Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
BROOMFIELD — Perhaps it’s the timing of the meet within the girls swim and dive season, but there’s always something that resonates about the Boulder County Invite.
On Saturday at the Broomfield Community Center, 11 local teams went head-to-head at the BoCo meet hosted by Broomfield, with league and state championships just around the corner. Fairview, which is ranked No. 2 in Class 5A according to prepswimco.com, won out with 509 points. No. 17 Monarch and Boulder followed the Knights’ lead as they collected 399.5 and 398 points, respectively.
Edith Simecek, a junior at Fairview, won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.17 seconds and helped her 200 medley relay team to another win with a 1:50.59 time. She believes the energy that a competition with a hometown feel brings helped motivate all the ladies in the pool to strive for their best times.
“Everyone is just so excited, so pumped, especially with BoCo. It’s a big meet and a bunch of people are trying to get state cuts or they’re thinking about getting into better heats for league,” Simecek said. “I haven’t really done a big taper meet yet, but I’m excited with my times. I think I’m ready to taper and do really well at state. I just think I’m in the transitioning phase to drop some time right now.”
That was certainly the case for Monarch senior Celia Webster, who won the 100 freestyle and helped in the Coyotes’ 200 free relay victory with 55.59 and 1:45.91 times. Her biggest accomplishment of the day, however, did not come from her gold-medal performances but from her bronze-worthy effort.
Webster claimed third in the 100 breaststroke behind Fairview’s Amelia Mason (1:08.52) and Boulder’s Embla Weibring (1:11.55) with a time of 1:12.17. That time was good enough to punch her ticket to state in the event, and it’s something she’s been working on all season. It all came down to honing her mentality.
“This year, I have been focusing a little bit more on breaststroke, which is my weakest stroke,” Webster said. “I’ve never made state in the 100 breaststroke but today I made it. It’s really exciting because it’s one of those events that I have less pressure about because it’s not one of my main ones, so it’s a lot more fun.”
Boulder has welcomed some new talent this year, and it seems to be working out well for the Panthers. Freshman Izzi Sundberg has been able to drop her times significantly since the beginning of the season, and it showed during the BoCo meet.
She took home the gold in the 200 free with her 2:07.63 time.
“I think we are a little bit smaller than some of the bigger teams but I think we hold up pretty good,” Sundberg said. “We have a lot of spirit. I think everyone has raced really smart this year. There definitely have been some races that have been hard, but I think everyone is at their top right now, which is good heading into state and leagues.”
The meet included six extra events — regular events that had shorter-than-usual distances — to add to the fun of it all.
Broomfield senior Kaylee Austin, whose 4A No. 8-ranked Eagles finished fifth overall, was happy to see her team thrive in a more normal, less COVID-restricted season. She took second in the 100 IM at 1:04.77, third in the 100 fly at 1:05.12, second as part of the 200 free relay (1:46.56) and first as part of the 400 free relay (3:49.97).
“After having a shorter season last year, it felt a lot different,” Austin said. “I know my times weren’t quite where I wanted them to be until the very end of the season, so being able to have more time to build up our times and improve and have longer practices, being able to watch all my friends that are new to swimming or returning, they’ve been able to excel and improve. It’s been so fun to watch, especially as head captain.”
Niwot junior Jamieson Legh was able to beat out Austin in the 100 IM with a time of 1:01.47. She also took the gold in the 50 fly (26.66) while also helping her team to second- and third-place finishes in the 200 medley relay (1:55.50) and the 200 free relay (1:46.66).
She believes her Niwot team — which is ranked fourth in Class 4A and finished fourth at the meet — has the potential to do great things as the season starts to wind down.
“I know that we’ve all been working super hard,” Legh said. “There’s a lot of girls who have been putting in a lot of extra work this year than they have the last few years and so I think that by the time we get to championship meets, like league and state, we get to taper. It’ll be really fun to see what we can all do rested.”