Boys Swimming: State meet filled with swimmers from all over city

Regis Jesuit aims to once again exceed pre-meet projections, while all six Aurora programs could make their mark on Class 5A state meet

Junior Elliot Steinberg, left, scored in two individual events at last season’s Class 5A boys state swim meet for Regis Jesuit and aims to do so again at this season’s meet. The Raiders take an Aurora-best 29 individual swimmers and divers to the 5A state meet, set for May 19-20 at the Veterans’ Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

It’s not often that all six of Aurora’s existing boys swim programs is represented at the state meet, but that will be in the case May 19-20 at the Veterans’ Memorial Aquatic Center.

Fifty-seven Aurora individuals and 16 relay teams earned their way into the Class 5A state meet, including at least two apiece from Cherokee Trail, Grandview, Hinkley, Overland, Regis Jesuit and Smoky Hill.

Though Overland has the smallest qualifying contingent of two, coach Michael Pineda also has the most unique qualifier in the field in senior Sean Kelly.

Kelly is the only athlete in the 5A state field to qualify both as a swimmer (in the 50 yard freestyle) and diver. While he will have to make a good move to place in either event, he is assured of competing on both days of the meet with the 50 freestyle prelims on May 19 (4 p.m.) and diving prelims May 20 (9:30 a.m.). Finals for swimming and diving are at 2:30 p.m. May 20.

The well-rounded Kelly is no stranger to state competition, as he qualified for the 5A state wrestling tournament in the winter.

Leading the way as usual is the powerhouse at Regis Jesuit, as coach Nick Frasersmith has 29 individual qualifiers in the field. That marks one more than last season when the Raiders’ finished as the 5A runner-up after going into the meet projected to finish in eighth place.

Returning to lead the way is three-fourths of last season’s state championship-winning 200 yard medley relay in senior Alex Strepman and juniors Ty Coen and Elijah Warren. The Raiders go in seeded sixth in the event, in which they’ve collected a top-two finish in six straight seasons.

Warren is also back to take aim at his second straight sy tate title in the 100 breaststroke and comes in seeded fourth in the event as well as sixth in a relatively new event for him, the 50 freestyle. Coen, meanwhile, is the No. 4 seed in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, events in which he finished second and third, respectively, last season.

Sophomore Will Goodwin placed 10th in the 200 IM last season is seeded fifth in the event this season along with a potential championship finals berth in the 100 breaststroke, while senior Cameron Weese is in prime scoring position in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM — which he placed in last season — as well for the Raiders, who have a large group of swimmers just on the cusp of making it back.

Junior Elliot Steinberg placed in two events at state last year (ninth in the 200 freestyle and 11th in the 500 freestyle) and should contribute significant points, while junior TJ Miller is also a returning state placer for the Raiders, who are projected to finish fifth based on the scoring of the pre-meet psyche sheets as compiled by PrepSwimCo.com.

The Raiders always exceed expectations at the state meet, however.

Smoky Hill finished ninth last season and though coach Scott Cohen’s team lost two major contributors to graduation in Devin Bellamy and Aiden Mercer, the rise of junior Tylen Phillips could help pick up the slack.

Phillips is seeded third in the 200 freestyle and fifth in the 100 butterfly (the event in which he collected 14th last season), which could bring plenty of points, while junior diver Timothy Domashevich is a returning state placer (eighth in 2016) who could finish in a prime spot on the podium.

The Buffaloes — projected to finish 13th based on the pre-meet psychs sheets — also appear capable of scoring in all three relays as they did last season with three top-14 squads.

Watch out for a big meet from coach Beth Himes’ Hinkley team — a mix of swimmers from all across the Aurora Public Schools district — which has five qualifiers and all could put up points for the team at the state meet.

Pre-meet projections have Hinkley finishing 15th, a far cry from the single point it scored at last season’s state meet.

Rising junior David Griffith (Gateway) is a threat to make it back to championship finals in the sprint freestyle events if things go close to pre-meet seeding — he’s seventh in the 100 and eighth in the 200 — while junior Nathan Leigh (Vista PEAK) is in position to score in the individual medley.

The diving trio of brothers Byron and Jerald Mayo and Isaiah Cheeks all qualified for a second straight season and any or all of them could make it back for finals. Byron Mayo scored Hinkley’s only point at last season’s state meet with his 16th place result.

Cherokee Trail graduated its only state placer from last season in diver Eric Lammon, but has begun to develop some depth. The Cougars have been in and out of the 5A Top 20 rankings all season and could get back there at state, but would need a number of its six individual qualifiers to move up from their current spots in the seeding.

