THORNTON — The Rampart girls swimming team has a fool-proof formula. Set a record in the 200-yard medley relay then win a state title.
For the last two years, it's been that easy. Rampart's time of one minute, 42.49 seconds is a time that one else in 4A has recorded.
After breaking the mark they set at the same meet a year ago, the Rams went on to have a banner night that resulted in their second-straight Class 4A state swimming championship. The Rams scored 366 points to secure the win. And even if the title wins looked the same, they were in reality very different experiences for the team.
"It's different," coach Dan Greene said. "It's satisfying to get a second one. The first one is really awesome because you've never done it before. The second one is gratifying in a different way."
Lindsey Immel then put up a valiant effort in the 50 freestyle, coming up just short to Mullen's Sofia Zinis. But the tone had been set and Rampart knew that momentum was on its side.
"This is based off months of hard work," Immel said. "It's a team effort and it's amazing. There's not another team I'd rather be on."
Immel got her second win of the night in the 100 freestyle and teammate Edenna Chen came in right behind her. But Chen's night was far from done. She eventually claimed gold in the 100 breaststroke and in doing so, put her name on another classification record.
Her time of 1:01.4 beat Windsor's Morgan Friesen's record of 1:01.9 set back in 2015. Even thought that race was an individual accomplishment, Chen doesn't feel like she could've done any of it without the push from her teammates.
"This team is so amazing," she said. "I couldn't have done any of this without them."
Niwot claimed second place as a team and had an impressive showing at finals. Freshman Mary Codevilla grabbed a win in the 200 individual medley and also took second in the 500 freestyle. The winner of that race was Loveland's Erin Lang who came away with two gold medals on the night, also claiming the 200 freestyle.
What may have been the deciding factor in the race to claim the runner-up trophy was the final event of the night. The Cougars took second behind Rampart in the 400 freestyle relay and a fourth-place finish for Cheyenne Mountain wasn't enough to give the Indians second place status.
There was no doubt at the end, though, that the night belonged to the defending champions. Rampart's early record established the tone for the night which is something that Greene certainly feels after his swimmers accomplish such a feat.
And when they establish that momentum early, it becomes a major factor for his time as the night plays out.
"It totally sets a tone for the girls," Greene said. "We do something awesome in the beginning that gets everyone amped up and ready to go. You start strong and it just becomes a pattern."
The 2019 championship is the second in Rampart's history with the first coming in 2018. The most prominent senior on the team is Chen which only means that the rest of 4A will have a battle a strong Rams team for years to come.