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RCHS girls swim and dive finish strong

The Rock Canyon High School girls swim and dive team won the continental A-league championship for the third consecutive year and went on to come in 6th place at the 5A state competition.

By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Nicole Vanderpoel

For the third year in a row, the Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) girls swim and dive team won the continental A-league championship. This year saw a school record number of 40 A-league swimmers who competed at the event, which was held February 2 and 3 at Heritage High School.

Nicole Vanderpoel, head girls swim coach, said, “This year we truly had a team victory where all of our girls swam their hearts out! Each swimmer’s effort, along with the support of assistant coaches Jeff Seaquist, Jenny Leddick, Jessica Vitcenda and Debbie Kortbawi, contributed to our success.”

Next came the 5A state championship meet, which was February 9 and 10 in Ft. Collins. The lady Jaguars had 12 state qualifiers, Jessie Beckwith, Anna Case, Sierra Edstrom, Grace Haas, Olivia Luhnau, Makenna Mathieson, Reagan Mathieson, Britt Nichols, Maddie Orgill, Kennedy Philbrick, Chiara Robinson and Skyler Robinson. Eight girls qualified for finals whether in relays or individual events.

Vanderpoel exclaimed, “The girls dug deep into their swimming hearts and raced like champs! Before the last event, the 400 free relay, our team was in eighth place overall. With one of the most amazing efforts I have ever seen in my 12 years of coaching Rock Canyon, the girls finished fourth in the relay which moved us up to sixth place overall at 5A state!”

This season the team organized two separate Jaguar Cares community service programs. With the help of swimmer Chiara Robinson, the team organized Operation Bright Star to provide meals for the Crisis Center in Castle Rock. In addition, with the help of swimmer Sydney DiCarlo, the team held a Jag- A-Thon pool swim on January 4 where the girls swam for an hour straight and raised $2,000 for the Inaugural Swim Across America Denver. Swim Across America Denver’s mission is to raise money for pediatric cancer clinical trials and research at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Congratulations to the RCHS girls swim and dive team for having an excellent season both in and out of the pool!



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