Girls swimming final thoughts, results, plus a look ahead at the 🏀 postseason

The winter season is just beginning to dwindle down. Girls swimming wrapped up this past weekend, but
The Playbook
Girls swimming final thoughts, results, plus a look ahead at the 🏀 postseason
By The Playbook • Issue #55 • View online
The winter season is just beginning to dwindle down. Girls swimming wrapped up this past weekend, but action on the wrestling mat and the basketball hardwood is just starting to heat up.
In today’s Playbook, we’ll provide results and final thoughts from the Class 3A Girls Swimming and Diving Championships this past weekend at the Edora Pool Ice Center in Fort Collins.
Also, as we enter the final week of basketball’s regular season, we’ll take an early look at the postseason potential of some of the Patriot League’s top contenders.
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Estes Park's Kaelin Flanery swims in the 100-yard backstroke in a dual against Berthoud on Nov. 27 at Loveland High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Estes Park's Kaelin Flanery swims in the 100-yard backstroke in a dual against Berthoud on Nov. 27 at Loveland High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Girls state swimming final thoughts and results
Though the Patriot League will have the opportunity to further flex its muscles in basketball and wrestling during the coming weeks, the league certainly had its fair share of standout performances during the Class 3A Girls Swimming and Diving Championships this past weekend at the Edora Pool Ice Center in Fort Collins.
Most of these Patriot League athletes recorded season- or career-best times in their respective events.
Two of the league’s swimmers and one diver even made it to the championship finals in their events.
Eaton senior diver Clarise "Coco" Sviatko
Eaton senior diver Clarise "Coco" Sviatko
Eaton
Reds senior Clarise “Coco” Sviatko battled through preliminary and semifinal rounds in 1-meter diving to qualify for Saturday’s late afternoon finals.
She improved her placement with each round, ultimately placing 16th in the finals with a score of 329.95.
Not bad for a diver who picked up the sport for the first time just three years ago.
Eaton freshman Alexis Bruntz recorded the highest finish of any Patriot League athlete. She placed seventh overall with a time of 56.70 seconds in the championship finals of the 100-yard freestyle.
Bruntz also competed in the consolation finals of the 200 freestyle. She placed 14th overall, fourth in the consolation heat, with a time of 2:05.69.
While Bruntz is really just getting her high school swimming career started, senior McKenna McGehee wrapped up her high school swim career, doing so in impressive fashion.
In the consolation heat of the 200 individual medley, she placed eighth, 18th overall, with a time of 2:26.95.
She won the consolation heat, and placed 11th overall, in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:13.59.
In the 200 freestyle relay consolation finals, the team of McGehee, junior Emma Bjork, senior Jasmyn Thornberg and Bruntz placed seventh in the heat, 17th overall, with a time of 1:49.93.
The Reds placed 19th overall, ninth in the consolation heat of the 400 freestyle relay. The team of Bruntz, Bjork, Thornberg and McGehee finished in 4:06.23.
Estes Park's Abby Lemirande swims in the 100-yard butterfly in a dual against Berthoud on Nov. 27 at Loveland High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Estes Park's Abby Lemirande swims in the 100-yard butterfly in a dual against Berthoud on Nov. 27 at Loveland High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Estes Park
If Eaton proved to have the best freshman in the Patriot League in Bruntz, Estes Park may have had the best senior duo.
Senior Kaelin Flanery placed ninth overall with a time of 57.37 in the championship finals of the 100 freestyle.
Flanery also competed in the consolation finals of the 200 freestyle. She finished 16th overall, sixth in the consolation heat, with a time of 2:06.37.
In the 50 freestyle consolation finals, fellow senior Abby Lemirande placed ninth, 19th overall, with a time of 26.85.
She was even better in the 100 butterfly. She won the consolation heat, and placed 11th overall, with a time of 1:03.54.
In the consolation finals of the 200 freestyle relay, Estes Park finished one spot behind fellow Patriot League team, Eaton. The quartet of Flanery, senior Annalise Basch, freshman Ella Santagati and Lemirande placed 18th overall, eighth in the heat, with a time of 1:51.80.
