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Girls swimming: Irwin and Yie power Niwot to second place at Northern League meet

With 420 team points, the Niwot girls captured second place in the 2018 Northern League swimming championships, held Feb. 2-3 at the Veteran’s Memorial Aquatic Center (VMAC) in Thornton. Niwot swimmers claimed conference titles in four of the 12 events, and three more Cougars qualified to compete in next weekend’s Class 4A state meet.

“They were fantastic days of swimming for all of our girls,” Niwot head coach Sarah Stamp said. “It was an awesome performance by everyone.”

Sophomore Payten Irwin claimed two individual titles for Niwot, in the 50-freestyle, which she won with a season-best time of 24.73 seconds, and the 100 butterfly (57.96). She was also the third leg of the winning 400 freestyle relay team (3:37.59) and the second-place 200 freestyle team (1:41.78).

Niwot freshman Emiley Yie claimed a conference title in the 100 freestyle with her season-best time of 54.43 seconds, and was runner-up in the 200 freestyle (1:59.09). Like Irwin, she was also a part of the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams.

Elsewhere, the 200 medley relay team of Amalia Luthens, Natalie Sesselmann, Hanna Luo, and Kristi Vu took third overall with at time of 1:54.83, while sophomore Abbie Shaw, who is recovering from walking pneumonia, took third in the 100 backstroke (59.81) and fourth in the 200 freestyle.

The Cougars also added to their state-bound contingent, with senior Claire Jepson making the cut in the 200 freestyle (2:07.38), while Vu (57.04) and Izzie Mitchell (57.65) qualified in the 100 freestyle.

Though they did not finish among the top 10, Niwot’s Halie Ostrom and Amber Nusser advanced to the diving finals on Friday, finishing in 15th and 16th place respectively.

Niwot heads into the Class 4A State meet with 11 total swimmers qualified to compete, and will have at least one team in all three relays. For Stamp, getting all three team into the finals is the key to besting last year’s ninth-place performance at State.

“You never know until you see the heat sheets how things will stack out,” Stamp said. “Some years we’ve struggled getting that third relay back, so we’re hopeful this year we can sneak that third one in and have all three swim on Saturday. That helps tremendously in terms of team scoring.”

The Class 4A State swim meet will be held Feb. 9-10 at the VMAC, with preliminary swim races set to kick-off at 10:30 a.m. on Friday. On Saturday, diving preliminaries start at 9:30 a.m., with final rounds for both swim and dive to follow at 3 p.m.

Feb. 2 & 3 — Northern Conference Meet, Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, Thornton

Team scores — Silver Creek 465.50, Niwot 420, Thompson Valley 359, Longmont 318.50, Centaurus 223, Mountain View 178.

200 medley relay — 3. Niwot (Luthens, Sesselmann, Luo, Vu), 1:54.85.

200 freestyle — 2. Emiley Yie, 1:59.09; 4. Abbie Shaw, 2:00.61.

200 IM — 4. Hanna Luo, 2:14.70.

50 freestyle — 1. 1. Payten Irwin, 24.73.

100 butterfly — 1. Payten Irwin, 57.96; 4. Hanna Luo, 1:00.96; 6. Lucca Fulkerson, 1:02.78.

100 freestyle — 1. Emiley Yie, 54.43; 7. Kristi Vu, 57.04; 10. Izzie Mitchell, 58.55.

500 freestyle — 8. Amalia Luthens, 5:45.05.

200 free relay —2. Niwot (Vu, Mitchell, Irwin, Yie), 1:41.78.

100 backstroke — 3. Abbie Shaw, 59.81. 4. Claire Jepson, 1:02.59.

100 breaststroke — 7. Natalie Sesselmann, 1:14.62; 9. Lucca Fulkerson, 1:14.64.

400 free relay — 1. Niwot (Luo, Yie, Irwin, Shaw), 3:37.59


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