Girls' swimming and diving Gazette Preps state preview

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Photo - Cheyenne Mountain's Cat Wright won the Women's 100 Yard Breaststroke at the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving Finals were on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at Cheyenne Mountain High School.  Photo by Spotlight Sports Photography.
Cheyenne Mountain's Cat Wright won the Women's 100 Yard Breaststroke at the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving Finals were on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at Cheyenne Mountain High School. Photo by Spotlight Sports Photography.

Lewis-Palmer looks for another top-5 finish anchored by talented core of divers

Coming off an undefeated regular season and its first PPAC Championship since 2014 the Lewis-Palmer girls' swimming and diving team will travel to Fort Collins this weekend looking to improve upon its fifth-place finish in the state meet a year ago. According to the last Class 5A state rankings released by the Colorado High School Activities Association, Lewis-Palmer is ranked ninth.

The Rangers are scattered around the 5A psych sheet, with three top-10 seedings, including two top-10 qualifying times by junior sprinter Meredith Rees. Rees is ranked 10th in the 100 butterfly (58.14 seconds) and second in the 100 freestyle, with a qualifying time of 51.15. The Rangers' 400 freestyle relay is ranked in the top eight with a qualifying time of 3:39.80.

The Rangers' 200 medley relay is ranked 12th at 1:50.44, while freshman Katelyn McClelland and senior Faith McAllister are seeded in the top 20 of the 100 butterfly. McClelland is seeded 12th at 58.40, and McAllister glides in at 19th at 59.89.

McClelland is also ranked 11th in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:06.96.

Although Lewis-Palmer will have a chance to bring home hardware with top rankings, all eyes will be on the Rangers diving team, which coach Alan Arata suggests is one of the best in the state. Lewis-Palmer has six qualifiers in state diving, more than any other 5A school.

Elena Henderson, Ashlyn Foster, Natalie Wright, Savana Trueb, Emily Cook and Anna Kemper will represent the Rangers on the diving board.

Although they will likely not make a run at a team place, the Doherty Spartans' swim team will have two individuals and two relays competing in this weekend's meet.

Ella Adler qualified for the 200 freestyle, ranked 47th with a 2:20.60, and the 500 free at 36th (5:28.85). Senior Auna Smith qualified in diving after placing sixth at the CSML Championships last weekend.

The Doherty 400 free and 200 medley relay teams also qualified for the 5A meet with qualifying times of 3:59.57 and 1:59.56, respectively.

Rampart looks to dethrone Cheyenne Mountain in Class 4A state swimming and diving

Cheyenne Mountain's 2017 girls' swimming state championship was the Indians' first since 2002, and they are eager to get back to the top of the podium.

But not if the Rampart girls' swim team has anything to say about it.

The Rams dominated the CSML Championships last week, beating second-place Liberty by 192 points on the way to claiming 10 top-five rankings heading into the state meet.

Cheyenne Mountain, however, does return a large core of last year's championship team, and added a few talented freshmen to the mix.

Air Academy, Pine Creek, Liberty and Coronado are also in the mix for top finishes at this week's event in Thornton.

Rampart and Cheyenne Mountain will begin their battle in the 200 medley relay. The Rams are ranked tops in the state with a qualifying time of 1:45.99, while Cheyenne Mountain is seeded third with a 1:48.92.

Air Academy also earned a top-10 seed in the 200 medley relay, seeded seventh at 1:51.58.

Three of the top four seeds in the 100 butterfly are from the Pikes Peak region, led by Cheyenne Mountain's Cat Wright with the top time in the state at 55.67. Rampart's Allana Clarke follows in third with a 57.25, and Coronado's Mia Schaffer follows in fourth at 58.04. Clarke and Schaffer battled at the CSML meet with Clarke coming out on top, touching the wall just 1.19 seconds before Schaffer for the conference gold.

The Rams and Indians will face off again in the 200 freestyle relay. Rampart enters the meet seeded second with a time of 1:38.66, while Cheyenne Mountain is seeded fifth with a 1:40.48. Liberty (13th, 1:43.36) Coronado (16th, 1:44.77) and Air Academy (19th, 1:46.43) are also ranked among the top 20 in the 200 free relay.

Four of the top five seeds in the 100 breaststroke are also from the Pikes Peak region, led by Air Academy's Aleksandra Olesiak who comes in with the top qualifying time of 1:04.35, followed by Rampart's Edenna Chen with a 1:04.47, good for third. Cheyenne Mountain's Sophia Bricker comes in at fourth with 1:04.76, followed by Rampart freshman Johanna Miller with a 1:06.57.

Manitou Springs, Discovery Canyon searching for top-10 finishes

In the latest Class 3A state rankings released by CHSAA, Discovery Canyon just dropped out of the top 10, while Manitou Springs ranked 10th.

Look for Manitou Springs' Sydney Dolloff-Holt to return to the Pikes Peak region with some hardware. The junior is the top-ranked swimmer in the 100 breaststroke with a qualifying time of 1:06.48, and is also ranked fourth in the 200 individual medley with a 2:13.17.

Also in the 100 breast, Discovery Canyon's Noel Clayton is seeded sixth in 1:11.97.

Discovery Canyon's Ava Giesbrecht earned a top-six seed in the 200 free with a time of 2:03.48, and fifth in the 500 free with a 5:22.93.

Giesbrecht is joined by teammates Ellie Malfeld and Alicia Pannell who are ranked 22nd and 23rd in the 200 free, respectively. Pannell is also seeded 12th in the 500 free with a 5:44.80.

Although St. Mary's is not ranked, the Pirates earned a top-three seed in the 100 butterfly thanks to an impressive qualifying time by Caitlin Cairns in 59.60. Cairns is also ranked fifth in the 50 free (25.34), following Manitou Springs' Coco Stevens, who is fourth (24.97).

The Mustangs are ranked fourth in the 200 medley relay and sixth in the 200 free relay. St. Mary's is seeded 12th in the 200 free relay and 15th in the 400 free relay behind Discovery Canyon, which is seeded 13th.