With an impressive 314-point team performance, Silver Creek was crowned the Class 4A boys swim and dive state champions on Friday at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton.
Cheyenne Mountain earned the state runner-up at 307 points and Greeley West placed third.
Silver Creek coach Debbie Stewart said the first place finish was a well-received surprise.
“My comment to the boys earlier in the week was we just wanted to bring home some metal,” Stewart said. “I was hoping for second. First, you can’t top it anymore.”
The Raptors, who finished 5-0 in the 4A Northern Conference, needed a strong effort in the day’s final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. The boys from south Longmont delivered with a fifth-place finish. Seniors Connor Hassert, Pierce Bigelow, Ian Curd and junior Jake Gutru swam a 3:15.58 relay to secure the state title.
Bigelow was a major part of the Raptors’ success on Friday. He finished fourth in both the 500 freestyle and 200 freestyle on top of with joining the clutch final relay squad.
“The competition this year was just a great setup of some underclassmen so I knew I was going to have to bring my A Game,” Bigelow said.
A state title was perhaps due for Silver Creek after finishing seventh in 2018 and third in 2019. Bigelow said the Raptors didn’t dwell on the cancelled 2020 season but instead chose to use that as motivation.
“I remember thinking at the very beginning of the season about what could have been last year,” Bigelow said. “The whole team just chose to move past that and we had a great undefeated season this year.”
The Raptors’ day began inauspiciously with a sixth-place finish in the 200 medley relay. Hassert soon followed with a ninth-place time in the 200 free before Curd finished seventh in the 50 free and fifth in the 100 fly. Silver Creek didn’t finish inside the top three once, but its consistency delivered the victory.
History was also made earlier in the day when Denver North senior Jack Ryan scored a state record 671.65 points in the one-meter dive. Ryan, who set the now-previous 4A record in 2019 at 581.55, scored over 200 points more than second place finisher Joe Smack of Thompson Valley. Silver Creek placed seventh in the event courtesy of junior Jacob Dowlin.
The only multi-event winner came from George Washington junior Xavier Hill, who won the 50 and 100-yard free.
— CHSAA (@CHSAA) June 25, 2021