Boulder Recreation Center Tuesday evening.
Rich, the University of Wyoming swim commit, won the 200 IM in 2 minutes, 13.14 seconds; the 100 breaststroke (1:08.24); and was part of the 200 medley relay win (1:52.14) for the Knights, who allowed their seniors to pick which events they wanted to do.
By the end, Fairview saw five different individual winners while taking nine of the 12 events.
“We try and get the most racing possible that we can out of everyone across the board, just with the seniors getting their first choice (Tuesday),” Fairview co-coach Stacey Tobey said. “We had 72 swimmers in the meet today.”
The all-in victory continued another strong season for Fairview, which are led by someone different than Bob Smartt for the first time in nearly two decades, in his former assistants Francoise Bentley and Tobey. They have Fairview looking to be among the state contenders once again at the Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center in Thornton on Feb. 13-14.
As outlined by PrepSwimCo.com rankings Tuesday, the Knights had 13 swimmers/relays in the top 10 in 5A across 12 events. Per the site’s projections, that put them just five points behind Cherry Creek for the classification’s top spot.
Last year, Fairview ran away with the state title with 495.5 points, while getting individual titles from Emma Weber in the 100 breaststroke. Its 200 freestyle and 200 medley relays won, too.
“Every year is different — and because Franny and I are first-year coaches together, and we don’t have that statistical brilliance that Bob Smartt had —” Tobey said, “we just kind of look at things from our tradition of having excellent technique and excellent expectations.
“The No. 1 thing is making sure the girls have a good time.”
Tuesday, Julianne Jones won the 200 freestyle for the Knights in 1:57.98. Samantha Mosier won the 100 butterfly (1:00.31), Jade Slowik took the 100 backstroke (1:06.71) and Reilly Jones won dive (227.30 points).
All three relays won as well.
Boulder, meanwhile, had a few nice performances of its own. Emilia Culberson, likely one of the Panthers’ strongest state contenders, won the 100 freestyle in 54.09 seconds. Ella Riccio added a win the 50 free in 25.20 and Bena Koehn won the 500 free in 5:31.13.