By Lauren Rigg
THORNTON, Colorado, February 16. AFTER out-touching Fairview High School in all three relays, Regis Jesuit High School swam to the top of the podium in this weekend’s CHSAA 5A girls’ swimming and diving state championships at Veteran’s Memorial Aquatic Center. The battle for the team title came down to the final relay, with Regis prevailing by four tenths of a second to successfully defend their team title from last year.
After the initial 200 medley relay, Ella Moynihan, a junior from Arapahoe, outlasted the competition to win the 200 freestyle in 1:49.55. It was no easy feat, as all four of the top finishers swam Automatic All-American times. Ralston Valley’s Erin Metzger-Seymour grabbed second in 1:50.72, just ahead of Boulder’s Amanda Richey (1:50.74).
In the 200 IM, Loveland junior Brooke Hansen topped the podium when she out-touched Ralston Valley’s Madeline Myers by less than a tenth of a second, 2:01.68 to 2:01.76. Arvada West’s Morgan McCormick took home third in 2:02.96. Thunder Ridge junior Annie Ochitwa pulled ahead to win another close race in the 50 freestyle, touching first in 23.11. Legend’s Lauren Moden (23.26) and Rock Canyon’s Abigail Kochevar (23.38) rounded out the top three. Ochitwa raced to a second victory in the 100 freestyle later in the meet, with an Automatic All-American time of 49.92.
Regis earned its second win of the day as diver Mckensi Austin was the class of the field, posting a score of 494.45 to easily outdistance Douglas County’s Kaitlin Costello (463.40) and Chatfield’s Averly Hobbs (448.80).
After a short diving intermission, Fossil Ridge junior Bailey Nero came from behind in the second 50 of the race to grab first in the 100 butterfly with a time of 54.46. Nero, who won the event as a freshman as well, was only two tenths off the Colorado state record of 54.25. Metzger-Seymour earned another second place finish with a 54.79, while Fairview’s Julia Box came in third at 55.29.
After posting nearly identical times in prelims, Boulder’s Amanda Richey and Ralston Valley’s Madeline Myers dueled for a second time in the 500 free, with Richey coming out on top this time, 4:50.62 to 4:51.61. Both times were well under the Automatic All-American time. Fairview freshman Brittney Beecher posted a 4:55.31 for third.
Sophomore Abigail Kochevar from Rock Canyon broke 55 seconds to win the 100 backstroke, making her state debut in the event with a winning time of 54.99. Arvada West’s Morgan McCormick (55.46) and Mountain Range’s Shelly Drozda (55.83) rounded out the top three. Fossil Ridge freshman Bailey Kovac won the last individual event, coming from behind in the 100 breast to top Loveland’s Brooke Hansen, 1:03.19 to 1:03.21. Sammie Guay, also of Fossil Ridge, finished third in 1:04.86.
Regis’ final display of talent in the 400 freestyle relay wrapped up the meet, as the Raiders edged Fairview, 3:28.21 to 3:28.63. Cherry Creek finished third in 3:31.63. Regis won the meet with 254.5 points, only 6.5 ahead of Fairview. Fossil Ridge finished in the top three for the third straight year with 220 points.