5A girls state swimming: Gillilan, Fossil Ridge kick off the meet with a bang

Fossil Ridge girls swimming Zoe Bartel

Coleen Gillilan. (Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

FORT COLLINS — Fossil Ridge picked up right where it left off at last year's girls swimming state championships.

The SaberCats, in search of a repeat championship, and third in the past four seasons, had a dominant showing on the first day of the Class 5A girls swimming state prelims at the Edora Pool Ice Center.

Their swimmers had the top qualifying time in seven of the eight individual events, and the team also qualified first in two of the three relays.

The SaberCats set the tone with the first event of the day, the 200 medley relay. They finished in 1:39.68, just off of their state record of 1:39.40 set last season. The SaberCats have their sights set on the national public high school record of 1:39.25 set in 2015.

Fossil Ridge also qualified first in the 200 free relay (1:34.57), narrowly missing the state record of 1:34.40 set by Cherry Creek in 2011.

Individually, Coleen Gillilan, a junior, lowered her own state record in the 100 butterfly with a time of 52.17. She also had the top time in the 200 yard freestyle, bettering her seed time in the 200 by 3.7 seconds to 1:47.56.

Zoe Bartel qualified first in the 200 IM (2:01.74) and the 100 breaststroke (1:01.6). She is seeking to defend both events from the 2017 meet.

Kylee Alons qualified first in the 50 (22.70) and 100 (49.70) freestyle races. Alons won both events last season.

Bayley Stewart had the top prelim time (54.55) in the 100 backstroke, an event she won last season.

Bartel, Alons and Stewart are all seniors.

Caraline Baker, a sophomore, also qualified second in both the breaststroke and the butterfly.

5A girls swimming Kathryn Shanley Chatfield

Kathryn Shanley. (Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

Elsewhere, Chatfield freshman Kathryn Shanley burst onto the scene with a great showing in prelims. She qualified first in the 500 (5:06.81), edging Fairview junior Amelie Lessing (5:07.88). Shanley was also third in the 200.

Regis Jesuit had an excellent performance in the 400 freestyle relay. The Raiders' group of Meriel Upton, Parker Biley, Sophia Bradac and Jada Surrell-Norwood had the top prelim time in 3:29.24. Fossil Ridge was second in 3:29.94, and Mountain Vista was third in 3:35.07.

The night closed with a swim-off for the last spot in the 100 butterfly finals. Legacy's Kandice Chandra (58.33) edged Douglas County's Margaret Kroening (58.98).

The meet will resume on Saturday with diving prelims at 9:30 a.m., and the finals begin at 3 p.m.