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The Aurora Sentinel

WinterSportsPreview2010-11

Mat stronG Aurora set for potential big haul at Pepsi Center as state champion, several placers return to mats.

STORY ON PAGE 2


Page 2 | Aurora Sentinel | Winter Sports Preview 2010 - 2011

Winter Sports Preview 2010-11

Eyes on defending champ Crowley Regis Jesuit junior eyes second title; city wrestlers ranked high

2010-11 5A WRESTLING REGIONALS Region 1 (at coronado), Feb. 11-12, 2011 other teams: Arapahoe, Arvada West, Castle View, Chaparral, Chatfield, Coronado (host), Doherty, Douglas Co., Ftn-Ft. Carson, Highlands Ranch, Liberty, Mountain Vista, Palmer, Rampart, Rock Canyon, ThunderRidge Region 2 (at westminster), Feb. 11-12, 2011 Aurora teams: Eaglecrest, Gateway, Grandview, Overland, Rangeview, Regis Jesuit other teams: Central (Grand Junction), Columbine, Ft. Collins, Grand Junction, Lakewood, Northglenn, Pomona (host), Rocky Mountain, Thomas Jefferson, Westminster Region 3 (at Greeley WesT), Feb. 11-12, 2011 Aurora team: Cherokee Trail other teams: Adams City, Boulder, Brighton, Centaurus, Fairview, Fossil Ridge, Greeley West (host), Horizon, Loveland, Montbello, Ponderosa, Poudre, Prairie View, Ralston Valley, Standley Lake Region 4 (at Mtn. range), Feb. 11-12, 2011 Aurora teams: Aurora Central, Hinkley, Smoky Hill other teams: Abraham Lincoln, Bear Creek, Cherry Creek, Dakota Ridge, Denver East, Fruita Monument, George Washington, Heritage, Legacy, Legend, Monarch, Mountain Range (host), Pine Creek, Thornton

By Courtney Oakes The Aurora Sentinel

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Wrestling 2010-11

Wrestling

ohn Crowley has had to pinch himself for his athletic fortune in the last calendar year. The Regis Jesuit junior not only has appeared in — and won — a championship match at the Class 5A state wrestling tournament, but he’s also had the chance to play for the state football title at Invesco Field. Crowley said he was much more nervous in February when he beat Chaparral’s Jackson Julian in overtime of the 160-pound class in front of a packed house at the Pepsi Center than he was playing Mullen on the Denver Broncos home field on Dec. 4, but he’s relished both as much as possible. “I am so pumped about football and I’m so pumped about wrestling,” said Crowley, who became Regis Jesuit’s fifth state wrestling champion last season. “I can’t wait for this wrestling season and I can’t wait for next football season.” Last season, Crowley went 40-3 overall and joined Denzel Washington (2008), John Hooper (2007), B.J. Sanchez (1993, 1994) and Corey Sanchez (1989) on the school’s list of state winners. Only B.J. Sanchez previously won multiple titles and Crowley not only has the chance to do that, but there is still the chance to join a ranks of three-time champions that stands at 82 going back to 1936 according to Colorado High School Activities Association records. Crowley’s gotten off to a slow start early in the season as he works himself into wrestling shape from football — which requires short bursts of energy as opposed to the grueling six minutes of stamina needed to make it through a wrestling match — and gets back into the weight lifting regimen that boosted him to last season’s title. He’s already suffered his first loss of the season when Adams City’s Donovan Maes beat him at the Grandview Duals, but he took the defeat in stride. “That leveled me off and it basically was one of those things that you need to bring you off your pedestal,” said Crowley, who rebounded from the loss to pin his last opponent of the day. “Every kid is out there to take me down, so I have to work that much harder,” he added. “It’s not your wins that make you, it is what you learn from your losses.” Crowley’s ultimate goal for the season — after winning another title at

Class 5A state tournament, Feb. 17-19, 2011, at Pepsi Center

Grandview senior Josh Federico placed fifth at the Class 5A state wrestling tournament at 103 pounds last season and is back for another run at the title in the same weight class this season. He came into the season ranked No. 1 by On The Mat and currently holds the No. 2 spot after losing to Pomona’s Josh Rosales at the Grandview Duals on Dec. 11. (File photo by Heather L. Smith/The Aurora Sentinel) the end of the Feb. 17-19, 2011, 5A state tournament at the Pepsi Center — is to make it to the National High School Coaches Association national championships in Virginia Beach. Crowley lost his training partner when Gordie Pisciotta graduated, but his dad, Rich, and Regis Jesuit coach Adam Reid are working to get him ready. Only seven of the 23 Aurora wrestlers who competed in last season’s state tournament are back, but half of them — Crowley, Cherokee Trail’s Chris Buccieri and Keith Johnson and Grandview’s Josh Federico — made it into the top five at their respective weights at state. All four appear to have pretty good chances to repeat the feat.

