Winter Sports All-Aurora 2016-17: Regis Jesuit again heavy on All-Aurora Girls Swim Team


on Tuesday March 14, 2017 at Grandview High School. Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel
Members of the 2016-17 Aurora Sentinel All-Aurora Girls Swim Team pose at Grandview High School. From left, Regis Jesuit’s Rachel Hubka, Jennae Frederick, Meriel Upton and Isabella Schultze, Smoky Hill’s Natalie Rotondo and Regis Jesuit’s Kassidy Cook, Anne Marie Kenny, Jada Surrell-Norwood and Samantha Smith. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

When it comes to the state swim meet, Regis Jesuit always steps its game up.

Seeded sixth going into this season’s Class 5A girls state swim meet, the Raiders jumped up to third and even had a chance for second going into the final event at the Veterans’ Memorial Aquatic Center.

Nine members of coach Nick Frasersmith’s Regis Jesuit team appear on the Aurora Sentinel’s 2016-17 All-Aurora Girls Swim Team, which is based on state results. Smoky Hill junior Natalie Rotondo and Grandview sophomore Lyssa Wood round out Aurora’s top event performers.

Regis Jesuit came away from the state meet without a trophy — first or second — for the first time in five seasons and failed to win an event at the 5A state meet for the first time since 2008.

on Friday March 24, 2017 at Aurora Sentinel. Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel
Regis Jesuit freshman Sophia Bradac earned a spot on the 2016-17 Aurora Sentinel All-Aurora Girls Swim Team in the 100 yard breaststroke. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

Freshman Jada Surrell-Norwood came closest to extending the program’s event championship streak with a runner-up finish in the 100 yard freestyle in an Automatic All-American time of 50.13 seconds.

She was also fifth in the 50 freestyle and swam on the runner-up 200 free relay and third-place 400 free relay teams, both of which posted Automatic All-American times.

Another of Regis Jesuit’s slew of impact freshmen earned All-Aurora honors in Sophia Bradac, who was a city-best ninth in the 100 breaststroke, while she also swam a leg on the Raiders’ fourth-place 200 medley relay team.

Seniors Samantha Smith, Jennae Frederick, Isabella Schultze and Kassidy Cook led a young team all season and put the finishing touches on outstanding careers with their performances in their final state meets.

Smith — younger sister of Olympic gold medalist, multiple-time NCAA champion and former Regis Jesuit state champion Clark Smith — was Aurora’s top finisher in the 100 butterfly, in which she posted an eighth-place finish with time of 57.34 seconds. The Southern Methodist University signee led off both of the Raiders’ freestyle relay teams and finished one spot and 0.4 of a second behind teammate Surrell-Norwood in the 50 freestyle.

The Colorado State-bound Frederick’s 10th place led city performers in the 200 individual medley and she improved by more than a second between prelims and finals in the event. Frederick, who won the consolation heat of the 100 butterfly, swam on the Regis Jesuit 200 medley and freestyle relays as well.

Cook posted the top city finish in the backstroke as she touched the wall in 12th and Schultze’s contributions included a leg on the third-place 400 free relay in addition to a pair of top-14 finishes.

on Friday March 24, 2017 at Aurora Sentinel. Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel
Grandview sophomore Lyssa Wood maintained the family tradition in the 500 yard freestyle at the Class 5A state meet with her Aurora-best sixth-place finish. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

Junior diver Anne Marie Kenny overcame a slow start and moved up each round to an Aurora-best 12th spot after finals. She made sure the Raiders scored on the diving board, even without graduated three-time state champion McKensi Austin.

Sophomores Meriel Upton and Rachel Hubka aided Regis Jesuit relays, which had three top-four finishes. Upton — who was 10th individually in the 100 freestyle — swam legs on both the 200 and 400 freestyle teams, while Hubka (16th in the 50 free) contributed to the 200 medley relay.

Wood played a big role in helping coach Karen Ammon’s Grandview team to a ninth-place finish.