The Cougars’ 200 yard freestyle relay team goes in 18th and the 400 freestyle (22nd) is also in range of making it back to consolation finals (top 16) with a good drop in time.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or sports@aurorasentinel.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

AURORA 2017 5A BOYS STATE SWIM MEET QUALIFIERS BY SCHOOL

CHEROKEE TRAIL (6): Trevor Holman, jr., 50 yard freestyle (23rd) & 100 yard freestyle (38th); Jason McMechan, fr., 200 yard indiv. medley (27th) & 100 yard backstroke (24th); Matthew McNulla, soph., 100 yard butterfly (39th); Tanner Meeks, soph., 100 yard backstroke (48th); Calvin Sharp, soph., diving (NS); Cameron Webb, sr., 50 yard freestyle (42nd) & 500 yard freestyle (39th)

Relays (3): 200 yard medley (26th), 200 yard freestyle (18th) & 400 yard freestyle (22nd)

GRANDVIEW (5): Noah Bishop, soph., diving (NS); Darius Dinkins, sr., 100 yard butterfly (14th) & 100 yard breaststroke (14th); Daniel Schweitzberger, sr., 100 yard backstroke (15th); Tony Vigil-Harrison, soph., diving (NS); Cobi Wood, soph., 200 yard freestyle (13th) & 500 yard freestyle (18th)

Relays (3): 200 yard medley (11th), 200 yard freestyle (23rd) & 400 yard freestyle (17th)

HINKLEY (5): Isaiah Cheeks, jr., diving (NS); David Griffith, jr., 50 yard freestyle (8th) & 100 yard freestyle (7th); Nathan Leigh, jr., 200 yard indiv. medley (13th) & 100 yard breaststroke (28th); Byron Mayo, jr., diving (NS); Jerald Mayo, sr., diving (NS)

Relays (3): 200 yard medley (33rd), 200 yard freestyle (26th) and 400 yard freestyle (32nd)

OVERLAND (2): Sean Kelly, sr., diving (NS) & 50 yard freestyle (36th); Ryan Palma, diving, (NS)

Relay: 200 yard medley (37th)

REGIS JESUIT (29): Alex Baldwin, sr., 50 yard freestyle (66th); Luke Baldwin, soph., 200 yard indiv. medley (36th) & 100 yard breaststroke (33rd); Jacob Barshay, fr., 50 yard freestyle (68th); Evan Benke, sr., 50 yard freestyle (43rd) & 100 yard freestyle (36th); Spencer Burks, fr., 500 yard freestyle (48th); Sean Carr, fr., 500 yard freestyle (42nd) & 100 yard backstroke (47th); Aaron Chen, fr., 100 yard butterfly (54th) & 100 yard backstroke (42nd); Jack Clouatre, soph., 100 yard butterfly (20th) & 100 yard backstroke (30th); Ty Coen, jr., 100 yard butterfly (4th) & 100 yard backstroke (4th); Will Goodwin, soph., 200 yard indiv. medley (5th) & 100 yard breaststroke (8th); Jackson Gurley, fr., 200 yard freestyle (30th) & 500 yard freestyle (20th); Brooks Hauge, jr., 50 yard freestyle (49th) & 100 yard butterfly (43rd); Andy Hoffman, sr., 100 yard butterfly (19th); Sam Jones, jr., 200 yard freestyle (27th) & 100 yard freestyle (28th); Will Kerscher, fr., 200 yard indiv. medley (27th) & 100 yard breaststroke (41st); Kenobi Kinch, fr., 200 yard freestyle (38th) & 500 freestyle (45th); Chris McAninch, jr., 100 yard butterfly (32nd) & 500 yard freestyle (27th); Connor McCabe, jr., 200 yard indiv. medley (23rd) & 500 yard freestyle (25th); TJ Miller, jr., 200 yard freestyle (28th) & 100 yard butterfly (27th); Nick Mordini, sr., diving (NS); Billy Mottram, soph., 100 yard breaststroke (27th); Evan Mullen, fr., diving (NS); Gabe Schultze, sr., 100 yard freestyle (37th); Elliot Steinberg, jr., 200 yard freestyle (31st) & 500 yard freestyle (16th); Alexander Strepman, sr., 50 yard freestyle (31st) & 100 yard freestyle (22nd); Aidan Tanner, sr., 100 yard butterfly (51st); Elijah Warren, jr., 50 yard freestyle (6th) & 100 yard breaststroke (4th); Cameron Weese, sr., 200 yard indiv. medley (11th) & 100 yard breaststroke (13th); Sean Zoellner, soph., 100 yard butterfly (40th) & 100 yard backstroke (21st)

Relays (3): 200 yard medley (6th), 200 yard freestyle (11th) & 400 yard freestyle (9th)

SMOKY HILL (10): Carlos Almeraz, soph., 500 yard freestyle (32nd); Alexander Burkhardt, soph., 200 yard freestyle (34th) & 500 yard freestyle (21st); Timothy Domashevich, jr., diving (NS); Tam Nguyen, jr., 100 yard butterfly (49th); Tylen Phillips, jr., 200 yard freestyle (3rd) & 100 yard butterfly (5th); Patrick Pwiko, soph., 200 yard indiv. medley (33rd); Jordan Scott, jr., 50 yard freestyle (26th) & 100 yard freestyle (12th); Logan Strid, fr., 500 yard freestyle (34th); Aleks Volkov, sr., 200 yard indiv. medley (47th); Seth Wells, soph., diving (NS

Relays (3): 200 yard medley (12th), 200 yard freestyle (20th) & 400 yard freestyle (13th)