Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer
THORNTON — Colorado has a new #StoryTime.
And it takes place underwater.
Silver Creek freshman James Story, a last name novel to only those in Colorado unfamiliar with the professional baseball team’s former shortstop turned Paul Revere into the night, loudly introduced himself to high school’s biggest swim stage Friday night.
The 15-year-old finished behind two seniors and a junior in his individual races at the Class 4A state championships at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, taking second in the 200-yard freestyle, third in the 100. Marvelously he played the part of young gun on 200 and 400 freestyle relays made up of upperclassmen, otherwise. He anchored both to third as the Raptors took second in the final team standings.
“It was so fun,” Story said. “Everyone is hyping everyone up, and it definitely motivates you to put up those good times.”
Good times, indeed.
Because while it wasn’t quite the victory lap of a season ago when Silver Creek’s team title was just that — using its depth to overcome its lack of any individual medalists en route to the ultimate prize — the blueprint of state success was much the same.
The Raptors, led by longtime coach Debbie Stewart, had 15 top-10 performances across the dozen events. There were 25 inside the top 20.
Story was the final touch on four of their five top-3 finishes. Nathaniel Starbuck closed a third-place finish in the 200 medley relay to begin the meet. Senior Jake Gutru added a fifth-place finish in the 100 backstroke with Evan Welding (seventh) and Starbuck (ninth) not far behind.
Gutru was seventh in the 100 butterfly, Welding eighth. Hudson Kammerer was 10th in the 50 freestyle and Sean Wyatt was 10th in the 100 free.
Joshua Dowlin took eighth in Thursday’s diving event and was seventh in the breaststroke. Brother Jacob was seventh in diving.
It was the third straight season Silver Creek finished inside the top three in the team race. After beating Cheyenne Mountain last year, the Red-Tailed Hawks won the 2022 meet with 402 points to Silver Creek’s 371.50.
Per PrepSwimCo.com, the Raptors were projected third coming into the meet.
“All I can really say is mind over matter,” Gutru said. “Like James was saying, the positive team attitude is everything. We just feel the positivity when you go back where our team is sitting. It’s so encouraging and I think it makes us go faster.”
Broomfield was the only other area program to score points at the meet, finishing 13th with 112. It has now placed inside the top 15 at state the past five seasons.
The Eagles’ Nathan McCracken was the lone local swimmer in the championship final of the 200 IM and 500 freestyle, taking 10th in both. Teammate Lucas Becker took eighth in the 100 free, and both were part of their 400 free relay that placed ninth.
“We definitely have rallied” since the canceled 2020 and shortened 2021 seasons, Broomfield coach Emily Austin said. “The kids are all craving the competition and the camaraderie that comes with it. They weren’t just happy to be here. They came to race.”
All times are listed below.
200 medley relay
Discovery Canyon, first, 1:33.02; Silver Creek, third, 1:37.22; Broomfield, 11th, 1:41.70.
Adam Pannell, Discovery Canyon, first, 1:40.80; James Story, Silver Creek, second, 1:43.95; Brandon Lis, Silver Creek, 17th, 1:51.63; Rhys Gibson, Broomfield, 20th, 1:53.25.
Jake Eccleston, Windsor, first, 1:49.46; Nathan McCracken, Broomfield, 10th, 2:01.85; Stephen Codevilla, Silver Creek, 16th, 2:06.51.
Quintin McCarty, Discovery Canyon, first, 19.48; Hudson Kammerer, Silver Creek, 10th, 22.21; Nathaniel Starbuck, Silver Creek, 13th, 22.49; Jacob Dowlin, Silver Creek 15th, 22.68.
Kian Smith, Evergreen, first, 432.10; Jacob Dowlin, Silver Creek, seventh, 399.80; Joshua Dowlin, Silver Creek, eighth, 398.10; Levi Walker, Silver Creek, 18th, 292.25.
Xavier Hill, George Washington, first, 49.09; Jake Gutru, Silver Creek, seventh, 53.30; Evan Welding, Silver Creek, eighth, 53.38.
McCarty, Discovery Canyon, first, 43.23; Story, Silver Creek, third, 47.23; Lucas Becker, Broomfield, eighth, 49.78; Sean Wyatt, Silver Creek, 10th, 49.92; Alek Matyjewicz, Silver Creek, 16th, 51.68; Owen McClain, Broomfield, 19th, 52.02.
Taylor Wagner, Discovery Canyon, first, 4:35.03; McCracken, Broomfield, 10th, 4:58.35; Lis, Silver Creek, 17th, 5:05.53; Gibson, Broomfield, 18th, 5:05.68.
200 freestyle relay
George Washington, first, 1:25.34; Silver Creek, third, 1:28.55; Broomfield, disqualified.
Andy Peterson, Wheat Ridge, first, 50.19; Gutru, Silver Creek, fifth, 53.42; Welding, Silver Creek, seventh, 54.53; Starbuck, Silver Creek, ninth, 55.85; Wyatt, Silver Creek, 12th, 56.24; Jack Lingbeck, Broomfield, 13th, 56.64.
Eccleston, Windsor, first, 55.04; Joshua Dowlin, Silver Creek, seventh, 1:01.07; Kammerer, Silver Creek, 11th, 1:00.78; Becker, Broomfield, 14th, 1:02.27; Chayakorn Ngampatipatpong, Silver Creek, 17th, 1:03.30.
400 freestyle relay
Discovery Canyon, first, 3:06.81; Silver Creek, third, 3:17.59; Broomfield, ninth, 3:24.18.
Cheyenne Mountain, first, 402; Silver Creek, second, 371.5; Broomfield, 13th, 112.