GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado, May 20. As the Colorado 5A High School State Swimming and Diving Championship finals were about to start May 18, it was noticed by meet officials that the two bulkheads at the Colorado Mesa University swimming pool were not set apart at the correct distance. The bulkheads were 3/16″ short, which would cause problems should any national and/or state records be set.
Solution: move diving to the first event of the competition, fix the bulkhead problem and then continue the swimming portion of the meet. The competition was delayed for more than an hour.
After all the events were held, Regis Jesuit had earned its 20th team title, dating back to 1992. The Raiders scored 433 points to runner-up Cherry Creek's 274. Loveland finished in third with 196 points, followed by Fairview (179) and Arapahoe (170).
Regis Jesuit's Clark Smith, Zach Suter, Jesse Suchomel and Erik Biernat combined for a 1:22.74 in the 200 yard freestyle relay; Hennessey Stuart joined Smith, Suter and Biernat for their 400 free relay state mark of 3:00.97. Cherry Creek's Daryl Turner, John Mattern, Jake Markham and Eric Fuqua began the meet with a state record-setting 1:30.53 in the prelims of the 200 medley relay, and finished first in finals in 1:30.73.
Several of the individual record-setting swims were turned in during prelims the first day of the meet (May 17), with the same swimmers coming back the next day to claim their event in finals. Among them: Regis Jesuit's Smith in the 100 fly (46.54 prelims, 47.05 finals), Cherry Creek's Turner in the 50 free (20.11 prelims, 20.75 finals) and Loveland's Nick Hatanaka in the 100 breast (54.68 prelims, 55.91 finals).
Here's the kicker, state records are not required to be measured. Only national records, and since no national records fell, there is not 100 percent certainty that prelim swims occurred at the proper measurement or not.
Smith's preliminary swim in the 100-yard fly stands as the second fastest in high school history behind Joseph Schooling's national record of 46.50 from last November. Unfortunately, it may always be questioned without the certainty of a measurement at the end of prelims.
Smith also set state marks in both the 200 free (1:36.73) and the 100 free (44.04) as the leadoff to Regis Jesuit's 400 free relay. Stuart gained a second state record in the 200 IM of 1:49.94, but saw the 100 back record he set in prelims (47.80) tied in finals by Cherry Creek's Turner. Stuart wound up second in finals with a 48.02.
In the individual 100 free event, Fairview's Miles MacKenzie touched out Hunter Bains from Lewis, 46.33-46.37. Carter Griffin from Ponderosa swam the 500 free in a winning 4:31.80.
Kyle Goodwin and Matt Mauser got Regis Jesuit off to a great start with their 1-2 finish in the diving competition, putting up scores of 525.05 and 522.15, respectively.