It’s quite appropriate that the very foundations of the new St. Vrain Valley School District swimming pool are being put in place on the grounds of Silver Creek High School this summer.
Fresh off a Class 4A state team championship in Season D’s boys campaign, the Raptors appear cemented as a juggernaut in the classification, and much of that program-first team championship had to do with the senior season put together by Pierce Bigelow.
Entering the unique, squished-together, no-rest-days slate, Bigelow was excited for the potential the Raptors had as a team made up of several district schools. Much of the team was comprised of juniors and seniors who, as freshmen and sophomores in 2019, saw SCHS compete well and carry momentum into 2020.
But, 2020 never happened — at least not in the high school pools. The boys season last spring was wiped out, and that was quite disappointing to everyone involved. For Bigelow, however, it was time to just carry on. The training hours continued, and the club competitions still gave him something to shoot for (as did looking for college athletic opportunities).
Many of his teammates were in the same situation, but some were not. That’s part of the reason why Bigelow felt so much pure joy on June 25 when, after winning the Northern League title in a landslide the week prior, the Raptors found success in all areas of the pool at the Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center to capture 4A’s top trophy.
“There were a lot of guys who only swim high school, and there were just a lot of improvements over the season,” Bigelow said of the state championship performance. “There were some excellent step-up swims at state, from those high school kids and then from some of us club kids. Just a lot of people that scored points from the B finals who weren’t projected to score.
“The excitement around the whole thing was just awesome. We couldn’t have done without every single person.”
There were no individual state titles for Silver Creek, but Bigelow’s dream finish did include two top-four swims and another two top-five relay legs. It added up to being named BoCoPreps.com’s boys swimmer of the year.
As any swimmer would crave, Bigelow saved his best swims for last. At state, his time of 1 minute, 44.07 seconds in the 200-yard freestyle was tops in the area for the season; his season-best 4:48.84 in the 500 free garnered fourth place; and his splits in the 200 free relay (21.73 50-free leg) and 400 free relay (46.90 100-free leg) put smiles on his face each and every time.
“Winning both my individual events at conference, and two relays, and with us winning overall, I was really confident and just looking at other conference meets and results I really felt I’d be up at the top at state,” he said. “I got super motivated. I am really happy with the individual results I had.
“I’m also happy with the relay performances because it’s just so fun to get up there with three other guys and put your best foot forward.”
Bigelow will swim for Middlebury College starting in the fall.