Coach: Cameron Rasmussen
The scorecard: The Panthers welcome a new head coach in Rasmussen, who’s already looking for 2021 state qualifiers Teague Mayer (individual medley, backstroke) and Kai Parker (individual medley, backstroke) to help him lead the team as he continues to learn about his athletes. “Our whole team is back from last year and we have added quite a few new swimmers but we are still a smaller team,” Rasmussen said. “This is my first season coaching this team and I’m very excited to see what we can do this season and in the future. We already have a couple of swimmers and relays qualified for state and as the season progresses I’m certain we will have more. A lot of my team is returning after a couple of months, or years, away from the pool and we have seen a ton of improvement already.”
Coach: Connor Corrigan
The Scorecard: The Knights will splash back into action after a 15th-place team finish during the 2021 state swim finals, and will be returning top talent in sophomore Layton Sealman (100 breaststroke, 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle), junior Joseph Lev-tov (500 freestyle, 200 freestyle), senior Drew Lebsack (100 butterfly, 100 freestyle), sophomore James Kershaw (200 individual medley, 500 freestyle) and junior diver Cal Hammond. Corrigan believes their collective attitude and personalities will make for a great season, especially with Greg Tucker rejoining the coaching staff. “I feel confident and honored to be back again this year and coaching this group of special individuals,” Corrigan said. “We pride ourselves and our students on being great students and multi(-sport) athlete individuals.”
Coach: Leigh Dodd
The Scorecard: The Lightning return after a stellar fifth-place team finish at the state meet in 2021, and will be bringing back top-10 placers with its 200 medley relay (Kyle Raskay, Max Kulbida, Sam White, Jack Tran), Raskay (200 individual medley), Tegan Barrier (50 freestyle), White (500 freestyle), the 200 freestyle relay (Tran, Tegan, Thomas Nguyen, Aidan Shepston), Tran (11 backstroke) and the 400 free relay (White, Barrier, Shepston, Raskay). They look just as dangerous, it not even more stacked, than last season.
Coach: Amber Austin
The Scorecard: The Coyotes are fielding their largest team in years and believe that depth will help them compete well collectively in the Front Range League and at state. They’ll look for guidance from seniors Ryan Shaffer (freestyle, backstroke), Patrick Vo (individual medley, freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke), Kevin Bedford (freestyle, breaststroke), John Denton (freestyle, backstroke), James Ingle (individual medley, breaststroke), Ian McLeod (freestyle, backstroke) and diver Eliot Krams. Said Austin: “We have a strong group of guys that consists of exceptional incoming freshmen, experienced upperclassmen, and several standout swimmers that can swim and score points in every event. Additionally, we are excited to have two divers out for the team, one returning starter and one talented freshman.”
Coach: Emily Austin
The Scorecard: The Eagles look to make a splash with a well-balanced team this year as they welcome back strong senior leadership with Owen McClain (sprint freestyle), Danny Hruby (sprint freestyle, butterfly), Arya Nandyal (breaststroke) and Andrew Scherr (sprint freestyle, breaststroke). Austin looks forward to seeing what her freshmen, namely Rhys Gibson, can do throughout the full-length season as well. Two meets in, Gibson has already hit state-qualifying times in four events and can compete in nearly all of them. “To have a full season again is going to be amazing,” Austin said. “The only group to have experienced a legit full season is the Class of 2022. These boys deserve it and we’re pumped.”
Coach: Michelle Scott
The Scorecard: The Trojan squad grew exponentially, with 22 boys compared to last year’s eight, and they return five state qualifiers in junior Braden Wormke (butterfly), junior Nelson Harshbarger (freestyle), junior Ben Findley (freestyle) and sophomore Ethan McClure (breaststroke). “I am very excited for this upcoming season. Our numbers almost tripled since last year and we have a lot of strong returning and new swimmers who are eager to get in the pool and compete,” Scott said. “We hope to continue to grow the program and they are ready to compete and get those state qualifying times this season.”
Silver Creek Raptors
Coach: Debbie Stewart
The Scorecard: The Raptors are jumping back into quick action after stunning the Class 4A competition with a team title in 2021, a feat they achieved without a single boy finishing top-three in any event. The team looks even stronger now with younger athletes coming in to fill out an already strong roster. They’ll look to senior leadership from Jacob Dowlin (freestyle and diving), Jake Gutru (butterfly and backstroke), Brandon Lis (freestyle), Alek Matyjewicz (freestyle), Vincent Vu (individual medley, breaststroke) and Connor Wagner (freestyle). “I’m very excited, as we only lost two seniors last year and have some strong freshman joining this strong team of athletes,” Stewart said.
Bringing it home: 2021 state champions
200 medley relay — Cherry Creek, 1:28.61 (5A); D’Evelyn, 1:35.31 (4A).
200 freestyle — Fletcher Hayes, Arapahoe, 1:38.36 (5A); Chance Ricca, Discovery Canyon, 1:41.86 (4A).
200 individual medley — Sebastian Wolff, Heritage, 1:47.42 (5A); Baylor Lewis, Greeley West, 1:50.83 (4A).
50 freestyle — Alex McMahon, Heritage, 19.82 (5A); Xavier Hill, George Washington*, 20.80 (4A).
Diving — Quinn Henninger, Regis Jesuit, 642.80 (5A); Jack Ryan, Denver North, 481.25 (4A).
100 butterfly — Alex McMahon, Heritage, 47.68 (5A); Ian Haneke, Wheat Ridge, 51.66 (4A).
100 freestyle — Gio Aguirre, Regis Jesuit*, 45.56 (5A); Xavier Hill, George Washington*, 46.11 (4A).
500 freestyle — Fletcher Hayes, Arapahoe, 4:32.62 (5A); Tristan McFarland, George Washington, 4:37.97 (4A).
200 freestyle relay — Cherry Creek, 1:22.05 (5A); Cheyenne Mountain, 1:27.49 (4A).
100 backstroke — Chase Mueller, Columbine*, 48.01 (5A); Shea Card, Glenwood Springs, 49.95 (4A).
100 breaststroke — Sebastian Wolff, Heritage, 54.91 (5A); Andrew Carlson, D’Evelyn, 55.46 (4A).
400 freestyle relay — Columbine, 3:00.37 (5A); Discovery Canyon, 3:09.87 (4A).
* — Eligible to be returning in 2022.
Point me to the postseason
The state championships for Class 4A and 5A will be held May 12-14, with 4A finals on the 13th and 5A on the 14th. Both championships events will take place at the VMAC in Thornton.