Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer
THORNTON — A deafening atmosphere inside Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center, a scene far different than a year ago when pandemic restrictions limited athletes and fans at the Class 5A state championships, Fairview was able to celebrate in golden style Wednesday night.
Karolina Bank and Morgan Lukinac won individual titles and the Knights had 11 top-5 finishes to place runner-up to the supersized program from Cherry Creek for a second straight season.
Bank, an event after helping the Knights take second in the 200-yard medley relay (1 minute, 41.02 seconds), bested her prelim time by more than two seconds to win the 200 freestyle (1:49.10) — Fairview’s first individual title since 2019 when the now-Regis Jesuit swimmer Emma Weber won the 100 breaststroke. Two events later, Lukinac followed with another gold, taking in the 50 freestyle in 22.74.
With their first individual titles in hand, the two will continue their swimming careers in college with Bank headed to the University of Missouri and Lukinac to Brown. The legacy they leave behind will long be remembered.
“I’m so thankful for everything that this team has brought me. I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” Bank said. “I’m so thankful that in my last year we had a normal experience with the stands full. It’s really special.”
With the pinnacle event returned to its normal full-house scream-a-thon, the Knights had nine swimmers in the finals and grabbed 14 top-8 times.
They added silver on the back of the 200 and 400 freestyle relays (1:33.46; 3:23.28) as well as Edith Simecek’s 100 butterfly (54.21). Bank threw in a fourth-place finish in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.22). Sydney Inman (200 freestyle, 1:52.77), Julianne Jones (200 IM, 2:04.82), Amelia Mason (butterfly, 55.24) and Lukinac (100 freestyle, 51.09) each had a fifth-place finish. Mason was also sixth in the 500 free (5:05.17), Inman was eighth in the 500 (5:07.57) and Julia Urbanowski was eighth in the 50 free (23.89).
The Knights have finished inside the top two at the state meet for seven straight seasons, claiming three golds and four silvers.
“It’s such an incredible team, the coaches are so great, and this group is so incredible,” Lukinac said. “At this meet, we’re all part of the team and we don’t swim for ourselves.”
Elsewhere, Legacy took fourth, led by top-5 results in each of the three relays as well as Sabrina Rachjaibun’s silver in the 500 freestyle (4:56.92) and fourth-place finish in the 200 IM (2:04.44).
The Lightning also got a bronze swim in the 50 freestyle (23.36) and a fourth-place finish in the 100 freestyle (50.95), both by Indigo Armon. Sydney Bales, the 2021 5A champ in the 100 backstroke, took third in that event (54.11) and was fourth in the 100 butterfly (54.79). Abbie Kehmeier was sixth in both the 50 free (23.70) and 100 backstroke (55.87).
Legacy had 11 top-8 times, paving the way for the program’s best team result in history, per coach Leigh Dodd. Dodd was named 5A coach of the year at meet’s end.
“We lose a lot of our top-end swimmers in Sydney, Abby (Zadorozny) and Indigo, and lose a lot of our heart with some of our other seniors, like our captain Tamsin (Izard),” Dodd said. “But there’s still strength there and a lot of depth there. I think we’re only going to continue to see good things from these girls.”
The other area team, Monarch, finished 13th. The Coyotes took sixth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:39.14) and Celia Webster placed eighth in the 100 fly (56.71). Webster also finished 15th in the backstroke (57.82), while Mia Prater was 15th in the 50 free (24.60) and 16th in the 100 free (53.77). Eliza Lennox added a 13th-place finish in the 50 free (24.44).
Across the three state swim championships, the area brought home four state titles. Niwot’s Mary Codevilla won the sixth and seventh golds of her career at the 4A meet last week.
Full area results are below.
200 medley relay
Cherry Creek, first, 1:40.35; Fairview, second, 1:41.02; Legacy, fifth, 1:44.39.
Karolina Bank, Fairview, first, 1:49.10; Sydney Inman, Fairview, fifth, 1:52.77.
Lucy Bell, Fossil Ridge, first, 1:56.41; Sabrina Rachjaibun, Legacy, fourth, 2:04.44; Julianne Jones, Fairview, fifth, 2:04.82; Isabella Forsman, Legacy, 14th, 2:08.04.
Morgan Lukinac, Fairview, first, 22.74; Indigo Armon, Legacy, third, 23.36; Abbie Kehmeier, Legacy, sixth, 23.70; Julia Urbanowski, Fairview, eighth, 23.89; Abigail Zadorozny, Legacy, 24.38; Eliza Lennox, Monarch, 13th, 24.44; Mia Prater, Monarch, 15th, 24.60.
Geneva Pauly, Arvada West, first, 487.50.
Renee Gillilan, Fossil Ridge, first, 53.24; Edith Simecek, Fairview, second, 54.21; Sydney Bales, Legacy, fourth, 54.79; Amelia Mason, Fairview, fifth, 55.24; Celia Webster, Monarch, eighth, 56.71; Ella Ziegert, Fairview. 11th, 57.70; Alivia Weaver, Legacy, 18th, 59.19.
Lucy Bell, Fossil Ridge, first, 49.09; Indigo Armon, Legacy, fourth, 50.95; Morgan Lukinac, Fairview, fifth, 51.09; Julia Urbanowski, Fairview, 10th, 52.51; Abigail Zadorozny, Legacy, 12th, 53.14; Mia Prater, Monarch, 16th, 53.77.
Mila Nikanorov, Douglas County, first, 4:55.86; Sabrina Rachjaibun, Legacy, second, 4:56.92; Amelia Mason, Fairview, sixth, 5:05.17; Sydney Inman, Fairview, eighth, 5:07.57; Morgan Cady, Fairview, 17th, 5:17.54; Julia Raskay, Legacy, 5:19.79.
200 freestyle relay
Cherry Creek, first, 1:33.00; Fairview, second, 1:33.46; Legacy, third, 1:34.70; Monarch, 1:39.14.
Alexis Greenhawt, Cherry Creek, first, 54.03; Sydney Bales, Legacy, third, 54.11; Abbie Kehmeier, Legacy, sixth, 55.87; Edith Simecek, Fairview, ninth, 56.40; Ella Ziegert, Fairview, 12th, 56.11; Celia Webster, Monarch, 15th, 57.82.
Emma Weber, Regis Jesuit, first, 1:01.65; Karolina Bank, Fairview, fourth, 1:03.22; Julianne Jones, Fairview, 10th, 1:05.23; Isabella Forsman, Legacy, 1:06.49.
400 freestyle relay
Fossil Ridge, first, 3:22.86; Fairview, second, 3:23.28; Legacy, fourth, 3:25.93; Monarch, 11th, 3:35.41.
Cherry Creek, first 502; Fairview, second, 397; Legacy, fourth, 303; Monarch, 13th, 96.