🏊 State swimming preview, plus Eaton's Dylan Yancey is in ideal big-match form

Are you ready for the big time? Eaton senior wrestler Dylan Yancey certainly is. The state title-cont
The Playbook
🏊 State swimming preview, plus Eaton's Dylan Yancey is in ideal big-match form
By The Playbook • Issue #53 • View online
Are you ready for the big time?
Eaton senior wrestler Dylan Yancey certainly is. The state title-contending grappler has the perfect big-match approach and demeanor, which will no doubt pay dividends in the all-important month of February.
But first, we’ll preview a big-time girls swimming meet — the biggest high school swimming meet in Class 3A.
The 3A girls swimming and diving championships begin today and conclude Saturday.
We’ll give you an idea of what to expect from the Patriot League’s three teams — Eaton, Estes Park and Valley.

Estes Park's Abby Lemirande swims in the 100-yard butterfly against Berthoud on Nov. 27 at Loveland High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Estes Park's Abby Lemirande swims in the 100-yard butterfly against Berthoud on Nov. 27 at Loveland High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Girls Swimming and Diving State Championships Preview
By Quinn Ritzdorf, qritzdorf@patriotplaybook.com
The Patriot League will have a tough, up-hill climb (or should I say swim) this weekend at the Class 3A Girls Swimming and Diving Championships. The only three teams in the Patriot League — Eaton, Estes Park and Valley — will compete in 11 of the 12 events at the Edora Pool Ice Center in Fort Collins. Below are the takeaways from the three teams and what to look for as the Patriot League tries to make a splash:
*Qualifying times are in parentheses
Eaton
Freshman Alexis Bruntz is expected to lead a trio of Eaton swimmers that have a chance to crack the top 10 at the state meet.
Bruntz comes into the state meet as the No. 8 qualifier in the 100-yard freestyle – her best event. Bruntz qualified with a time of 57.11 seconds. To crack the top 10 and qualify for Saturday’s finals, she will likely need to at least match her seed time.
Bruntz qualified 12th in the 200-yard freestyle with a seasonal-best mark of 2:05.78. She will likely need to swim a 2:05 or better to make it to the finals. 
Eaton senior diver Clarise "Coco" Sviatko
Eaton senior diver Clarise "Coco" Sviatko
The other big name for Eaton comes from the diving board. Clarise “Coco” Sviatko, who was highlighted in previous issues of The Playbook, is looking to make it out of the preliminary rounds, which she failed to do this past year at the state meet.
The senior is ranked ninth in 3A, according to statewide leaderboards compiled by PrepSwimCo.com. At the Tri-Valley Conference meet this past weekend, her 326.75 score was her second best of the season. In January, Sviatko posted a season-best score of 336.25 during the Weld County Invitational.
Sviatko has a good chance to surpass her finish from last year and make her way into the finals.
The other swimmer for Eaton who is looking to make the finals is McKenna McGehee. She is swimming in the 200-yard individual medley in which she is seeded 20th with a time of 2:26.73. She is also eyeing her best event, the 100-yard breaststroke. She is seeded 11th with a time of 1:14.58. To make the finals, she will need likely need to swim 1:14 or faster.
Eaton is also swimming in two relays, the 200-yard freestyle and the 400-yard freestyle, but is seeded toward the bottom part of the 28-team field in both events. 
However, if the trio of Bruntz, Sviatko and McGehee improve on their best times and scores, they could all crack the finals and make their way onto the podium.
Events: Alexis Bruntz in 200-yard freestyle (2:05.78); McKenna McGehee in 200-yard IM (2:26.73); Clarise “Coco” Sviatko in 1 meter diving; Alexis Bruntz in 100-yard freestyle (57.11); Team 200-yard freestyle relay (1:54.88); McKenna McGehee in 100-yard breaststroke (1:14.58); Team 400-yard freestyle relay (4:03.25).
Estes Park's Kaelin Flanery swims in the 100-yard backstroke against Berthoud on Nov. 27 at Loveland High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Estes Park's Kaelin Flanery swims in the 100-yard backstroke against Berthoud on Nov. 27 at Loveland High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Estes Park
