THORNTON — Aspen girls swimming won the first-ever Class 3A girls swimming and diving championships.
Saturday, the Skiers proved they’re swimmers too. They added the 3A girls swimming title trophy to their case — it’ll sit neatly next to the seven girls skiing championship trophies. This is the 19th championship overall for the school.
“It’s unbelievable, I’m overwhelmed. These girls worked so hard, they love eachother and it showed,” Aspen coach Kathleen Callahan said. “We’re a tiny team, we have eight girls here and I’m just ecstatic. We made history, who gets to say that?”
Kennidy Quist and Davy Brown led the Skiers as they racked up 209 points. Quist swam and won the 50 and 100 freestyle after coming in second in both events at last year’s 4A meet. Quist had times of 23.50 and 50.33 in the 50 and 100 freestyles, respectively.
Brown swam in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke, winning the 100 backstroke with a time of 57.37. Counting wins in the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay, that’s seven medals between the two Aspen swimmers.
“It’s everything I could have hoped for to end my high school career. To end with four wins is what every senior wants to do,” Quist said. “To have all these other girls around me and this team to support me that is so small, yet can accomplish so much, it means the world to me.
“Hopefully this just propels us forward and we can continue to do better and better.”
Also in the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay for Aspen were Emily Driscoll and Hannah Freeman. Aspen turned in times of 1:48.65 and 3:35.05.
St. Mary’s Academy came in second with 187 points behind an outstanding effort from Alex Reddington. Reddington swam in four events: the 200 free, 100 butterfly, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay.
She said the transition from the 200 medley relay right into the 200 free was a little tough, but that it was part of the sport.
Reddington won her individual events, defending her title in both the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly which she won at the 4A level. In the 200 freestyle, she won by almost five seconds with her time of 1:48.60. Her 100 butterfly time, 54.09, would have been good for second place at Friday’s 5A championships.
“I’m really pleased with both of those,” Reddington said. “It would have been great to compete against (5A girls) but there were some amazing girls here today and it was great to swim against someone new.”
Glenwood Springs took third with 173 points.
The Demons’ Lauren Fetzko improved dramatically from her preliminary time in the 200 individual medley to win the race over Brown, the favorite. Fetzko improved her time by 7.19 seconds to jump from fourth to first.
Pueblo Central diver Kaylee Eakman won the 3A dive championship with a score of 441.30 after she finished eighth in the 2016 4A meet.
“I don’t even know what to say. I’m speechless,” Eakman said. “It means so much, I’ve worked hard all four years for this. I’ve had two knee surgeries — I’ve had two setbacks — but all this hard work has payed off. I came back and knew I wanted to win my senior year.”
Eakman stood at the back of the diving board staring ahead and took a deep breath. She walked slowly forward, jumped once, twice, and a third time before launching into the air, rotating backwards stick straight with her arms spread and gliding into the water feet first.
The dives continued to get better as she zoned in. Another dive saw Eakman twist backwards tightly bound and break the water hands first, making a minimal splash.
“I didn’t really think about it too much because I psych myself out,” Eakman said. “I just took it one dive at a time.”
Eakman did hit the board with her foot on her reverse dive, but came away with the win.
“I leaned forward a little bit,” Eakman said. “I knew I was going to hit it, so I just prepared for it.”
St. Mary’s Retta Smith slid into second place with 389.50. Kent Denver’s Campbell Patteson took third with 372.60.
In the 500 freestyle, Abbey Selin won the race for D’Evelyn by 9.61 seconds with a time of 5:01.15.
Directly after, in the 200 free relay, Pueblo County’s time of 1:41.06 was good for first place. D’Evelyn came in second with 1:42.46.
In the 100 breaststroke, it was Pueblo County again as Amanda Blickensderfer turned in a time of 1:05.26.