Estes Park has a small team and will have to work hard next year to duplicate this kind of performance at the state meet. Nonetheless, this past weekend was a nice swan song for Lemirande and Flanery.
Valley junior Molly Rymes
Valley junior Molly Rymes
Valley
Though they didn’t have anyone in a championship final Saturday, the Vikings still accumulated some strong performances in consolation finals.
In the 200 medley relay, the quartet of junior Gracelynn Frazier, junior Cora Smith, junior Molly Rymes and freshman Rylee Vilhauer placed 17th overall, seventh in the consolation heat, with a time of 2:06.88.
As basketball regular season wraps up, Sterling boys and Eaton girls are clear title contenders
As the Class 3A Patriot League seasons come to an end for boys and girls basketball teams, there may not be much opportunity for teams to drastically improve their regular season status.
A new opportunity starts with the Patriot League district tournament late this week and all next week.
It concludes with the 3A state finals March 9.
Here’s a look at how the league’s top 3 teams during the regular season may fare in the postseason.
Sterling's Tucker Myers tries to make a shot over Resurrection Christian's Sparky Morris on Jan. 15 at Resurrection Christian High School in Loveland. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Sterling's Tucker Myers tries to make a shot over Resurrection Christian's Sparky Morris on Jan. 15 at Resurrection Christian High School in Loveland. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Boys
Sterling Tigers (10-0 Patriot, 18-0 overall, first in the Patriot League)
The Tigers have played 18 games this winter and have walked away with 18 wins.
Their only remotely close games? A 46-43 home win on Dec. 13 against Manual, a 63-54 overtime win on the road against Resurrection Christian on Jan. 15 and a 47-45 home win against Kent Denver on Jan. 26.
Sterling outscores its opponents an average of 30 points per game.
Despite all that dominance, the Tigers must stay hungry. Less than a year ago, they won their first 25 games before being stunned in the state semifinals by Lutheran.
Still, any way you slice it, the Tigers are the odds-on favorite to win the 3A title, which would be their third state title since 2011.
Playbook’s prediction: Sterling wins its second 3A title in the past three seasons.
Resurrection Christian's Reece Johnson battles for a rebound with Sterling's Carter Keil on Jan. 15 at Resurrection Christian High School in Loveland. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Resurrection Christian's Reece Johnson battles for a rebound with Sterling's Carter Keil on Jan. 15 at Resurrection Christian High School in Loveland. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Resurrection Christian Cougars (8-1, 14-4, second in the Patriot League)
Exactly how good is this Resurrection Christian team?
The early stages of this postseason should tell us just that.
The Cougars’ four losses are to a top-tier 4A team in Pueblo West, and 3A contenders Lutheran, Colorado Academy and Sterling.
With an explosive offense led by junior Reece Johnson’s 19.3 points per game, when Resurrection Christian is hitting shots, it can beat anyone in 3A.
Getting stops down the stretch of tight playoff games will be critical for a Cougars team that has outscored its opponents an average of 14 points per game.
Playbook’s prediction: The state tournament’s Round of 8.
Platte Valley's Tyler Uyemura looks for an open teammate as he dribbles down court during a game against Academy on Nov. 30 at Platte Valley High School in Kersey. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Platte Valley's Tyler Uyemura looks for an open teammate as he dribbles down court during a game against Academy on Nov. 30 at Platte Valley High School in Kersey. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Platte Valley Broncos (6-3, 12-6, tied with Eaton for third in the league with one game to go)
Coming into this season, it was tough to predict how the Broncos would fare this winter.
On one hand, they have perhaps the top player in the Patriot League and one of the best players in all of 3A in 6-foot-9 senior Bryson Becker (22.2 points, 11.8 rebounds per game).
On the other hand, besides Becker and just a few other players, Platte Valley didn’t really have many varsity-tested players entering the season.
