THORNTON — Placements were determined and favorites were established as Friday morning marked the start of the Class 4A boys swimming preliminaries.
With the events completed around 12:30 p.m., the 4A swimmers will return to the VMAC Saturday morning for diving prelims with finals in all events to follow.
It was Wheat Ridge who really put itself in the driver’s seat with Saturday’s finals looming. Ryan Peterson finished with the top time in both the 200-yard and 100 freestyle races. His time of one minute, 40.94 seconds was more than a half-second better than Greeley West’s Nathan Kenigsberg.
The Farmers also finished sixth in the 200 freestyle relay, finishing in 1:29.67 which was just over two seconds off the pace set by Mullen.
Discovery Canyon set the tone early in the day as it took the top seed in the 200 medley relay. The Thunder bookended prelims with a top finish in the 400 freestyle relay. Senior Braden Whitmarsh played a role on both those relay teams and also took fifth-place finishes in the 200 and 500 freestyle races.
Thunder freshman Quintin McCarty added to his team’s chances of making a run at a team championship with a top finish in the 50 freestyle. That race figures to be one of the most competitive on the docket as all 10 swimmers finished within a second of each other.
Montrose’s Cayden Christianson grabbed the top spot in the 200 individual medley, clearing Broomfield’s Harrison Lierz by over a second.
The Eagles junior didn’t compete in the 200 IM last year when Broomfield competed at the 5A meet but he did the 200 freestyle.
He’s aiming to take some wins in different events as a 4A competitor. He took the top seed in the 100 backstroke where Glenwood Springs’ Shea Card took second, just under a second behind Lierz.
The 100 breaststroke is also shaping up to be one of the most competitive events of the meet. Pine Creek’s Joshua-Ryan Lujan took the top spot with a time of 57.78, but Greeley West’s Baylor Lewis and Cheyenne Mountain’s Gabe Grauvogel finished less than a second behind him. Lewis shaved over two seconds off his 1:00.57 qualifying time.
Defending champion Windsor has six finalists in five events and has a team competing in the finals of the 400 freestyle relay.
The 4A swimming and diving finals as set to begin at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at the VMAC.