Varsity swimmer Maxxwell Menzies 24 dives into the water for the 50 yard-freestyle during the finals at A-Leaguges May 4. Menzies was a dual sport athelte this year competing in both the mens swim and dive program in the spring but also has partipated in the Sabercats combined hockey team over the winter.
Varsity swimmer Maxxwell Menzies ’24 dives into the water for the 50 yard-freestyle during the finals at A-Leaguges May 4. Menzies was a dual sport athelte this year competing in both the mens swim and dive program in the spring but also has partipated in the Sabercats combined hockey team over the winter.
media by Abigail Wood

Season Splashback

Looking into the accomplishments of the boys swim and dive team

Quak Quak Quak Quak, and the thrusting of a ranch bottled trident up in the air, the ranch swim and dive team in on deck, and prepared to swim. 

The Ranch swim and dive team consists of the four Highlands Ranch High Schools in the Douglas County School District (DCSD): Rock Canyon, Mountain Vista, ThunderRidge and sponsor team, Highlands Ranch. 

“I liked how I could meet people who I didn’t see at school everyday, it felt like a nice change. It was still fun seeing people from my school but it made it extra special to connect with people from different places,” varsity swimmer William Alley ‘24 said.

The JV and varsity boys swim and dive season started Feb 22, with the first practice taking place that Monday. The team practiced five days a week, with Monday, Wednesday and Friday practices running from 7:00 pm. to 9:00 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday practices from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. all practiced were held at Northridge Recreation Center (NRC). 

The first meet of the season was held at NRC against Ponderosa High School (PHS) Feb. 29. Both teams won the meet, JV 98-64 and varsity 122-47.

“ My favorite part about dual meets is how even though we are individually swimming there is still a large team atmosphere,” varsity captain Devash Kahanal ‘24 said. “Everyone is there cheering each other on and trying their best in order to beat the other team. Being there for one another really made it so our team was closer together.”

Next up the team competed in the 2024 Lighting Invitational at Veterans Aquatic Center (VMAC) in Thornton with Preliminaries held March 1 and Finals held March 2. All together the team scored 748.5 points placing them in second place.

A dual meet against Regis Jesuit High School at NRC March 5. The meet was highly anticipated since the team has been unable to beat them since 2010. This year the boys swim and dive team swept them with the JV winning 171-86 and varsity winning 164-122. 

We beat regis because we all came together and knew we could do it,” varsity captain and ThundeRidge senior Ethan Viescas said “We all cheered  and kept pushing each other!” 

Two more meets were held in March with the 2024 CO Dick Rush – Coaches Invite held March 16 at VMAC where the team scored 350 points overall placing them sixth. The second meet was the 2024 GVCT Splash at Cherokee Trail High SchoolMarch 29 and 30. The both teams placed first overall with JV scoring 264 points and varsity scoring 286 points. 

The teams next dual meet of the season was against Heritage High School at Heritage High School (HHS) April 9. The meet was held during Heritages senior night and started at 5:00 p.m. The boys teams both won the meet. JV 135-41 and varsity 126-60

As the season came to a close, the team finished up the regular season competing in three more meets. The 2024 Mustang Boys Swimming and Diving Invite April 12 and 13 at VMAC scored 543 points and placed first overall out of 20 teams. The team also participated in their final dual meet of the season against Douglas County which makes up Castle View High School (CVHS) and sponsor Douglas County High School (DCHS). The meet was held April 16 at NR with the JV team winning 211-46 and varsity winning 171-115.

The last regular season meet where swimmers could qualify for B-Leagues and A-Leauges was the 2024 John Strain Memorial Creek Invitational April 19 and April 20 at Cherry Creek High School (CCHS). The team placed third overall with 699 points. 

“At a dual meet there’s only two teams that compete against each other, where’s at an invite there’s multiple teams,” senior swimmer Maxxwell Menzies said. “My favorite invite of the year has always been the Creek Invite, because all the best teams attend, and it gives you a good preview of the state. Lots of the teams at Creek aren’t in our league, so the only other time we would compete against them is at state.”

The next weekend the championship season started with the 2024 Boys Continental League B-League Meet held at RJHS April 27. With 20 swimmers competing in the meet. 

Boys Continental A-League held preliminaries May 3 and Finals May 4. The top 12 swimmers made it back for Finals along with the top six relays. The team had 37 swimmers competing and for the third time in a row won the meet. 

“My favorite meet this year for Ranch was A-Leagues because our team was the loudest and most competitive,” Viescas said. “We also won [a third] year in a row and we got a new state qualifier!”

At the meet, ThunderRidge varsity swimmer and captain Ethan Viescas won 2024 Continental League Swimmer of the Year along with HHS Head Coach Tom Byorick  winning 2024 Continental League Swim Coach of the Year. Both winners were awarded a plaque with their name and accomplishment engraved on them. 

“When I heard my name announced, I didn’t know what to do,” Viescas said. “I looked to my family and then my coach and I got a flood of happiness, excitement, tears and thankfulness.”

For the 5A Colorado High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) state championship, the team prepared to make a splash at the meet bringing one of their largest state teams, with 15 swimmers and three divers. Prelimarines were held May 10 at 10:00 a.m. and Finals were held at 4:00 p.m. May 11. 

The team finished the meet taking third place overall out of 28 teams. This was the team’s best performance at State since 2011. 

“We had two relays this year that placed in the top 10 [so] to be a part of both was awesome because I gotta go fast and help my team,” Menzies said. “The atmosphere at state is always great because there’s so much competition between the teams. Everyone is always cheering their teammates on, and the energy for relays is unmatched.”

Finishing out the teams season, the team banquet was Friday May 17.

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