AIR FORCE ACADEMY — Cheyenne Mountain captured their third consecutive state title and sixth overall in their 337-point finish at the Class 4A boys swimming and diving state finals on Saturday.
The defending champions swept all three relay events, including a 4A state record-breaking time in the final event of the night, the 400-yard freestyle relay. Seniors Daniel Carr, Westin Stieglitz, Jerry Birnbaum, and junior Kyle Leach clocked a 3:02:67, beating their previously set 4A record by nearly four seconds.
Leach finished first and second in the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard freestyle respectively, and will look to carry on Cheyenne Mountain's success in the departure of the three senior standouts.
The Indians weren’t the only ones to break a record, though. Thompson Valley senior Liam Gately broke two, earning All-American accolades in both his individual races.
Gately swam an impressive 1:36:94 in the 200-yard freestyle, a time only two tenths slower than the Colorado record that olympic swimmer Clark Smith holds. The senior swam a 44:64 in the 100-yard freestyle later in the evening, breaking Daniel Carr’s 2015 time.
Gately now holds the 4A state record for both races. Last year, the then-junior finished second in the 200-yard.
“This season I really focused on the sprint swim. I dropped the 500-yard free and zoned in on getting the best times in these two races,” says Gately. “It’s exciting to say the least. These times show me that what I’ve been working on for the past couple of years has paid off.”
Gately also swam a leg of the 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay, where his team placed fourth and second, respectively.
Cheyenne Mountain All-American Daniel Carr finished first in both his races as well. In the 50-yard freestyle, the senior swam a 20:45 and in the 200-yard, a 4:33:99. His performance earned him the Swimmer of the Year title.
In the 1-meter diving competition, Estes Park senior Jacob Bielmaier claimed the top spot with a 521.5 score, beating the rest of the field by over 30 points.
“Words cannot describe how amazing this feels,” said Bielmaier. “I’ve been working for this since the sixth grade. It’s been my main goal in life so far, and I did it.”
Last year, Bielmaier came in second to then Valor Christian freshman Casey Fellows.
“I started this season with a definite mission of nailing first place in state." he said. "I had a more focused mentality on that and it paid off,” says the first-time dive champion.
Valor Christian finished in second as a team, followed by Thompson Valley.