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Eagles, Chargers up to the challenge

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Chatfield takes third, Dakota Ridge fourth at the Jeffco Relays

By Michael Hicks

ARVADA — Ali Borelli and her Dakota Ridge teammates knew that if they were going to win the meet-opening 200-yard medley relay on Jan. 8 as part of the 5A Jeffco Relays that they would have to pull off one of their fastest times of the season. They also would have to keep up with Lakewood and not let the Lady Tigers get too far out in front.
Mission accomplished.

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The Lady Eagles’ foursome of Borelli, Kaila Munday, Deseray Sileo and Ashley Gerken swam to a winning time of 2 minutes, 2.52 seconds to squeak out a narrow victory over Lakewood in one of 11 unique relay races at George J. Meyers Pool.
“It was great. We did really good,” Borelli said. “It really went in our favor. We had perfect timing coming into the wall. The divers were great. We couldn’t have asked for a better race. It was pretty close.”
Overall, Dakota Ridge placed fourth with 134 points, just behind third-place Chatfield with 156. Ralston Valley won with 178 points, while Lakewood was second with 166. Columbine came in seventh with 74.
The event features relays throughout, including two-person diving teams. Chatfield’s Ana Eyssimont and Averly Hobbs ran away with that event, winning with a combined score of 231.854 points. The Lady Chargers added six second-place finishes to that. One of those was in the 200 combined butterfly/freestyle relay.
“It’s really fun because you get unique relays and get different strokes in each relay that you don’t normally do,” said Chatfield junior Elle-Han Collings, who swam the anchor leg in the 200 butterfly/freestyle relay. The Lady Chargers finished in a time of 1:56.70.
The uniqueness of the event is especially true when it comes to the 500-yard crescendo relay. Each swimmer swims a different distance — 50, 100, 150 and 200 yards. Chatfield’s foursome of Hailey Gerze, Haley Kopec, Sydney Mueller and Abby Oglesby swam to a second-place finish in 5:11.36.
“It’s kind of strange, especially having 150 as the third person and you don’t normally swim that. It’s more difficult. I think it felt good,” Kopec said.
Chatfield’s other second-place finishes came in the 200 backstroke (2:10.94), 200 breaststroke (2:29.07), 400 individual medley (4:32.03) and 200 butterfly (2:01.84). Gerze, Kopec, Mueller, Heather Stevens and Abby Oglesby each swam a leg in three of Chatfield’s relays.
Columbine’s lone victory came in the 200 freestyle relay where the team of Brooke Bower, Kate Reader, Grace Herring and Maggie Burns swam a winning time of 1:50.54.
The Jeffco Relays, if anything, certainly alters the monotony that a regular season can bring with it.
“It’s a real treat. The atmosphere really gets you psyched up and ready to go,” Borelli said.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.