At the 2013 Boys’ Colorado High School State Swimming & Diving Championships, the finals of today’s 5A session were delayed by 51 minutes after the pool was measured too short.
The meet is being swum at Colorado Mesa College in Grand Junction, in a 50 meter pool with a bulkhead. When the pool was officially measured before the meet, likely in preparation for a possible National Age Group or National High School Record by Texas commit Clark Smith in the 100 fly, it came up a little bit short.
Ultimately, there was little effect for the snafu, as the bulkhead was adjusted before finals started, and it was decided that a handful of State Records set in prelims would stand. In the early going, however, with the meet through the dive break as of posting, there was some drastic changes in the rest time between certain events, which could have had a small effect in certain swims. The meet directors did the best they could to keep things on a timeline by moving diving to the beginning of the meet, while measurement issues were being sorted out, but even then, it meant about 30 minutes less rest between the front half and the back half of the meet.
We still saw a few more State Records go down though, so other than some frustrations, it was a fairly no harm/no foul interruption.
For Clark Smith, who on Friday was within .04 seconds of the National High School Record, that meant half-an-hour less time to recover between the 200 free and that 100 fly, and no National Record. He did, however, put up a new State Record in the 200 free with a 1:36.73 that was probably the swim of the finals session. Smith put up a 1:36.73, to beat Ponderosa’s Carter Griffin in 1:39.90, in the 200 yard freestyle.
That’s a best time by seven tenths of a second, and further enhances his freshman value to Texas next season. The Longhorns graduate half of their medley relay, and if he continues to develop, Smith could be a replacement for that relay that placed 5th at NCAA’s last season. That broke the 2012 State Record
Just 30 minutes later, as they glazed past the dive break, Smith would win add a second win in the 100 yard fly in 47.05 – which is about half-a-second slower than the time he put up in prelims of 46.54. That prelims swim was the 2nd-best in high school history.
Jake Markham took 2nd in the 100 fly in 50.22, followed by Ryan Ball in 50.50.Those two are both juniors.
Smith’s impressive results were just a small part of the overall Regis Jesuit effort, as the boys ran away with their third-straight 5A Championship, and 18th in the last 19 years.
They had an interesting bit of strategy, as they left Smith out of all of their prelims relays so as to decide where his efforts would be best utilized.
They opted to leave him out of the 200 medley, which meant the Cherry Creek relay of Daryl Turner, John Mattern, Jake Markham, and Eric Fuqua combined to win in 1:30.73. That just missed their State Record from prelims, and featured a 21.9 butterfly split from Markham. The back half of that relay will return as seniors next year, while Turner and Mattern both graduate.
That meant Smith would join the 200 free relay, where he led off in 20.37 and was joined by Zach Suter, Jesse Suchomel, and Erik Biernat as they combined for a monster of a 1:22.74 to knock two full seconds off of the State Record that Regis set back in 1994 – at the infancy of their dominance in Colorado. Three of those four guys split under 21 on that relay, and they overtook Arapahoe High School who was 2nd in 1:24.86. Arapahoe got a 20.40 anchor from Kyle Hentschel.
And finally, in the last race of the meet the 400 free relay, Smith swam a 44.04 to split just under the 44.08 that Cherry Creek’s Turner did in prelims leading off Cherry Creek. Regis Jesuit got another State Record with a 3:00.97 overall time, as Smith was followed by Suter, Hennessey Stuart, and Biernat.
Cherry Creek was 2nd in 3:03.18, including a 44.00 from Daryl Turner on the third leg. Arapahoe was 3rd in that relay in 3:06.85.
Regis’ Stuart Hennessey gave them another win in the 200 IM in 1:49.94, ahead of Cherry Creek’s Jake Markham in 1:50.94. That’s a big drop for Markham from prelims, though Hennessey was just off. Markham’s older brother Jared, now at Georgia, is the State Record holder in this race. Loveland senior Nick Hatanaka took 3rd in 1:51.45.
Regis’ other individual winner on the day, giving them wins in half of the events, was Kyle Goodwin on the 1-meter with a 525.05.
Hatanaka would do one spot better in the 100 breaststroke than he did in the 200 IM, and he beat Cherry Creek’s Mattern with a 55.91; Mattern was 2nd in 57.22. Hatanaka is headed for Minnesota next season, as is Daryl Turner of Cherry Creek. Turner would add two State titles for a total of three individually for Gopher-bound swimmers; first he won the 50 free in 20.75, which was about six-tenths off of his State Record from prelims. Then he added a 47.80 in the 100 backstroke, which was a much better swim for him. That ties him with Regis’ Stuart for the State Record, though he was only 2nd in this final – he couldn’t match his prelims time that had stood alone as the record, and was just a 48.02 on Saturday.
One of the two winners we have yet not mentioned were Ponderosa’s Carter Griffin in the 500 free with a 4:31.80. He put on a great final 100 yards to pull away from Highlands Ranch swimmer Nathan Mueller, who was 2nd in 4:33.51. Griffin is bound for the University of Missouri next season and a distance group with a little bit of upward momentum.
And finally, Fariview’s Miles MacKenzie won a photo-finish in the men’s 100 yard freestyle in 46.33. He was followed very closely by junior Hunter Bains in 56.37 and Kyle Hentschel in 46.49.
Full meet results available on Meet Mobile.