5A, 4A boys' swimming and diving capsules

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5A

Doherty

Coach: Murphy Barry (first season)

Key swimmers: Gavin Frisch, sr., 100 back, 200 IM; Keaton Adams, jr., relays

Outlook: The Spartans sent just two swimmers to state last year, and failed to score a point at the state meet, which prompted a coaching change. Coach Murphy Barry comes to Doherty after spending the last two years at Palmer, and has a rebuilding project on her hands. Luckily, Barry can lean on Gavin Frisch, one of the best swimmers in the area. Frisch is the school record holder in the 100 backstroke, and also qualified for state in the 200 IM last season.

Fountain-Fort Carson

Coach: John Rork (25th season)

Key swimmers: Brenan Bloyd, sr., 100 free, 200 free; Daniel Palis, jr., breast

Outlook: The Trojans lost a lot of key pieces from state qualifying relay teams due to graduation, and will need to look for incoming freshmen to work well with the juniors and sophomores if they want to get back to state. F-FC is also looking for divers to replace Collin O'Connor, who graduated last year after finishing in the top 20 at state.

Lewis-Palmer

Coaches: Alan Arata/Jackie Cromer (13th and second seasons)

Key swimmers: Noah Bettner, sr., diving; Nick Orie, jr., 50 free and 100 breast; Jack Nagle, jr., diving; Nathaniel Sawer, sr., 100 back; Joe Day, sr., 100 fly

Outlook: The Rangers, which also have swimmers from Palmer Ridge on this co-op team, finished 11th in the state in 5A as a team last season. Lewis-Palmer only lost one swimmer from last year's squad, and returns 10 state qualifiers, including four divers who placed at the state meet last year. Noah Bettner, who finished fourth in diving at state, leads the way for a deep Rangers team.

Liberty

Coach: Erik Richardson (second season)

Key swimmers: Josh Lenzmeier, Troy Legg

Outlook: Coach Richardson is hoping Lenzmeier and Legg can help a team that is "growing and building" as Richardson put it.

Palmer

Coach: Kayla McGilvray (seventh season)

Key swimmers: Charles Sturgeon, sr., 200 IM, 100 breast; Billy Wallisch, sr., 100 free, 100 back; Jon Ryan Conway, sr., 100 fly

Outlook: The Terrors have some strong senior leadership at the top, and will need to develop depth with the younger swimmers. Charles Sturgeon holds the school record in the 100 breaststroke, and he and Billy Wallisch are part of the school-record 200 free relay team. Wallisch is also the quarterback on the football team, and will be looking for his fourth trip to the state swimming meet in as many years.

Rampart

Coach: Dan Greene (10th season)

Key swimmers: Drew Bennett, jr., 500 free, 100 breast; Jack Evanitz, jr., 50 free, 100 back; Trey Kennedy, fr.; Scott Reeder, fr.; Isaac Shyrock, jr., 100 fly

Outlook: Rampart is in rebuilding mode after losing a good chunk of its roster to graduation last year. Among those are returning state qualifiers Drew Bennett, Jack Evanitz, Isaac Shyrock, who will be joined by touted incoming freshmen Trey Kennedy and Scott Reeder. The Rams, who finished 13th at state as a team in 2016, may have some growing pains, but they also have talent.

4A

Air Academy

Coach: Scott Newell (10th season)

Key swimmers: Griffin Ayotte, soph., 100/200/500 free, 100 back; Brendan Shollenbarger, sr., 200 IM, 100 fly; Jaden Zymbaluk, sr., 200 IM, 100 back; Jack Elbert, soph., diving

Outlook: Air Academy tied for third in the state last year, and returns several key pieces from that team. As a freshman, Griffin Ayotte placed third in the state in the 200 freestyle and eighth in the 500 free, while also anchoring the state champion 200 free relay team. Jack Elbert was 15th in diving as a freshman, and will only improve. The Kadets will have another strong team, as they battle to overtake Cheyenne Mountain.

Cheyenne Mountain

Coach: Kate Doane (eighth season)

Key swimmers: Daniel Carr, sr., 200 IM, 100 free; Kyle Leach, jr., 200 free; Jerry Birnbaum, sr., 50 free, 100 back; Westin Stieglitz, sr., 200 IM, 100 fly

Outlook: The Indians have won the last two 4A team state titles, and return 16 swimmers who have state meet experience this season. The rich get richer, as multiple-time state champ Daniel Carr - perhaps the best swimmer in all of Colorado - returns after not swimming last year while training in an attempt to qualify for the Olympics. Carr, Kyle Leach (200 free state champ), Jerry Birnbaum and Westin Stieglitz hold the 4A state record in the 400 free relay, and are now back together. Expect another banner on the wall for Cheyenne Mountain.

Coronado

Coach: Bob Bell (41st season)

Key swimmers: Marley Kaiser, sr., 100 breast, 200 IM, Daniel Saks, sr., 100 back; Kieran Lynch, sr., 100 fly, 200 IM, Zac Gerhardt, jr., 200 free, 500 Free

Outlook: Coronado, which finished 17th as a team at the 5A state meet last year, will benefit from moving down to 4A. The Cougars have six state qualifiers returning, and have a collection of athletes from several different schools on the team. Their upperclassmen experience will be a plus, as will the fact that several swimmers know what it takes to make it to state.

Discovery Canyon

Coach: Dave Burgess (third season)

Key swimmers: Braden Whitmarsh, soph., 500 free, 200 IM; Brendan Byrnes, jr., diving; Rob Clayton, jr., 100 fly, 100 back

Outlook: The Thunder return four state qualifiers, but will have less depth than last year, which could be a problem against the stronger programs in the area. Brendan Byrnes broke his own school records in diving last year, after breaking his brother Ryan's records as a freshman. Byrnes finished 10th in the state, and looks to improve.

Pine Creek

Coach: Steve Owsley (11th season)

Key swimmers: Nick Sherman, jr., 50 free, 100 fly; Rick Prado, sr., 100/200/500 free; Jordan White, sr., 200 IM, 100 breast; Ben Fraser, sr., 100 fly; Andy Bell, jr., 100/200/500 free

Outlook: Pine Creek, just like Coronado, will be moving down from 5A to 4A this season, and the Eagles have some swimmers capable of doing damage at the lower classification. Led by Nick Sherman, who will compete in many different individual events, while also anchoring the relay teams, Pine Creek will have a small team, but do just fine in 4A.