THORNTON — Caroline Bricker already had a state record to her name. But all the freshman really wanted was to help her team capture a state title.
Little did she know that her win in the 100-yard breaststroke put Cheyenne in a position to do just that. After holding off Rampart in the 400 freestyle relay to cap the night, Cheyenne was a Class 4A girls swimming and diving state champion for the the second time in three years.
Bricker had just finished up her win in the breaststroke and watched her teammates compete in the relay not knowing where things stood with the team score, but she knew they had to battle.
"I just went out there and was thinking about my teammates," she said. "I knew it was going to be close and I knew it was coming down to me or the relay."
Cheyenne Mountain finished with 348 points. Two-time defending champion Rampart finished as the runner-up with 340 points.
In that freestyle relay, Cheyenne Mountain finished in sixth place with a time of three minutes, 38.79 seconds, just over a second faster than the Rams. As sophomore Elizabeth Brower touched the wall, the contingent of Cheyenne Mountain swimmers erupted in celebration. It had been just three years since its last title, but it felt like forever.
"This felt like a long one coming," coach Kate Doane said. "The day-in and day-out work for the last couple of years paid tribute to today.
Cheyenne had to withstand a barrage of top finishes from Rampart including 50 and 100 freestyle wins from Lindsey Immel. Laelle Brovold added a win in the 100 butterfly and the Rams kicked off the night with a win in the 200 medley relay.
Bricker's 2:02.03 in the 200 individual medley was good for a state record.
One of the more impressive swims of the night came in the 500 freestyle as Niwot's Mary Codevilla blitzed the field, finishing in 4:57.37. The sophomore was two seconds faster in her prelim time and has dreams of doing big things in her last two chances at state.
"I'd love to get the state record in the 500 free," she said. "I was so close in prelims and fell short in finals."
Monarch's Katey Lewicki had a shot at setting a state record in the 100 backstroke but fell just sixth-hundredths of a second short.
It was after that backstroke swim that things got interesting in the team race. Not only did Bricker win the championship heat, but Elizabeth Carrell also won the consolation heat, adding nine team points to the total.
That race was reflective of the depth that Cheyenne Mountain had that played a big role in the championship win.
"These girls work so hard in the offseason," Doane said. "They knew that each person counted."
The girls swimming championship is the second team championship for Cheyenne Mountain this year and the 99th team title in school history.