If a few players can step up over the next few weeks to take some pressure off Becker, Platte Valley could be one of the real surprises in the postseason.
If not, it could be difficult for the Broncos to advance past the early rounds of the state tournament.
Playbook’s prediction: Round of 16 in the state tournament.
Eaton's Addie Randel goes in for a layup against Platte Valley on Jan. 11 at Eaton High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Eaton's Addie Randel goes in for a layup against Platte Valley on Jan. 11 at Eaton High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Girls
Eaton Reds (9-0, 17-1, first in the Patriot League)
Eaton has been a model of consistency in its 13 years under coach Todd Hernandez.
This is the fourth time the Reds have won the league title under Hernandez, the first time since 2012.
Yet, they’ll be looking to do something they have never done under Hernandez: win a state title. They’ve won only one state title in the program’s entire history, in 1999, when they beat Pagosa Springs 50-47.
Interestingly, Pagosa Springs would likely be one of the teams the Reds would have to charge past in the postseason to win their second state title.
No doubt, there are teams considered much stronger favorites than Eaton to win the state title.
But, if the Reds can get hot, and perhaps ramp their offense up to the next level, they have a puncher’s chance.
Playbook’s Prediction: Final four of the state tournament
Platte Valley's Faith Fetzer dribbles around Eaton's Sydney Booth on Jan. 11 at Eaton High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Platte Valley's Faith Fetzer dribbles around Eaton's Sydney Booth on Jan. 11 at Eaton High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Platte Valley Broncos (8-1, 16-2, second in the Patriot League)
Perhaps there isn’t a bigger surprise in the Patriot League this year than the remarkable turnaround Platte Valley has engineered.
Just a year ago, the Broncos went 3-7 in league, 6-17 overall and were eighth out of 11 teams in the Patriot League.
Their incredible rise is largely tied to the introduction of guards Cora Schissler (14.1 points per game) and Brooke Bunting (10.7 points, 3.2 assists per game), perhaps the best freshman tandem in all of 3A.
Still, championship teams are rarely built in just a matter of months.
As dangerous of a team as Platte Valley is, it may need a few playoff games under its belt before it truly contends for a state title.
But, with such a young, talented core, the Broncos’ championship window is only beginning to open.
Playbook’s prediction: Round of 8 in the postseason.
Resurrection Christian coach Jason Conrad discusses strategy with his team during its 35-24 win against Colorado Academy on Dec. 15 in Loveland. (Photo by Bobby Fernandez)
Resurrection Christian coach Jason Conrad discusses strategy with his team during its 35-24 win against Colorado Academy on Dec. 15 in Loveland. (Photo by Bobby Fernandez)
Resurrection Christian Cougars (6-3, 11-6, tied with Brush for third in the league with one game to go)
Few, if any, teams in the Patriot League have a trio as talented as what Resurrection Christian has with senior Elisabeth Perl (13.8 points, 6.6 rebounds per game), senior Molli Peacock (8.1 points per game) and junior Juju Hemeyer (8.4 points, 3.7 assists per game).
When the Cougars are firing on all cylinders, they’re tough to beat.
Consistency will be key for Resurrection Christian in the playoffs, though. The Cougars haven’t sustained a win streak longer than four games the season.
If Resurrection Christian can find its stride in the postseason, it could extend its season into March.
Playbook’s prediction: Round of 16 in the state tournament.
The Scorebook: Your daily results
Saturday
Boys basketball
Alliance (Neb.) 72, Brush 32
Limon 55, Strasburg 42
Girls basketball
Alliance (Neb.) 68, Brush 48
Platte Valley 59, Kent Denver 40
Yuma 69, Sterling 24
Limon 60, Strasburg 13
Wrestling
Eaton Duals — Eaton 4-1, Strasburg 0-5, University 3-2, Valley 4-1
Coming up in Wednesday's edition of The Playbook
  • We’ll take a team-by-team look ahead at this weekend’s wrestling regional tournaments.
Thanks for reading! See you Wednesday!
Bobby Fernandez, The Playbook
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