Senior Kaelin Flanery will compete in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle. In the 200, she is seeded 14th with a time of 2:05.99. In the 100, she is seeded 16th with a time of 58.41. To make the finals in the 200, she will need to improve her time, perhaps by an entire second or more. 
The other swimmer for Estes Park is senior Abby Lemirande. She narrowly qualified for state in the 50-yard freestyle and is seeded 32nd out of 41 qualifiers with a time of 27.32 seconds. Her best event is the 100-yard butterfly, where she is seeded 17th with a time of 1:04.59.
Estes Park's Abby Lemirande swims a warm-up lap before competing on Nov. 27 against Berthoud at Loveland High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Estes Park's Abby Lemirande swims a warm-up lap before competing on Nov. 27 against Berthoud at Loveland High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Like Eaton, Estes Park is swimming in the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays. The Bobcats will face an uphill battle as lower seeds in both events.
Flanery or Lemirande will also have to surprise a bit to make it through preliminaries.
Events: Kaelin Flanery in 200-yard freestyle (2:05.99); Abby Lemirande in 50-yard freestyle (27.32); Abby Lemirande in 100-yard butterfly (1:04.59); Kaelin Flanery in 100-yard freestyle (58.41); Team 200-yard freestyle relay (1:52.67); Team 400-yard freestyle relay (4:15.76).
Valley
Out of the three Patriot League teams competing in the state meet, Valley is the thinnest. They have two individual swimmers and three relay teams in the meet.
Gracelynn Frazier is the Vikings’ best swimmer and is seeded 21st and 32nd in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly, respectively.
Valley’s other swimmer is junior, Cora Smith, who qualified in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:19.38. She is placed 34th out of 44 swimmers for the state meet.
Valley is also swimming in the 200-yard medley and freestyle and the 400-yard freestyle relays. The Vikings are seeded in the bottom three in all relays.
Overall, there are a variety of athletes that are going to represent the Patriot League. But since the Patriot League lacks the swimming expertise like that of the Tri-Peaks or Western Slopes leagues, it will be difficult for Eaton, Estes Park and Valley to make any waves.
The Notebook: News and notes from around the league
Platte Valley alum Jason Smith
Platte Valley alum Jason Smith
Back to NOLA
For the second time in his veteran NBA career, one of Platte Valley’s most famous alums Jason Smith will apply his craft in the The Big Easy.
On Thursday, just before the trade deadline, Smith was dealt from Milwaukee to New Orleans along with Stanley Johnson and four second-round picks in exchange for Nikola Mirotic.
Smith, a 7-foot, 240-pound forward/center, has averaged 3.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per game in 9.4 minutes per game.
He’s in his 11th year in the league after being drafted out of Colorado State with the 20th overall pick by Miami (traded to Philadelphia) in 2007.
He previously played for New Orleans from 2010-14.
He graduated from Platte Valley in 2004.
More signings
In addition to Sterling’s Isaac Harris and Platte Valley’s Trevon Wehrman signing to play football for Chadron (Neb.) State this fall — as mentioned in Wednesday’s Playbook — numerous other Patriot League athletes have signed their names to National Letters of Intent in recent days.
University linebacker Jaxon Samsel signed to play for Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D.
In addition to Wehrman, two other Platte Valley players signed to play football at the next level. Running back Ernesto Rios signed with Eastern New Mexico University. Linebacker Roberto Lara signed with McPherson (Kan.) College.
If you know of any Patriot League athletes who have signed or are signing with colleges, email me at bfernandez@patriotplaybook.com, or simply reply to this email.
PlatteValleyFootball
Trevon Wehrman, Ernesto Rios, and Roberto Lara signed their letters of intent this morning to play college football! Congratulations boys! #BroncoNation 💙 https://t.co/1gOq7Ud5t1
4:59 PM - 6 Feb 2019
Class 3A Patriot League basketball standings

