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

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Photo - Kate Doane, Cheyenne Mountain-The Gazette 2016-17 Girls' Swimming and Diving coach of the year.
Kate Doane, Cheyenne Mountain-The Gazette 2016-17 Girls' Swimming and Diving coach of the year.

At last, after five seasons of being close, only to watch other teams rejoice, Kate Doane and her girls' swimming and diving team at Cheyenne Mountain finally took that celebratory dip they'd dreamed about for so long.

It all came together Feb. 10-11 for the Indians at Edora Pool Ice Center in Fort Collins, a 308-point team effort that gave Cheyenne Mountain its first 4A state girls' swimming crown since 2002.

"We had so many key swimmers on our team who were able to contribute in so many areas and made sacrifices for the team," said Doane, the ninth-year coach. "In the end, the girls really knew every single swim was for the team. Everyone always steps up for the second day, and we had just awesome movement the whole weekend, and I think it was very inspiring for a lot of the kids. We had a deep team, but we still had to perform."

The Indians set the tempo in the afternoon's first event, setting the 4A state-meet record in the 200-yard medley relay. The team of freshman Harper Lehman, sophomore Sophia Bricker, junior Cat Wright and senior Maggie Tibbitt stopped the clock in 1 minute, 44.59 seconds to take the lead they'd never lose.

"There were so many girls crying tears of happiness," said Doane, who also has led the boys' program to consecutive state 4A crowns in 2015-16, with hopes for a third in two months. "We did it."