Castle Crocs wrap up fifth season in Castle Pines North
Article and photo by Carin R. Kirkegaard
Local Castle Pines North (CPN) swim team, the Castle Crocs, ended the summer on a high note taking 80 percent of the swimmers that signed up for the preliminary swim meet onto championships and finishing second overall in the “C” Division of the Mountain High Swim League (MHSL).
In addition, three of the Crocs age groups took first place at championships. The eight and under boys, the 11 and 12 year-old boys and the 9 and 10 year old girls all brought home a first place plaque for the team.
The season also provided a number of other achievements. Abby Kochevar, an 11 year-old swimmer, broke three league records entering the Crocs into the record books for the first time. Kochevar broke the MHSL record for the 50-yard freestyle, the 50-yard breast and the 50-meter freestyle.
The Crocs sent 28 swimmers onto the MHSL All Star meet, a meet where the best swimmers from all four divisions compete in each swimmers best strokes. Crocs all stars are: Eddie Amos, Rory Brown, Brooke Celecki, Chloe Civello, Aodhan Cool, Fionn Cool, Michelle Dunker, Garrett Durie, McGregor Durie, Jackson Fox, Wilson Haworth, Chelsea Hudgen, Jared Jorden, Nicole Jordan, Abby Kochevar, Ted Koerner, Evan Lombardo, Amanda Mahoney, Shannon McFarland, Matthew Reed, Emily Sattem, Andrew Steavpack, Claire Steffe, Will Steffe, Jeremy Swiatek, Sophia Wagner, Jaycee Weber and Tate Vernon.
With 214 swimmers, the Crocs had swimming improvements at each meet. Once again Daz Bog in CPN partnered with the Crocs and awarded a chiller for each swimmer that improved his or her time in a race. At the season’s conclusion more than 300 “Cool Croc” awards had been handed out.
Little Italy returned again this season and ran the team’s concession stand at each meet and also sponsored a free 7-inch pizza for swimmers that improved his or her time in a race.
With the end of the team’s fifth season, parent representative for the team Kathleen Steffe commented that the Crocs are about community and the development of the CPN youth. “Although we are swimming, the team is really about the community and swimming is just what happens to be the activity that brings us all together,” Steffe continued.
Steffe, especially extends her gratitude to the local homeowner’s associations that allow the Crocs the use of their pools. The homeowners in HOA2 have been a proud supporter of the Crocs from the beginning, allowing the team to practice at the pool each morning as well as hosting meets on Saturdays. As the team has grown so has the need for pool space and the homeowners at CPNII were just as willing to lend their support. For the last two years they have allowed practice times and this year they opened their pool to the team to host a day of preliminaries.
“This is an awesome event for our community and I am proud to help facilitate and support the families and youth of Castle Pines North,” said Shirley Beer Powell, President of the CPNII Homeowner’s Association.
Other than a paid coaching staff, the Crocs swim team is run entirely by parent volunteers and through sponsorships. The Crocs would like to thank the countless volunteer hours put in by the team’s parents as well as Cool Patent P.C., Daz Bog, Castle Pines Orthodontics, Colorado Kids Pediatric Dentistry, Hobby-Whalen Marketing, Little Italy, Office Max, The Ridge, Secure Search, Smile Fish Swim School and Twist Yoga.
Pictured above from left to right: Kathleen Steffe, Mayor Jeff Huff, Colette Celecki, Shirley Beer Powell.