Valor Christian’s Brooke Stenstrom shines on first day of 4A state swimming

Valor Christian girls swimming Brooke Stenstrom

Valor Christian’s Brooke Stenstrom. More photos from the first day of 4A state swimming. (Ryan Casey/

THORNTON – Brooke Stenstrom has her future planned out. At least for the next four months.

The Valor Christian senior doesn’t really need any more hardware from her days as a high school swimmer.

She won the Class 4A state title in the 50-yard freestyle as a sophomore and junior as well as the 100 freestyle two years ago.

A couple of other gold medals at this season’s 4A state meet, which began Friday, might be a nice capper to a great career, but she’s got more important things to focus on.

“This weekend I’d love to do my best and leave it in God’s hands,” she said of a whatever-happens-happens attitude.

It’s the next few months she’s really looking forward to.

Stenstrom will be heading to Omaha for the U.S. Olympic trials in late June. She’s shown she can compete against the best in the state. At the Olympic trials, she’ll be swimming against the best not only in the country, but in some cases, the world.

After that, she’s set for another exciting venture – a mission trip to Rwanda.

But her real future, at least for the next four years, is a dream come true. Strenstrom has signed a letter of intent to swim at Stanford University beginning this fall.

Valor Christian girls swimming Brooke Stenstrom

Brooke Stenstrom. More photos from 4A state swim. Ryan Casey/

“Stanford’s always been a dream,” she said. She did check out arch-rival, Cal, the school where Colorado swimming sensation Missy Franklin swam for two years, but in the end, the Cardinal won out.

Part of that may be legacy. Her father Steve was a starting quarterback at Stanford. Her mother Lori was a national-caliber swimmer for the Cardinal

“I am so excited,” Brooke said. “My coaches are world class.”

Stenstrom has always been drawn to sports. She played most all of them growing up. By her sophomore year, she had decided to narrow her focus to swimming.

She trusts her mother, “Just knowing I have complete and utter faith in her judgement.”

Fortunately, she said, Lori — Valor’s coach — doesn’t treat Brooke or her sister Lindsay, a freshman, any different than she doesn’t with any of the other Eagles swimmers.

“I’ve coached them both their whole lives,” Lori said.

Stenstrom might well be on her way to her fourth and fifth individual state titles. She posted the fastest time in both the 50 and 100 free in Friday’s state 4A preliminaries.

In addition, she swam legs on the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams, which both qualified for Saturday afternoon’s finals with the fastest time.

“(Friday) is by far the best day ever for Valor swimming,” Lori said, proud of all 42 of her charges.

In fact, the Eagles are in great position to wrest the 4A team title away from two-time champion Evergreen, with Manitou Springs and Cheyenne Mountain both in strong contention.