The Gazette Boys' Swimming and Diving Coach of the Year: Kate Doane, Cheyenne Mountain

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Photo - Kate Doane, Cheyenne Mountain-The Gazette 2017 Boys' Swimming Coach of the Year.
Kate Doane, Cheyenne Mountain-The Gazette 2017 Boys' Swimming Coach of the Year.

It's becoming commonplace. Each of the past three seasons, the Cheyenne Mountain boys' swimming and diving team has come into the Class 4A state championship with a loaded roster, and each time it has come out with a title.

This year, the Indians rolled once again, putting up 337 points to earn the victory. It was a victory highlighted by seven first-place finishes, and it came months after the Cheyenne Mountain girls' team won a state title of its own.

Other than the school they attend, the teams have one major factor in common: coach Kate Doane. And though the teams' journeys to the top were different, Doane said there are only slight differences in her coaching styles for both squads.

"My coaching style stays similar whether it's the boys or the girls, there's just less boys than there are girls," Doane said. "But with the guys, it's awesome because I can kind of step back and let them do their thing. They encourage each other. I'm the one who writes the workouts, but during the workouts they're all competing with each other, calling each other out."

One of the main reasons for the Indians' continued success is their bevy of talented upperclassmen. Six of the team's seven first-place finishes involved a senior, while the seventh came from junior Kyle Leach.

Despite that, Doane believes the team won't miss a beat after this year's class graduates.

"Top down, our program is very solid, actually," she said. "I think everyone's kind of like, 'Oh, your team is going to go away,' but we really had a lot of point scorers out of our sophomore class and even our junior class.

"... I think (the seniors) know that the team is still in a great direction, and I think they all believe that we'll continue to keep their legacy alive."

It's often said of the best college and high school programs that they don't rebuild, they reload. With Doane at the helm, that seems to be the case for Cheyenne Mountain in the foreseeable future.

"That's how you build a great team," Doane said. "You have your top dogs, and then see the rest of the team say, 'All right, I want to be a part of that.' Then they rise to the occasion."