THORNTON — Davy Brown responded to a DQ in a huge way.
Brown, an Aspen junior, lowered her own meet record during the Class 3A girls swimming and diving prelims on Thursday, an hour or so after she was disqualified for a stroke infraction in the individual medley.
Brown's time of 56.86 in the 100 back lowered the mark of 57.37 she set at last year's 3A meet. She now has the top qualifying time in the event heading into Friday's finals. The time was 2.78 seconds faster than her seed time of 59.64.
Her time was even more impressive given that Brown swam the lead leg of Aspen's 200 freestyle relay in the event prior to the backstroke. The Skiers finished with the second-fastest prelim time at 1:43.06. Pueblo County will enter the finals as the top seed with a time of 1:41.92 in the 200 free relay.
Among the favorites to win a state title for much of the season, Pueblo County had a great first day of the 3A meet.
The Hornets also qualified with the fastest time in the 200 medley relay (1:51.79), and junior Amanda Blickensderfer was the fastest qualifier in the 100 breaststroke. Blickensderfer finished in 1:05.88 — she set the 3A record last year at 1:05.26.
Also shining during Thursday's prelims was D'Evelyn senior Abbey Selin. A University of Wyoming recruit, she swam the fastest qualifying time in both the 200 and 500 freestyle races. Selin won the 500 last season.
Likewise, Longmont sophomore Lucille Matheson positioned herself well in multiple races. She had the top time in the 200 individual medley after the prelims, and was second in the 500.
Longmont is also expected to challenge for the team title on Friday. The Trojans qualified first in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:46.08. Kent Denver was second in 3:48.27.
St. Mary's Caitlin Cairns qualified first in both the 50 free and 100 butterfly.
Tight leaderboard after diving semifinals
Discovery Canyon sophomore Rachel Alexander seized the lead after the diving prelims on Thursday morning, but there are three others close behind.
Alexander's score of 279.85 led the group, with Durango junior Kylie Behn nipping behind at 279.30.
St. Mary's Retta Smith, runner-up in the event last season, sits in third at 278.10, and Fountain Valley's Harriet Townsend is fourth at 276.40.
Alexander finished fourth last season, while Behn was sixth, and Townsend was fifth.
The top 16 divers, out of 21 who qualified, advanced to Friday's finals.
The 3A meet resumes on Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. at VMAC. The 4A swim prelims will be held at the venue on Friday morning.