THORNTON — On the final day of the Class 4A state swim meet in 2018, Rampart began the finals setting a classification record in the 200-yard medley relay.
They got close to breaking that record in this year's prelims. They have every intention of breaking it when finals begin on Friday at the VMAC.
The preliminary time of one minute, 43.41 seconds gave the Rams the top seed for the finals and they're hopeful that the 2019 meet begins in a similar fashion to last year.
It won't just be the medley relay that can wrap up back-to-back titles. Rampart also has Lindsey Immel and Edenna Chen as the top two seeds in the 100 freestyle. Later in the day, Chen took the top spot in the 100 breaststroke. Team points will be coming at a premium for the defending champions.
Maggie Buckley and Gabrielle Peltier will also look to contribute on the diving end as they got through prelims and semifinals at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.
"Today is all about getting the opportunity to swim again tomorrow," Rampart coach Dan Greene said. "So I still tell them to swim fast today. There are a few individuals who can hold back, but a lot of these kids are just trying to get in tomorrow. So if they don't swim fast today, they might not be here tomorrow."
Elsewhere, Loveland's Erin Lang set herself apart in the distance races as she grabbed top spots in the 200 and 500 freestyle. Highlands Ranch's Aimee Burton also earned two top seeds. She'll go for gold in the 50 freestyle and turn right around and go for the championship in the 100 butterfly.
Cheyenne Mountain, a fixture in the 4A title hunt, also had a strong day. Harper Lehman's 2:06.43 was the best time of any swimmer in the 200 individual medley. Sophia Bricker came in at No. 2 in the 100 breaststroke behind Chen.
Rampart capped the day by topping the field in the 400 freestyle relay. The Rams didn't look nervous or anxious at any point of the day, a sign that the Rams don't have the same nerves they did a year ago when chasing a state championship rather than defending it.
"The jitters with the girls aren't as bad as they were last year," Greene said. "Last year there was a lot more nervousness from the girls and this year they got over that early in the year. It's still very exciting, but they're a lot more comfortable and less nervous."
They'll try to keep that composure when the 4A finals begin Friday at 4:30 p.m.