She picked up where her graduated sister Mia left off in the 500 freestyle, as she finished in sixth place a year after her sister was second. Wood touched the wall in front of two other Aurora finalists in the 500, Regis Jesuit’s Jenna Newkirk and Smoky Hill’s Blythe Iverson — both freshmen — while she also placed 12th in the 200 IM and helped the Wolves to a tie for sixth place in the 400 freestyle relay.

Rotondo had an outstanding state meet for coach Scott Cohen’s Smoky Hill team, which tied for 12th in the team standings.

The junior made it back for championship finals for the first time in three trips to state and she claimed eighth in the 200 freestyle, while she also placed 12th in the 100 butterfly after she won a swim off to qualify for the consolation finals.

Rotondo placed in four events in all as she helped the Buffaloes’ win the 200 yard medley relay consolation final and also finish 13th in the 400 freestyle relay.

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

2016-17 AURORA SENTINEL ALL-AURORA GIRLS SWIM TEAM

FIRST TEAM

200 yard medley relay: Regis Jesuit (Kassidy Cook, Sophia Bradac, Jennae Frederick, Rachel Hubka); 200 yard freestyle: Natalie Rotondo, Smoky Hill; 200 yard individual medley: Jennae Frederick, Regis Jesuit, sr.; 50 & 100 yard freestyles: Jada Surrell-Norwood, Regis Jesuit, fr.; 1-meter diving: Anne Marie Kenny, Regis Jesuit, jr.; 100 yard butterfly: Samantha Smith, Regis Jesuit, sr.; 500 yard freestyle: Lyssa Wood, Grandview, soph.; 200 yard free relay: Regis Jesuit (Samantha Smith, Meriel Upton, Jennae Frederick, Jada Surrell-Norwood); 100 yard backstroke: Kassidy Cook, Regis Jesuit, sr.; 100 yard breaststroke: Sophia Bradac, Regis Jesuit, fr.; 400 yard free relay: Regis Jesuit (Samantha Smith, Meriel Upton, Isabella Schultze, Jada Surrell-Norwood)

HONORABLE MENTION

Parker Biley, Regis Jesuit, fr. (100 yard breaststroke); Simone Cade, Grandview, jr. (100 freestyle); Taylor Dirks, Grandview, sr. (500 freestyle & 100 butterfly); Rachel Hubka, Regis Jesuit, soph. (50 freestyle); Samantha Hufford, Grandview, soph. (200 freestyle); Blythe Iverson, Smoky Hill, fr. (500 freestyle); Sarah Mortenson, Rangeview, soph. (1-meter diving); Jenna Newkirk, Regis Jesuit, fr. (500 freestyle); Jordyn Richey, Smoky Hill, sr. (100 breaststroke); Maggie Robben, Smoky Hill, fr. (100 breaststroke); Natalie Rotondo, Smoky Hill, jr. (100 butterfly); Isabella Schultze, Regis Jesuit, sr. (100 & 200 freestyles); Meriel Upton, Regis Jesuit, soph. (100 freestyle); Tori Vale, Regis Jesuit, sr. (100 butterfly); Lyssa Wood, Grandview, soph. (200 IM); Christie Yee, Cherokee Trail, jr. (1-meter diving); Relays: CHEROKEE TRAIL — 200 yard medley (Meghan Mai, Caitlyn Agee-Keys, Madison Houtkooper, Elma Spahic) & 200 yard freestyle (Caitlyn Agee-Keys, Ella Steckler, Maddie Wilson, Elma Spahic); GRANDVIEW — 200 yard medley (Lyssa Wood, Simone Cade, Taylor Dirks, Molly Nankey); 200 freestyle (Samantha Hufford, Abigail Smith, Molly Nankey, Simone Cade) & 400 freestyle (Samantha Hufford, Lyssa Wood, Taylor Dirks, Simone Cade); SMOKY HILL — 200 yard medley (Jianna Walker, Jordyn Richey, Natalie Rotondo, Maggie Robben); 200 freestyle (Jianna Walker, Jordyn Richey, Brieyana Walton, Blythe Iverson) &  400 freestyle (Natalie Rotondo, Jianna Walker, Blythe Iverson, Maggie Robben), 13th