Boys
League Overall
Sterling 9-0 17-0
Resurrection Christian 7-1 13-4
Platte Valley 5-3 11-6
Eaton 5-3 10-7
University 5-3 12-5
Valley 4-4 10-7
Strasburg 4-5 8-9
Frontier Academy 3-5 9-8
Brush 2-6 8-8
Estes Park 2-7 6-11
Liberty Common 0-8 2-15

Girls
League Overall
Eaton 9-0 17-1
Platte Valley 8-1 15-2
Resurrection Christian 6-2 11-5
University 5-3 11-6
Brush 5-3 8-8
Sterling 5-4 6-10
Liberty Common 4-4 9-8
Estes Park 3-5 10-7
Valley 1-8 3-15
Strasburg 1-8 7-10
Frontier Academy 0-9 1-17

Eaton's Dylan Yancey grapples with Cherry Creek's Eddie Sutherland in a 138-pound match Dec. 14 at the Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Eaton's Dylan Yancey grapples with Cherry Creek's Eddie Sutherland in a 138-pound match Dec. 14 at the Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Eaton's Dylan Yancey avenges earlier loss and wrestles his first angst-filled match of February
By Bobby Fernandez, bfernandez@patriotplaybook.com
GILCREST — The dozens of bodies that surrounded Eaton senior Dylan Yancey as he prepared to face Valley sophomore Isaiah Rios in a marquee wrestling matchup this past Saturday might as well have been manikins.
Yancey has spent most of the season ranked first in On The Mat’s Class 3A statewide rankings.
But, Rios recently found himself in that top spot, returning to action after sitting out the first half of the season because of CHSAA’s transfer rule, beating Yancey at the Mel Smith Husky Invitational on Jan. 19.
So, naturally, when the top two 138-pound wrestlers in 3A — Yancey and Rios — again found themselves staring across the mat at each other, this time in the semifinals of the Valley Invitational, a large crowd quickly converged.
Eaton senior Dylan Yancey
Eaton senior Dylan Yancey
Yet, as quickly as the crowd built, Yancey was every bit as patient and methodical in his approach.
Yancey knows exactly how to handle this type of pressure-filled atmosphere. And, he received exactly the result he sought.
On his path to his second Valley Invitational championship in as many years, he evened the score with Rios with a dramatic 4-3 victory.
Yancey scored the winning reversal, going up 4-2 with 2 seconds left before conceding an escape just as time expired.
While the dozens of spectators nervously swayed back and forth as the two wrestlers jockeyed for an advantage, Yancey never let his nerves show.
Eaton senior Dylan Yancey defends Isaiah Rios' roll in a 138-pound semifinals match in the Valley Invitational on Saturday at Gilcrest.
Eaton senior Dylan Yancey defends Isaiah Rios' roll in a 138-pound semifinals match in the Valley Invitational on Saturday at Gilcrest.
“I wanted to win, but I tried to not overhype it,” he said. “I try to treat it like it’s just another match in my head. But, going out there, I knew it was a big win for me. I needed to win to build that confidence and put that doubt in (Rios’) mind. I just needed to get that win for the betterment of my season.”
Yancey’s even-keeled demeanor in situations in which most other wrestlers might be rattled should serve him well in the coming weeks.
Yancey’s win against Rios was his first match under a proverbial spotlight this February. It won’t be his last.
Yancey will be a top contender for a state title all the way until placewinners are determined at the Pepsi Center on Feb. 23. And, Yancey could very well be the one occupying that top place on the championship podium.
Eaton's Dylan Yancey scores the match-winning reversal against Valley's Isaiah Rios.
Eaton's Dylan Yancey scores the match-winning reversal against Valley's Isaiah Rios.
In his two previous trips to the 3A state tournament at Denver’s Pepsi Center, Yancey placed third a year ago at 132 pounds and fourth in the same weight class as a sophomore with Platte Valley after making it to the state semifinals.
In his final year of high school before heading to Colorado School of Mines to wrestle, Yancey can remember the exact moment in which he began developing the unflappable mentality that currently serves him so well.
“Ever since my sophomore year, making it to the semifinals, I got shellshocked by the crowd and I didn’t wrestle (aggressively) because of it,” Yancey said. “So, now, I just try to focus on the match. I just try to get tunnel vision, straight on the match. Don’t focus on the environment. Just focus on wrestling.”
Rios regains edge on Yancey
After Dylan Yancey’s win this past Saturday over Valley’s Isaiah Rios, to avenge an earlier loss to Rios, the tide has once again turned in Rios’ favor in the latest showdown between these 138-pound wrestling heavyhitters.
In Eaton’s 45-33 dual win against Valley to capture a second consecutive Patriot League title on Thursday in Gilcrest, Rios edged Yancey 3-2.
Rios scored the winning takedown off Yancey’s blown shot in the final minute.
Valley's Isaiah Rios scores the winning takedown in a 3-2 win over Eaton's Dylan Yancey in the 138-pound match Thursday in Gilcrest.
Valley's Isaiah Rios scores the winning takedown in a 3-2 win over Eaton's Dylan Yancey in the 138-pound match Thursday in Gilcrest.
The Scorebook: Your daily results
Thursday
Girls basketball
Eaton 68, Frontier Academy 17
Platte Valley 63, Valley 19
Wrestling
Eaton 45, Valley 33
Coming up in Saturday's edition of The Playbook
  • University freshman Tayt Chacon comes from a baseball family, but his passion is with basketball, and it has shown with his instant impact at the high school level.
  • Class 3A girls state swimming, Day 1 impressions, results
Thanks for reading! See you Saturday!
Bobby Fernandez, The Playbook

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