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Girls swimming: Strong run from Broomfield leads to second place showing at league meet

Silver Creek finishes third in Longs Peak League meet; Erie places fourth

  • Brandon Boles/BoCoPreps.com

    Mairead Powers of Broomfield swims the breaststroke while swimming in the 200 IM finals at the Longs Peak League meet on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 at the Greeley Rec Center.

  • Brandon Boles/BoCoPreps.com

    Ellianne Effland of Broomfield competes in the 100 breaststroke finals at the Longs Peak League meet on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 at the Greeley Rec Center.

  • Brandon Boles/BoCoPreps.com

    Elena Moore of Silver Creek swims in the 500 freestyle finals at the Longs Peak League meet on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 at the Greeley Rec Center.

  • Brandon Boles/BoCoPreps.com

    Micaela Kimmett of Silver Creek stands on the board and prepares to dive in the final round at the Longs Peak League meet on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 at the Greeley Rec Center.

  • Brandon Boles/BoCoPreps.com

    Isabella Schneider of Erie competes in the 500 freestyle at the Longs Peak League meet on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 at the Greeley Rec Center.

  • Brandon Boles/BoCoPreps.com

    Payten Irwin of Erie swims in the 100 butterfinal finals at the Longs Peak League meet on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 at the Greeley Rec Center.

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GREELEY — A new girls swim team took home the Longs Peak League championship on Saturday in a competitive race between three schools.

Windsor rose to the top with 479 points in the Longs Peak League swim meet, overcoming a schedule change that forced prelims and finals to be raced on the same day. Chasing to within 25 points of Windsor was Broomfield with 450 points. Silver Creek took third place with 435, ending its run of five consecutive league championships, Erie came in fourth with 254 and Greeley West rounded out the standings in fifth with 250 points.

“I’m definitely pleased,” Broomfield coach Emily Austin said. “They weren’t complaining about the situation. They had the night to get over (the schedule change). They were here ready to go. We had a couple of prelim swims that didn’t go the way we wanted, but they came back in the finals and did a nice job.”

Broomfield closed the gap late with Windsor winning three of the final five events in the meet and getting placement points from their deep roster.

Rebecca Thompson and Kaylee Austin led the Eagles in distance events as the duo would place first and second, respectively, in both their individual races. Thompson was the winner in the 200 free with a time of 1:56.92, later winning the 500 free in 5:17.49. Austin was right behind in both the 200 free (1:58.28) and the 500 free (5:18.93). Both girls also helped the 400 free relay win with a time of 3:39.86, beating Windsor’s relay team by five seconds.

“Having our teammates cheering for us has made us really strong,” Kaylee Austin said. “Rebecca and I really push each other. As teammates for club and high school, we do it all the time. It really showed how much it really helped us.”

Ellianne Effland took first in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:08.76 for the other top finish in the meet. Broomfield also got strong performances from Maelynn Higgins, who finished second in the 100 free, and the 200 medley relay team finishing in second place.

In addition to the top swimmers posting season-best times and placing high in the finals, Broomfield also saw a number of swimmers qualify for state on their last attempt, including freshman Mia Leget in the 100 back.

“The one that stood out was Mia Leget,” Emily Austin said. “She was not on the radar to make it to state. For that to happen, I was absolutely floored. We also had some lifetime bests that maybe weren’t state qualifying times, but I was just as excited for them.”

Silver Creek and Erie each had a couple of swimmers and divers qualify for the state meet as well, and their top swimmers delivered season-best times that reached the podium.

The top two relay teams for Silver Creek flirted with meet records and proved their high rankings on the season with a couple of wins. The 200 medley relay team was a half-second away from their own meet record set in 2018 with a time of 1:49.66 and the 200 free relay team won with a time of 1:42.10 to edge Broomfield in the race.

“We have these rituals we do before the relays,” Silver Creek’s Emma Hermeston said. “We just start dancing as we walk out and hype each other up. We really feed of each other’s energy.”

Madison Black was the top sprint swimmer in the meet for Silver Creek, winning both the 50 free (24.78) and 100 free (53.94) in addition to her performances in the relays. Another swimmer to win an event was Kylie Dirks in the 100 fly (58.55). Diving was a strength with Micaela Kimmett winning the event with 375.95 points and Autumn Lull finishing in fourth. Third-place finishes went to Hermeston in the 100 back, Elena Moore in the 200 free and Karly Pearson in the 100 breast.

Erie improved in the Longs Peak League meet compared to last sason with its fourth-place finish. Leading the Tigers was senior Payten Irwin, who was voted the league swimmer of the year by the coaches. Irwin was second in the 100 fly and fourth in the 200 IM while also swimming in relays.

“I think this program has grown a lot from last year,” Irwin said. “We were ninth at state last year and right now we’re seeded third going into it. I think that’s amazing. Our diving program has grown a lot and we have so many more girls qualified for state (this season), so I’m really excited about that.”

Diving was led by Sarah Forsythe coming in second place, Nyah Sanchez placing third and Courtney Giordano coming in fifth for the Tigers.

With the league meet complete, all three teams turn their attention to the state meets that will take place over the next two weeks. Broomfield and Silver Creek will race in the Class 4A meet Feb. 18-19, while Erie will run in the Class 3A meet Feb. 14-15. Both meets will be held at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton.

“I think we’re going to be really strong,” Kaylee Austin said. “All of us have worked really hard to make those state cuts this season. We’re going to continue working our butts off and try to make finals. I think our relays are excited because they are strong this year. Overall, I think we’re going to do better at state this year than we did last year.”