AURORA — Brighton and Prairie View high schools are huge rivals. But when they come together on the swim team, magic always seems to happen.
Dating back to its time in the Skyline Conference, the Brighton-Prairie View swim team earned its 11th straight conference crown last weekend, winning six of the 12 events during the EMAC League Championships at Hinkley High School.
Brighton won the championship with 653 points. Northglenn was second with 463, followed by Gateway (367.5), Rangeview (351), Hinkley (259), Aurora Central (177), Westminster-Skyview (130.5) and Adams City (101).
“Overall, I felt they did great. I couldn’t be more proud of them,” a wet Carl Diehl said shortly after the team jumped in the pool in celebration. “They definitely earned it this year.”
Brighton started things out the right way, beginning with the first event of the night in the 200-yard medley relay. The team of Hailey Spratt, Shelby Major, Merritt Hays and Alyssa Petrocco finished in a state qualifying time of 1:58.58. The state meet starts at 4 p.m., Friday, at the Edora Pool and Ice Center, 1801 Riverside Drive, Fort Collins.
Spratt also qualified for state in the 500-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke; however she will not be competing in the 500 yard freestyle at state.
Brighton also earned victories in the 200 yard freestyle relay, 100 yard breaststroke (Major, 1:14.31) and the 400 yard freestyle relay.
The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Petrocco, Ashlin Chavez, Alexandria White and Lauren Gonzales finished in a time of 1:51.64. The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Destiny Chacon, Isabelle Pawlak, Rachael Lopez and Kaci Steil finished in a time of 4:15.7.
In diving, Olivia Meunier finished fifth with a combined score of 250.2. Kylie Coleman finished ninth (218.15), Abby Todd finished 14th (186.75) and Nagisa Her finished 17th (166.80).
The senior class had the luxury of winning four-straight conference championships and was a big part of the team’s success.
“It’s an extremely good feeling because many of us have been a part of the program all four years and to win it all four year is amazing,” senior Merritt Hayes said. “It’s been an incredible senior year for us. Everyone has wanted to take some sort of leadership role to be a part of this team, and it has been awesome.”
Along with Hayes, the seniors are: Emily Barnes, Taine Downs, Katey Homer, Emily Kennedy, Ingrid Lund, Shelby Major, Olivia Meunier, Mikkayla Nguyen, Alyssa Petrocco, Lilly Prochoda, Ryanne Ritchey, Shayla Salazar, Sydney Schaeffer, Aubrie Sena, Theresa Smith, Cassidy Van Riper.
“Seniors naturally bring a lot of maturity to a team and our group of seniors did that,” Diehl said. “You can’t accomplish much without maturity. They did a great job with their leadership and made the program proud.”
Even with the seniors graduating, Brighton should be right in the thick of things moving forward.
“We have strong underclassmen and a huge freshman class,” Diehl said. “They were all a big part of this meet.”
Also representing the EMAC at state is EMAC swimmer of the year Barbara Barocio of Gateway High School. She won the 200-yard individual medley, setting an EMAC record, but fell short of a state qualifying time. Barocio qualified for state in the 100 yard butterfly.