THORNTON — Anna Shaw and her Heritage teammates put on a MasterClass Friday at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center.
Shaw set two state records and posted four wins overall (two individual, two relay) to help lead Heritage to its first-ever Class 4A girls swimming and diving state championship.
The Eagles scored 495.5 points in a dominating win to finish ahead of second-place Mullen (322) and third-place Niwot (307).
Shaw blazed to a state record in the 50 freestyle when she posted a time of 22.22. It eclipsed the time of 22.41 set in 2011 by Regis Jesuit alum and Olympic champion Missy Franklin. Shaw also won the event in 2018 as a freshman. Last year’s champion, Lindsey Immel of Rampart and Claire Chahbandour of Mullen finished in a tie for second place (23.52).
“Anna is an incredible human being and an incredible athlete, obviously,” said Heritage head coach Tom Byorick. “She made a huge statement today that she’s the best swimmer in Colorado.”
Shaw cemented her status as a star with another state-record-setting win, this time in the 100 freestyle. She posted a time of 48.24, good enough to erase another “Missy-mark” from the record book. Franklin established the previous standard of 48.45 in 2012.
“I’m so excited! It’s just the culmination of the ups and downs of high school swimming,” said Shaw, who is Stanford-bound in the fall. “To be a senior and to finally accomplish these high school dreams is so incredible for me. And to have both of my parents here too … I’m just very lucky.”
Like many young swimmers, she was a huge fan of Franklin’s at a young age.
“I have looked up to her since I was about 9-years-old,” Shaw revealed. “Especially as a Coloradan, there is something special about Missy Franklin, just kind of that magic. I had the chance to meet her and she’s incredible. There is something super-special in knowing that I broke Missy’s records.”
“It’s a heck of a day when you set two state records, overall state records,” Byorick added. “And when those records belong to Missy Franklin, that’s just an incredible honor and amazing thing to witness her do.”
While Shaw crafted a high-school career to remember, she has bigger aspirations in mind. She will compete at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Neb., in June.
“It’s a huge goal of mine,” Shaw admitted. “The Olympic Trials is just a culmination of all my hard work. I’m just excited to go out there and enjoy the experience.”
Heritage captured the first swim event of the day, the 200 medley relay, and the domination was underway. Shaw, Aislyn Barnett, Inge Ehm and Amaia Sherman raced to a time of 1:42.86. Mullen took second (1:44.11), followed by Rampart (1:46.74).
“It’s just so incredible to see how the energy started at the beginning of the day,” said Shaw. “We won the medley relay, and that gave us such a strong start. And getting to watch all of my teammates have such strong races was exciting, too.”
Barnett, a sophomore, added a state title later in the evening with the best time in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.44) to edge Mullen’s Chahbandour (1:02.44) and Charlotte Burnham (1:02.91). Barnett trailed nearly the entire race until she pulled out the win at the touch line.
The Eagles finished the evening with a rousing victory in the final race of the night, the 400 freestyle relay, with a time of 3:27.50.
“We have this incredible group of freshmen, and seven of them were here scoring points for us,” said Byorick. “We have an amazing returning group of sophomores, and they stepped up. Our juniors stepped in and took advantage of opportunities right and left.
“And obviously, our seniors … they came in and all posted best times today, by significant margins. Not just season-bests, but best times in their lives,” he revealed. “They did it with big smiles on their face and a lot of happiness and love for the rest of their teammates.”
While Shaw and the Eagles garnered the lion’s share of headlines on the day, two other swimmers each won a pair of individual state championships and deserve their time in the spotlight.
Caroline Bricker of Cheyenne Mountain added another state championship to her resume with her second-straight victory in the 200 IM. Bricker, who is just a sophomore, raced to a 2:00.87 time to finish ahead of Mullen’s Charlotte Burnham (2:03.62) and Barnett (2:06.02).
Bricker secured her second championship on the day in the 100 butterfly. Her time of 54.51 beat out Jamieson Legh (55.75) of Niwot and Inge Ehm (56.03) of Heritage.
Niwot’s Mary Codevilla defended her crown in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:47.63. Chase Davison of Mullen finished second (1:49.38) and Emily Kahn of George Washington placed third (1:52.20).
Codevilla then reached the top of the podium for the second time on the day when she defended her state championship in the 500 freestyle in record time. Codevilla finished in 4:51.98 to shatter the 4A state record set by Evergreen’s Lexie Malazdrewicz in 2012.
Rampart senior Maggie Buckley capped a stellar career by winning her third-straight 4A diving state championship to kick off the days’ events. Buckley, who finished second as a freshman, posted a score of 529.85. Ivy Buckley, Maggie’s freshman sister, finished second (486.40), while Cheyenne Mountain senior Kaelyn Hinesley placed third (465.60).
Mullen’s 200 freestyle relay team (Gabrielle Zinis, Chahbandour, Lindsey Sowitch and Davison) secured the state championship for the third-straight season with a top-time of 1:34.84. Niwot finished second (1:35.05) and Rampart finished third (1:37.55).
Mullen’s Davison won the state crown in the 100 backstroke with a time of 54.74 to finish ahead of Rampart’s Claire Timson (55.92) and Legh of Niwot (57.39).
2021 4A Girls Swimming and Diving State Champions
- Diving: Maggie Buckley, Rampart
- 200 Medley Relay: Heritage
- 200 Freestyle: Mary Codevilla, Niwot
- 200 Individual Medley: Caroline Bricker, Cheyenne Mountain
- 50 Freestyle: Anna Shaw, Heritage
- 100 Butterfly: Caroline Bricker, Cheyenne Mountain
- 100 Freestyle: Anna Shaw, Heritage
- 500 Freestyle: Mary Codevilla, Niwot
- 200 Freestyle Relay: Mullen
- 100 Backstroke: Chase Davison, Mullen
- 100 Breaststroke: Aislyn Barnett, Heritage
- 400 Freestyle Relay: Heritage
- Team: Heritage