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Codevilla captures two titles at Class 4A state championships

Series: Niwot Girls Swim and Dive | Story 5

February 26, 2020

Jocelyn Rowley

Sophomore Mary Codevilla looks to the scoreboard after beating Mullen's Chase Davison to win the state title in the 200-yd freestyle at the Class 4A swim championships on Feb. 19.

There weren't very many Cougars in the pool at the 2020 Class 4A swim and dive championships, but what the Niwot state squad lacked in competitors, it more than made up for in impressive swims. Chief among them were Mary Codevilla's stunning performances in 200- and 500-yard freestyle races, which brought the talented sophomore two individual state titles and helped catapult the youthful Cougars into ninth place overall. Afterwards, head coach Sarah Stamp said that she was "thrilled" with the outcome, especially after all the complicated math that went into shaping this year's state lineup.

"It was a fantastic showing, and I'm really pleased with the top-10 finish," Stamp said. "You see what's out there for times, and then people swim at conference, and I scramble trying to make decisions about where to put people and what to do. Then you wait for that psych sheet and hope you've made the right decision. I'm happy with how things panned out."

Stamp clearly made the right decision regarding Codevilla, but it probably wasn't hard to go wrong with the proven second year-veteran, who captured her first title as a freshman in the 200 individual medley. Her winning time of 1 minute 49.31 seconds in the 200 freestyle was a high school personal best, and more than half a second faster than the All American mark (1:50.05).

She didn't set a personal best in the 500 freestyle finals, but only because she did so the day before in the preliminary round with a time of 4:55.01, which was six seconds faster than her seedtime, well under the All American time, and less than half a second off the Class 4A state mark (4:54.65). Codevilla ultimately won the event in 4:57.37, outpacing the second place finisher by more than seven seconds.

"My training has been very different this year," she said. "I've been training a lot for the 500 lately, rather than IM and breaststroke, which I usually train for. It's been more geared toward mid-distance and freestyle."

Codevilla was also instrumental in the Cougars' relay wins, particularly in the 400-yard freestyle relay, the meet's final and most competitive event, with just six-tenths of a point separating the second through fifth place finishers. Swimming the anchor leg, Codevilla overcame a slow start for Niwot and snuck them into one of the top five spots, securing just enough points to guarantee a top-10 finish in the team standings, and creating another memorable moment.

"It was great just getting the points for the team, and supporting the team," she said. "Having my teammates behind my back is what got me to those state titles, and it just felt really good to give it back."

In other action, Emiley Yie did what she's been doing all season for the Cougars-once again gladly abandoning her comfort zone in order to boost the team score. Unfortunately, that put the junior up against some elite competitors (including Codevilla), who only seemed to get faster between preliminaries and finals. Yie set a personal best in the 100-yard butterfly finals (58.96), but fell two places from (8th to 10th) from the day before. She also lost ground in the very tight 200 freestyle finals, from 4th to 7th, despite an almost identical time (1:55.17 to 1:55.64).

"It's kind of a roller coaster," Stamp said of Yie's results, adding that her 200 free time was just three-tenths of a second behind the fourth place finisher. "Swimming as a whole is getting faster, so it's hard to say why. The top-10 in everything was respectable."

Yie was happy with her personal performance, even if a little dismayed with the final standings. She also said this year's two-day state meet was a lot more "fun" than 2019, when Niwot was the Class 4A runner-up.

"I went best times in both of my events, so that's good. The 100 fly was one of those flexible events, and that was really fun to be able to swim, since I don't usually get to race in that...I feel overall it was just a lot better experience."

Elsewhere for Niwot, junior Sophia Gaspar joined Codevilla and Yie on the 400 freestyle relay, and also competed in the 100 butterfly, finishing in 18th (1:02.77). Junior Lucca Fulkerson helped lead Niwot to a 16th-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay (1:57.57), along with freshman Rowan Lavigne, Lexy Bullen and Stephanie Mow, who also rounded out the 400 freestyle relay. Overall, Stamp was very pleased with the performance of her underclassmen in the high-pressure event, and is looking forward to coaching a 2020-21 team that won't be losing any of the state swimmers to graduation.

"It wasn't an easy season, especially compared to last year, but we chipped away at things, won conference, and then came here and got top-10. All the girls are just great, and they're all coming back next year."

Feb.18-19 - Class 4A State Swimming Championships, VMAC, Thornton

Team scores - 1. Cheyenne Mountain 348, 2. Rampart 340, 3. Mullen 275, 4. Dakota Ridge 229, 5. Windsor 221, 6. Broomfield 205, 7. Silver Creek 204, 8. Monarch 182.5, 9. Niwot 164, 9. Grand Junction 164, 11. George Washington 124.5, 12. Highlands Ranch 118, 13. Pine Creek 116, 14. Arvada West 113, 15. Greeley West 105, 16. Wheat Ridge 89, 17. Golden 82, 18. Standley Lake 63, 19. Air Academy 55, 20. Thompson Valley 54, 21. Longmont 46, 22. Coronado 37, 23. Loveland 35, 24. Fruita Monument 30.5, 25. Denver South 30, 26. Liberty 22, 27. Centaurus 19, 28. Palmer 7, 29. Montrose 6, 30. Ponderosa 4, 30. Pueblo West 4, 32. Mountain View 2.5

Jocelyn Rowley

Junior Emiley Yie swims for Niwot in the finals of 100-yard butterfly at the Class 4A state championships on Feb. 19.

200 medley relay - 1. Rampart, 1:44.04; Mullen, 1:45.51; 3. Cheyenne Mountain, 1:46.56; 16. Niwot (Mow, Lavigne, Fulkerson, Bullen), 1:57.57

200 freestyle - 1. Codevilla, 1:49.31; 2. Davison, Mullen, 1:50.27; 3. Brovold, Rampart, 1:53.24; 7. Yie, 1:55.64

100 butterfly - 1. Brovold, Rampart, 56.92; 2. Sowitch, Mullen, 57.65; 3. Webster, Monarch, 57.72; 10. Yie, 59.09; 16. Gaspar, 1:02.13

500 freestyle - 1. Codevilla, 4:57.37; 2. Sanderson, Cheyenne Mountain, 5:05.76; 3. Hayward, Cheyenne Mountain, 5:08.00

200 free relay - 1. Mullen, 1:33.11; 2. Rampart, 1:3.56; 3. Cheyenne Mountain, 1:38.34; 4. Niwot (Luo, Yie, G. Shaw, Vu), 1:38.77;

400 free relay - 1. Dakota Ridge, 3:32.55; Grand Junction, 3:37.25; 3. Broomfield, 3:37.26; 5. Niwot (Mow, Gaspar, Yie, Codevilla), 3:37.85


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