ARVADA — Observing Kaitlynn Jackson prepare to swim is nearly as eventful as watching her cut through the water.
The Columbine sprinter jams on her iPod during the consolation final while she prepares for her race. On her hand are numbers scrawled in pen and sometimes she points to water as she makes mental notes.
Whatever it all means, it’s working.
Jackson finished second in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events Feb. 9 as the Rebels took sixth in the Class 5A Jefferson County League Meet at Meyers Pool.
Jackson swam the 50 free in 25.11 seconds – her fastest time in the event this season – and touched the wall in the 100 free at 54.21. She also anchored the Rebels’ 200 freestyle relay squad that placed second.
“It’s a good kind of nervousness I get, but I’m mostly just excited to race,” Jackson said. “I’m really excited for state this year. It should be fun.”
Chatfield arguably had the most fun as the Chargers won the meet comfortably with 426 points. Wheat Ridge was second with 312 and Green Mountain placed third in the 11-team field with 299 points. Columbine totaled 206 points and Dakota Ridge was seventh with 167 points.
The Chargers won two of the three relay events, notching state qualifying times in both the 200 free relay and 400 free relay.
Individually, Chatfield captured two events thanks to Shelley Perkins, who was a shade faster than Jackson in both the 50 and 100 free. Perkins torpedoed the 50 free with a time of 24.85 and took the 100 free with a time of 53.99.
Dakota Ridge’s Hannah Cox (200 free) and Emily Kuhr (200 individual medley) won their events to give the Eagles two league champions.
Cox swam a steady race to take her event as she got separation after the midway point. She would need every inch of that cushion as Chatfield’s Katherine Glassner finished the race on a dead sprint.
“I didn’t want to get out too fast, I wanted to have enough energy to bring it home,” Cox said.
Glassner, who would also place second in the 500 free with a time of 5:15.79, might have passed Cox had the pool been five yards longer.
“I always do it like that,” Glassner said. “I always come back strong. I just always feel really good at the end. I just can’t bring it out fast with the other girls that like to bring it fast.”
Chatfield’s Amber Ebertowski placed third in the 200 IM with a time of 2:20.18 and teammate Rachel Reiling was seventh with a time of 2:27.73.
But it was Kuhr who dominated the 200 IM with a time of 2:14.13. Kuhr was also nominated for 5A swimmer/diver of the year.
The Chargers were well represented in the 50 free. After Perkins, Kyle Carlton (time of 25.95) was fourth, Christie Marsh (26.26) was sixth and Jaimie Stevens (26.76) was eighth.
The 100 free was also loaded with local swimmers. Behind Perkins and Jackson, Cox placed third, Chatfield’s Kylie Carlton was fourth, while teammates Jenny Bates and Stevens placed sixth and eighth, respectively.
In the 100 backstroke, Marsh of Chatfield placed fourth (1:04.06) and Columbine’s Emma Ahrendsen (1:07.04) was sixth.
Reiling, of Chatfield, and teammate Becca Fox placed fifth and eighth, respectively, in the 100 breaststroke.