THORNTON – Several Jeffco schools made a big splash at the Dick Rush Memorial Coaches Invitational at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center.
In a clash between some of the best 4A and 5A swimming teams in the state, D’Evelyn won the 4A team title with 87 total team points.
Cherry Creek dominated the 5A side of the meet finishing with a team score of 318 total team points
“We thought we had a chance to win the (4A side of the) meet,” D’Evelyn coach Josh Griffin said. “It was a good test for our guys to go up against some of the 5A teams in the state.”
D’Evelyn had first place 4A finishers in the first two events of the meet with Daniel Graber, Jake Sbarbaro, Michael Feller and Jesse Blackwell combining to win the 200 Medley Relay in 1:42.24. And Graber then followed that up with the 4A best 200 Freestyle time of 1.50.06.
After losing 12 seniors to graduation last year Ralston Valley has a crop of underclassmen that are just getting their feet wet in varsity competition.
Yet the Mustangs had a solid showing at the meet finishing with 14.50 team points. That included junior Addison Coen’s 100 Butterfly time of 56.55.
“We lost a lot of seniors from last year’s team but that is no excuse,” Ralston Valley coach Annie Brown said. That just means that we are young and have a lot to prove. We are continuing to get better.”
Ralston Valley’s league rival Lakewood is in the same shoes — or, flip-flops.
The Tigers have a very young roster and although they were a bit outmatched compared to powerhouses like Cherry Creek and Fairview (second best 5A finisher with 183 team points), they swam well enough to accumulate 13 team points and make a quality showing as a team.
Lakewood junior Porter Bennett swam the 100 Breaststroke in 1:05.24.
“We are a very young team but we are working very hard and we continue to shave times. I am happy with the way our team came out and performed against so many talented teams,” Lakewood coach Jen Snowberg said.
But it was D’Evelyn that stole the show for Jeffco.
Besides Graber’s big day Sbarbaro also shined individually with his time of 55.90 in the 100 Freestyle.
“We think we are one of the best 4A teams in the state but we have to come out and continue to prove it,” Griffin said. “We still think we can get better.”