THORNTON — Matt Jagiello didn’t have a good feel for his dives during warm-ups, but, thankfully for him, those weren’t the ones that counted.
In fact, Jagiello’s three dives in the finals of the 2013 Dick Rush Coaches Invitational at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center got progressively better. That helped the Chargers junior to take fourth with 393.05 points on March 30.
“I felt it once I sank into the pool. I just knew it got pretty good scores,” Jagiello said of his third and last dive of the finals, which also happened, score-wise, to be his best. “I needed that to move up. It just felt like a great dive.”
The dive moved Jagiello up from sixth after the preliminaries. He wasn’t likely to catch the top three, especially eventual winner Alan LeBlang of Arapahoe, who finished with 487.45 points, but it gave him something to shoot for.
But first things first.
“My first goal is to get over 400 in a meet, then it will be to get up there with those guys,” said Jagiello, who also trailed Standley Lake’s Trent Kindvall and Thompson Valley’s Tanner Williams.
Jagiello was one of two Chatfield athletes to finish in the top five. Freshman teammate Santana Garcia, who says it will take a fast start in the 100 butterfly to catch the state’s best, placed third. He finished in 53.21 seconds. Cherry Creek’s Jake Markham won in 52.12, while Arapahoe’s Logan Lagresse was second in 52.46.
“I went out after it today for the finals,” Garcia said. “My goal was to be first at the 50. I wasn’t exactly there. I didn’t have the going-out speed, but coming home I finished out pretty well.”
So did Littleton High’s 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams. Each race was swum by Philip Mathys, William Paton, Josh Tinucci and Josh Vankooten, and they finished third. The Lions’ foursome swam the 200 medley relay in 1 minute, 39.80 seconds, just a little more than two seconds behind victorious Cherry Creek.
Littleton swam the 200 freestyle in 1:28.57, less than a second behind the first-place Bruins and second-place Arapahoe.
“We’re doing pretty good this year. It’s going to be a good year for us. We’ve really been working harder than the past couple of years,” said Tinucci, who also took fifth in the 50 freestyle in 22.01 seconds and eighth in the 100 freestyle in 49.01.
“All the guys that we have, have all been together since we were freshmen, and (we have) one junior. So we’ve all been working together, working hard. We might do some damage at state and get Littleton’s name recognized. We haven’t been up there in a long time.”
Mathys was sixth in the 50 (22.12) and seventh in the 100 (48.46). Those finishes helped Littleton to place seventh in the 25-team 5A field with 120 points.
Cherry Creek, behind seven first-place finishes, easily won with 318 points. Fairview was a distant second with 183. Chatfield placed 14th with 45 points, and Columbine tied Poudre for 20th with 19 points. D’Evelyn won the 4A field with 87 points. Thompson Valley was second with 75.
Contact Michael Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.