Girls swimming: Codevilla reigns as swimmer of the year

Niwot junior wins two more state titles to add to already illustrious career

NIWOT, CO - April 1, 2021: ...
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
NIWOT, CO – April 1, 2021: Mary Codevilla, a junior at Niwot High School, is the Bocopreps swimmer of the year. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

You may have heard this narrative. But not quite in this context.

Add a pandemic, limited pool time and a shortened season — and in spite of it, the swim wonder that is Niwot’s Mary Codevilla delivered yet another aquatic splash in the second go-around of high school sports in Colorado.

The junior pulled off the uncommon feat of qualifying for state in every event except dive for a third straight year. (And this year, she had to do it in a pandemic-strangled, six-week period.) Then she struck more gold at the Class 4A state meet, winning the 200 and 500 freestyle events to give her the fourth and fifth of her career.

All of it was more than enough to be named the girls swimmer of the year for a third straight time.

“We made the most of it (this season),” said Codevilla as she looked back. “We really worked hard on bonding and forming those relationships and just making the season really fun overall.”

Codevilla was among girl swimmers who had to adjust on the fly as the past year of the pandemic led to limited to no pool access.

With CHSAA’s Season B getting the green light, swimmers did their best to better times. But these were unprecedented times.

Tim Hurst/Staff Photographer
Niwot’s Mary Codevilla anchors the 400 yard freestyle relay on Friday, March 12, 2021, at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

Among changes, teams had to cut numbers and limit practice time. And despite it, programs were forced to find a way to squish entire training plans into a season that lasted less than two months.

“It’s way tougher,” Codevilla said. “You have to sign up for a practice and there’s a limited number of people (allowed) in the pool. So maybe not all your training partners are there at that practice that you’re at. And it’s for a limited time so everyone on the team can get in the pool that day. It was tough.”

Codevilla flourished anyway, finishing the season with 22 wins in just 25 races.

And perhaps most impressive of all, she made the cut for the state tournament in every swimming event despite the fact that each classification reduced qualifiers to the top 20.

She again got the pick of which two individual events she wanted to race at state.

“That’s kind of a once-in-a-decade or once-in-a-century-type attribute that she has,” Niwot coach Kyle Bachrodt said. “It takes a lot of hard work to be strong in all events, but to be one of the fastest in the state in all the events is almost unheard of.”

Codevilla, who committed to Notre Dame in the winter, bested both her sophomore state times in the 200 and 500 freestyle at Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center last month.

With the meet spread out over 12 hours due to capacity regulations surrounding the pandemic, she won the 200 in 1 minute and 47.63 seconds. Then four hours later, she claimed the 4A state record in the 500 at 4:51.98.

In relays, she anchored second-place finishes in the 200 freestyle (1:35.05) and the 400 free (3:28.62).

All four finishes were All-American times and school records.