The 2012 Colorado High School State Championship team from Fossil Ridge, and 2013 runners-up, will have a new head coach this season. A new head coach, but not an entirely new face for many of Fossil Ridge’s swimmers: Tasha Marchant, who was a coach for the team for two seasons before leaving to become certified as a registered nurse, has been named once again the head coach of the Fort Collins team, according to the Coloradoan.
She replaces Carolyn Fries, who like Marchant once did is leaving for academic pursuits: Fries will be seeking a master’s degree in counseling at Colorado State.
Fries had a highly successful two years at Fossil Ridge; in 2013, her team was the state runners-up, and in 2012 they were the 5A (big school) State Champions, including knocking off Missy Franklin’s Regis Jesuit team, and Bonnie Brandon’s Cherry Creek team.
That finish was one of the most thrilling in state history, as the vastly under-hyped Fossil Ridge squad knocked off the two superpowers. With all eyes focused on the two international-level swimmers, Fossil Ridge slid their way into a 2nd-place finish in the meet-closing 400 free relay, which bumped them 1 point ahead of the favored Cherry Creek team for the overall team title.
This season, Fossil Ridge lost their star Rhi Williams, but largely returns what was overall a young squad that won the 200 medley relay and was 2nd in the 400 free relay at last year’s state meet.
Among the team’s leaders this year are junior Bailey Nero, who was 4th in the 200 IM and 2nd in the 100 fly at the 5A meet last year; Emilee Dinkel, who finished in the A-Final of the 50 free as just a freshman last season; and senior breaststroker Sammie Guay, who was 3rd at last year’s State Championship meet.
What’s more, out of 12 relay spots, they only graduated two: both of which were swum by current Utah freshman Rhi Williams (she’s on the track team, but has not yet committed to swim for the Utes).
The 2014 girls’ state championship meets will be held from February 14th-15th in Fort Collins (4A) and VMAC (5A).