On Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11 the Lady Lion Fish attended the 2017 CHSAA Girls’ 4A State Championship Meet at the Edora Pool Ice Center in Fort Collins. On the state team were seniors Emily Sanders and Sarah Fantle. The juniors were Lydia VanKooten, Reganne Fornstom and Lillian Jensen. Ciara Viar was the sophomore that represented the team, and the diver that attended state was senior Marina Canon. This was also the third year the team participated in the 4A State Meet after moving down a division, and the second year with head coach Kelly Seavall.
The swimmers had prelims on Friday and finals on Saturday, and the team’s individual diver had prelims in the morning on Saturday and finals were to happen during swim finals that afternoon. In order to make finals the swimmer, diver or relay has to place in the top sixteen places. For swimmers, 16th-9th swim in the first heat of two, and this heat is considered the consolation final. After heat one is the second heat of swimmers for that event which is the championship heat. These are the top eight fastest individuals in the event. They are walked to their lanes that they will swim in to a song of the top qualifiers choice. Afterwards they race, and then they have the awards ceremony for that event.
The 200 free relay swam by Sanders, Jensen, Viar and Fantle took 28th place. Jensen and Viar swam at state for the first time which was quite an accomplishment. Each swimmer had great individual times in the relay, some of them being personal bests.
The 200 Medley and 400 Freestyle relay swam by VanKooten, Fornstom, Sanders and Fantle added a small amount of time to each event. In the 200 IM the girls took 24th place moving up three places from their original seed as 27th, and the 400 Freestyle relay placed 18th overall. The girls swam a great race and were right on their best time.
Reganne Fornstom swam several individual events at the meet. She swam the 100 Butterfly and 200 Individual Medley. She placed 36th in the 200 IM and 35th in the 100 Butterfly. Overall she had a great season getting personal bests in both the events swam at state and multiple other events.
Lydia Vankooten also had individual events to swim. She swam the 200 Freestyle and 50 Freestyle back to back and she also had a relay to swim in the event before her 200 Freestyle. She had very a quick turn around to pull herself out of the pool and get ready for her next race. She was entered in the 200 Freestyle with a time of 2:00.37.
“It was my goal to break two minutes in the event which is a hard thing to do, because it is a hard event to pace because it is a sprint, but it it is also a longer distance event as well,” said Vankooten.
Amazingly, she was able to accomplish her goal which is a huge milestone in her swimming career. She went a 1:59.05 in prelims which put her in 12th place going into finals, and she swam the event in 1:59.52 in finals which put her in an overall place of 16th in that event. She also swam the 50 free and went a 25.22, which is two one-hundredths off her best time of a 25.20, and that put her in 9th place going into finals. In finals she swam 25.41, placing 12th overall.
Marina Canon, LHS’s sole diver to make state this year and the first diver from Littleton to make state in several years, had a great meet. She placed 19th, and unfortunately didn’t make finals, but she had an incredible season especially since it was her first year ever diving. The diving coach, David Decker, said that she couldn’t have dove any better because all of her dives were spot on.
Overall, Cheyenne Mountain High School took first place and dominated the meet winning by over thirty points. The Lady Lion Fish swimmers and diver took 24th place in the meet. All the girls ended on a high note and are very proud of themselves and the hard work they put forth to of made it so far. The seniors are sad to leave, but are excited to see what the team does in the coming years.
“It was so bittersweet. We were at the last event of the last heat and our relay jumped in the pool at the very end. It was my last high school swim meet and race ever, but it was an amazing season with even more amazing people and I’m so grateful to have been able to be a part of it all for the past four years,” said Sanders.
The State team poses in from of the EPIC Center.
The 200 Medley Relay prepares to swim.
Junior Lydia VanKooten gets ready to take her mark for an individual event.
The 50 Meter long course pool split into sections to make two 25 yard pools for the meet.
The 200 Freestyle Relay prepares to swim.