EATON — If you want to understand the true depth of your swim team, a relay meet is the place to do it.
You have the numbers, you are going to score well … and ultimately make big waves at the state tournament.
The 200-yard medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays are all huge at state and account for double the points that the individuals events do, so the onus is on the coaches and swimmers to make the best possible team in each event.
On Tuesday afternoon in Eaton, the Holy Family Tigers took two of the three state sanctioned events and ended up winning four of the eight relay races.
The freshman/senior quarter of Abby Philipsen, Olivia Zuhosky, Sydney Brooker and Ella Chapman went 2 minutes, 4.98 second in the opening 200-medley and edged their closest TVL foes from Holyoke. It was just two short weeks ago that the Dragons, from the northeast corner of the state, beat us in our own pool in the same event.
Chapman, swimming the first of three straight events to start the meet, led off the 200 free relay ahead of Josephine Romano, Summer Norwell and Kaitlyn Genzer and swam an impressive 1:53.08, but it wasn’t enough to catch Berthoud (1:50.67) or Eaton (1:52.13).
The same foursome that combined to win the first event, also teamed up to win the third. The grueling 400 medley relay, where each swimmer swims 25 yards of each stroke, the Tigers were 12 seconds faster than their closest competition from Liberty Common.
The Tigers also won the final two events of the day.
One of the special relays was the 200 breaststroke relay and the team of Zuhoski, Ariana Wise, Kelly Whitehill and Brooker were nearly three seconds faster than the host Reds.
In the 400-free relay, Holy Family again finished first in 4:11.23 with the group of Philipsen, Abeyta, Genzer and Zuhoski.
You might think with all of the wins, the Tigers would have walked away with the title, but a costly disqualification in the 200 backstroke cost the the Tigers the victory in the event and a crucial 40 points.
It ended up helping Berthoud. The Spartans scored 250 points to win the title and Holy Family was second with 214.
It will set up what is sure to be an exciting first ever Tri-Valley League championships next Friday and Saturday in Loveland at Thompson Valley High School. The Class 3A state meet is just two weeks away at Thornton’s VMAC.
TRI-VALLEY LEAGUE RELAYS
Team scores — Berthoud 250, Holy Family 214, Liberty Common 208, Skyline 170, Eaton 168, Valley 166, Estes Park 136, Holyoke 126.
200-yard medley relay — 1. Holy Family (Philipsen, Zuhoski, Brooker, Chapman) 2:04.98; 2. Holyoke 2:06.07; 3. Berthoud 2:11.65.
200 free relay — 1. Berthoud 1:50.67; 2. Eaton 1:52.13; 3. Holy Family (Chapman, Romano, Norwell, Genzer) 1:53.08.
400 medley (4x100IM) relay — 1. Holy Family (Philipsen, Brooker, Zuhoski, Chapman) 4:51.39; 2. Liberty Common 5:03.82; 3. Berthoud 506.17.
500 free crescendo relay — 1. Liberty Common 5:32.62; 2. Berthoud 5:34.42; 3. Eaton 5:38.84.
200 butterfly relay — 1. Liberty Common 2:03.30; 2. Berthoud 2:04.71; 3. Holy Family (Norwell, Abeyta, Romano, Chapman) 2:07.46.
200 backstroke relay — 1. Berthoud 2:12.55; 2. Liberty Common 2:16.67; 3. Valley 2:22.78.
200 breaststroke relay — 1. Holy Family (Zuhoski, Wise, Whitehill, Brooker) 2:29.71; 2. Eaton 2:32.22; 3. Liberty Common 2:34.47.
400 free relay — 1. Holy Family (Philipsen, Abeyta, Genzer, Zuhoski) 4:11.23; 2. Liberty Common 4:13.18; 3. Eaton 4:14.09.