ENGLEWOOD, CO -- The St. Mary's Academy Wildcats surged from #3 in the standings to #1 as they took the 3A League title in the Tri-Peaks League championship in Fountain on February 4 and 5, winning seven events and a Coach of the Year award for Coach Raquel Callahan. The team tallied up 491 points in the meet, more than 100 points over 2nd place finisher Salida.
The swimmers shaved seconds off their previous records as they claimed 1st place finishes in a remarkable seven events: Blair Franciscus (Gr. 10), Caitlin Crysel (Gr. 10), Kalie Linden (Gr. 12) and Riley Mills (Gr. 9) took both the 200 Medley Relay, dropping 1.99 seconds, and 400 Free Relay, dropping 11.96 seconds. Mills also won the 200 Free, dropping 1.29 seconds, and the 100 Fly, dropping 4.47 seconds. Crysel won the 200 IM, dropping 3.44 seconds, and the 100 Breast, dropping 0.55 seconds. Franciscus won the 500 Free, dropping 13.42 seconds. Second place finishes went to junior Ella Yearsley in the 200 Free and senior Kalie Linden in the 100 Free.
SMA also snagged a 3rd place finish in the 200 Free Relay with Charlotte Gaudet (Gr. 12), Izzy Parsons (Gr. 11), Claire Malik (Gr. 11) and Ella Yearsley (Gr. 11). And in individual races Linden placed 3rd in the 50 Free and Franciscus 3rd in the 100 Back.
Three more SMA swimmers also qualified for states in individual events at the league championships, including freshman Lauren Anderson, sophomore Maddy Bante, and senior Charlotte Gaudet, joining Crysel, Franciscus, Linden, Maher, Malik, Mills, Parsons and Yearsley.
Three divers also competed at the league finals, with freshman Ginna Jacoby placing highest in 6th position.
"It was an incredible weekend," said Coach Callahan. "The girls swam with their hearts. I'm honored and humbled to be their coach."
The league champs head into the state championships next Friday and Saturday at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton. The team also won the elite REX Coaches Invitational in December.
Many other swimmers had their best swims of the season. Complete SMA results are below:
200 Medley Relay
1st place (dropped -1.99) Blair Franciscus, Caitlin Crysel, Riley Mills and Kalie Linden
10th place (dropped -2.69) Katherine Gabriele, Veronica James, Sydney Tatar and Sara Orrego
1st place (dropped -1.29) Riley Mills
2nd place (dropped -6.93) Ella Yearsley
6th place (dropped -.60) Isabela Maher
13th place (dropped -1.49) Sydney Tatar
1st place (dropped -3.44) Caitlin Crysel
10th place (dropped -1.37) Annabelle Good
12th place (dropped -4.55) Veronica James
13th place (dropped -7.31) Ally O'Hara
3rd place (dropped -.16) Kalie Linden
5th place (dropped -.20) Charlotte Gaude
7th place (best time of the season at 28.09!) Izzy Parsons
9th place (dropped -.65) Maddy Bante
21st place (dropped -.35) Anna Russell
22nd place (dropped -1.07) Ruth Herrlinger
25th place (dropped -2.91) Tori Fowler
28th place (dropped -.78) Olivia Jones
30th place Averie Young
33rd place (dropped -.31) Katie Mueller
1st place (dropped -4.47) Riley Mills
9th place (dropped -5.29) Ella Yearsley
Season best time for Sara Orrego with a -6.68 time drop!!
Best time for Annabelle Good
2nd place (dropped -.54) Kalie Linden
5th place (dropped -.27 & qualified for states!) Lauren Anderson
7th place (dropped -.07) Claire Malik
10th place Izzy Parsons
17th place (dropped -2.88) Katherine Gabriele
22nd place (dropped -.21) Averie Young
1st place (dropped -13.42) Blair Franciscus
4th place (dropped -1.34) Isabela Maher
9th place (dropped -7.97) Sydney Tatar
200 Free Relay
3rd place (dropped -4.10) Charlotte Gaudet, Izzy Parsons, Claire Malik and Ella Yearsley
12th place (dropped -.89) Ally O'Hara, Anna Russell, Averie Young and Ruth Herrlinger
3rd place (dropped -2.85) Blaire Franciscus
7th place (dropped -1.89 & qualified for states!) Charlotte Gaudet
16th place (dropped -.74) Katherine Gabriele
18th place Ally O'Hara
1st place (dropped -.55) Caitlin Crysel
7th place (dropped -1.83) Claire Malik
10th place (dropped -2.05 & qualified for states!) Maddy Bante
12th place (dropped -.88 & qualified for states!) Lauren Anderson
17th place (dropped -1.37) Sara Orrego
18th place (dropped -3.43) Veronica James
20th place (dropped -.01) Anna Russell
400 Free Relay
1st place (dropped -11.96) Riley Mills, Caitlin Crysel, Blair Franciscus and Kalie Linden
6th place - Ginna Jacoby
7th place - Devon Chambers
11th place - Emerson Smith