Making a Splash

A look into the girls swim and dive season.
Varsity swimmer Teagan Wetzel 27 and varsity swimmer and captain Gabi Dyer 24 cheer on varsity swimmer Kassidy Harris 24 during the 400-yard freestyle relay Feb. 9. The relay finished 12th overall at the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) 5A girls swim State Finals. State was held at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center (VMAC) Feb. 8 for Preliminaries and Finals Feb. 9.
Varsity swimmer Teagan Wetzel ’27 and varsity swimmer and captain Gabi Dyer ’24 cheer on varsity swimmer Kassidy Harris ’24 during the 400-yard freestyle relay Feb. 9. The relay finished 12th overall at the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) 5A girls swim State Finals. State was held at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center (VMAC) Feb. 8 for Preliminaries and Finals Feb. 9.
media by Abigail Wood


Seconds can make or break a race, spending all season just trying to get qualifying time to move onto the next level. 

The JV and varsity girls swim and dive team’s season started Nov. 13, with their first practice taking place that Monday. The teams practiced five times a week for about 90 minutes at Eastridge Recreation Center (ERC). 

The first meet of the season was against the Mountain Vista Eagles Nov. 28 at 4:00 p.m. at Northridge Recreation Center. Each meet this year had a theme, with this first one being “Blackout.” Both teams won the meet, JV 137-33 and varsity 114-56. 

“I absolutely love just being with the team at dual meets,” varsity swimmer Lenja Osborne ‘25 said. “I think that dual meets are the time that we all bond the most. You’re just there to cheer everyone on no matter your grade/friend group. The atmosphere is just so much fun, especially since it’s just like a different world after the school day ends!”

The team participated in the Big Cat Brawl at Littleton High School (LHS) against 12 other schools Dec. 2. The team won the meet for the second time in a row after winning it last year and this year. The reward for winning the meet was a cat trophy. 

“Big Cat Brawl is a super fun meet because it’s against teams not in our league so I go to compete against a lot of my club friends,” varsity captain Sarah Myers ‘24 said. “We celebrated through lots of pictures and each year we win the trophy we get to add a mark or something to it. Last year, we added an ‘RC.’ I’m not sure what we will do this year. But, we display the trophy in the hallway for the year until the next meet.” 

Three meets were held in December, two of which were dual meets. The Dec. 5 meet against Legend High School (LHS) had a final score for JV 183-103 W and varsity 158-128 W. The second dual meet, which took place Dec. 13, was against Regis Jesuit High School (RJHS) (scores not available). 

The team had their first invitational-only meet Dec. 15 and Dec. 16 at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center (VMAC). The REX Coaches Invite took 21 swimmers to the meet placing 14 out of 41 teams. 

The week leading up to the coaches is actually pretty cool, especially for the swimmers who’s first year qualifying,” Osborne said. “We start tapering about halfway through and the anticipation for coaches is so hype! The Friday before the meet is always a really fun and energetic practice that usually ends with handstands or some other random group goofing off.” 

During the last weekend of Winter Break, the team participated in the Craven Classic, which was held at Cherry Creek High School (CCHS) Jan. 3. The Jags placed second out of three teams with a score of 420.5. CCHS won the meet with a score of 741.5, and Heritage High School (HHS) placed third with a score of 383. 

“The invite was against a team we don’t normally compete against so there was a super fun atmosphere,” varsity swim captain Sarah Myers ‘24 said. “[We] had been training all break for this meet.” 

For the last two dual meets of the season, the team swam against ThunderRidge High School (TRHS) Jan. 9 and HHS Jan. 18, with JV winning 103-66 W and varsity losing 102-68 L. 

As the season came to a close, the championship season started approaching. In the next two months, the team competed in four more meets. All had qualifying times and helped swimmers get 5A Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) state times. 

“The work up to leagues is some of the most challenging swimming I’ve done in my life.”

— varsity swimmer Elizabeth Lemeshewsky '25.


The Three League Last Chance Invite was Jan. 30 at Arapahoe High School (AHS), which was the last meet where swimmers could qualify for times to swim at Girls Continental C-Leagues, B-Leagues and A-leagues. 

Jan. 26, Girls Continental C-Leagues was held at RJHS with five qualified swimmers: Aimee Barton ‘25, Skylar Brand ‘26, Ava Fredrick ‘26, Ana Keshav ‘27 and Claire Peters ’27.

“Cheering is something that I take pride in on the team,” Lemeshewsky said. “Everyone deserves someone cheering them on at the end of the lane. Regardless of it’s their first time swimming on the team, to another making her sixth state cut of the season, regardless of position or swimming abilities, everyone deserves to feel appreciated and valued on the team.”

The next day, Girls Continental B-Leagues was Jan. 27 at Heritage High School where the team took 19 swimmers to the meet. 

Girls Continental A-League held preliminaries Feb. 2 and Finals Feb. 3. The top 18 swimmers of all the events made it back for Finals along with the top six relays. The team took 30 swimmers to the meet and placed second out of 10 teams.

Varsity swimmer Evanna Bishop ‘25 was a part of the 200-yard freestyle relay that placed first at the meet with a time of 1:40.94. 

“It was so exciting,” Bishop said. “ I remember screaming at [varsity swim captain Gabi Dyer ‘24] since she was right next to the Heritage girl and we couldn’t tell who was going to touch first. As soon as she hit the wall, I looked up to the board where I saw we one by one-hundredth of a second. As soon as I saw it, me and the other girls started jumping and cheering since it was such a close and exciting win.”

At the end of A-Leagues, it was announced that girls swim coach Nicole Vanderpoel was named Continental A-League Swim Coach of the Year. She was honored with a plaque and a speech made by the presenter. 

“When I heard my name called for coach of the year, I felt completely humbled, honored and surprised,” Vanderpoel said. “[I] truly felt as though the award should go to all of our amazing athletes, swimmers divers, coaches and Managers! They have worked so hard to make this season magical and it is truly a special Team and I appreciate every single one of them!”

After the waves settled from A-League, the team was getting ready to swim at the 5A CHSAA state championship Feb. 8 for preliminaries and Feb. 9 for Finals. 

The team took 10 state qualifiers to the meet and placed 14th out of the 31 schools.

Senior varsity captain Gabi Dyer was placed first in the 200-yard-freestyle individual event. In Finals, she placed second overall. 

“I was super excited to place second in the 200,” Dyer said. “I went into the meet with high expectations and knew how I wanted to swim my races so I’m glad that it went as planned for the most part and couldn’t have asked for a better senior season.”

To finish out the season, the team held their banquet Feb. 13 at Lone Tree Event Center.

“[The team] sat together and celebrated [the season by]  listening to our coaches’ speeches and honoring members of the JV, varsity and state team,” Myers said. “The captains give speeches for coaches and also the coaches give out special awards. There are picture slideshows and it’s a super great way to end the season.”

Media courtesy of Nicole Vanderpoel
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