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Federico was ranked No. 1 coming into the season at 103 pounds by On The Mat — which he has since lost after falling to Pomona’s Josh Rosales in the Grandview Duals — but coach Greg Maestas could see him getting back on top by the end of the season. “I think it motivates him to work hard and maintain the recognition he is getting,” said Maestas, who another state qualifier back in junior 145-pounder Sean Burroughs. Jake Fisher (160 pounds), Pavlo Ivanusa (189), David Rose (145), Eric Ruoff (112) and Tony Mendiata (119) are part of a lineup that is intent on getting back the Centennial League championship it lost last season to ri-

val Cherokee Trail. Coach Jeff Buck’s Cougars aim higher each season and raised it a couple of notches last season by winning the Centennial League championship and netting a total of seven state qualifiers. The Cougars had never had a wrestler climb the podium as a placer, but saw it happen four times with a pair of thirds, a fourth and a sixth. Two of those placers return to the team in seniors Chris Buccieri at 125 pounds and Keith Johnson at 189. Buccieri took third at 119 last season, while Johnson was fourth at 189. Buck expects Buccieri to have similar success this season, especially now that he fulfilled the burden of expectations with his finish last season. “Each year has been a step forward for us, so now we are going into a year thinking all 14 of our guys can go to state,” Buck said. “Whether that happens, you don’t know, but we’re beginning to set the expectations higher. It’s been neat to see the program grow.” Another growing program is Hinkley, which had one state qualifier last season in Joaquin Reyna and could have many more this season. Gateway 171-pounder Dylan Avery is the other returning state qualifier. for the full wrestling preview story, visit our website at www.aurorasentinel.com

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Wrestling Capsules Aurora Central Mascot: Trojans last year: One qualifier for 5A state meet (none returning) coach: Conrad Parra, 6th season wrestlers to watch: Kevin Nguyen, 103 pounds, jr.; William Montrey, 112 pounds, sr.; Jose Parra, 119, sr.; Dalen Loftis, 171/189, sr.; Jaymes Mack, 215, jr. 2010-11 outlook: The Trojans had just one state qualifier last season in graduated 215-pounder Tony Millan, but coach Conrad Parra could have more to keep him busy at Pepsi Center this season. Expe-

rience, competition and intensity is prevalent in the Aurora Central wrestling room with a good mix of juniors and seniors pushing each other. The Trojans have one wrestler with state experience in senior 112-pounder William Montrey, who has been to the Pepsi Center twice, but missed out last season when he ran into a tough group in his weight at regionals. With Montrey — who has shown Parra growth and leadership — training primarily with junior 103-pounder Kevin Nguyen and senior 119-pounder Jose Parra — who won the Arapahoe Tournament to start the season — Aurora Central should be

formidable in the lower weights. All three are ranked in the top eight by On The Mat through two weeks. The Trojans’ inexperience is in the middle of the lineup, but senior Dalen Loftis at 171 or 189 pounds and junior Jaymes Mack at 215s give Aurora Central solid presences in the upper weights. 2010-11 outlook: “We’re still missing some guys, so right now we have a good tournament team, but we’ll have our dual team set after Christmas hopefully. We have good experience in places though.”

See WRESTLE, Page 5


Winter Sports Preview 2010-11

Aurora Sentinel | Winter Sports Preview 2010 - 2011

Raiders load up for another run at Bruins Regis Jesuit to have Franklin at state in quest to unseat Bruins; Buffs seek top five By Courtney Oakes

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The Aurora Sentinel

Girls Swimming

f this season’s Class 5A state girls swim meet is anything like the last one, it will be must-see event for local swim fans. Last season’s meet at the Edora Pool & Ice Center produced nine records and gave spectators a chance to see Regis Jesuit phenom Missy Franklin handily win two events in her state debut. Franklin will miss many of the Raiders’ meets this season, but she’ll be back when it counts for coach Nick Frasersmith’s team, which lost just three swimmers from a group that gave perennial powerhouse Cherry Creek a scare. The Raiders lost just one pointscoring senior in Taylor DeBever, but junior Lauren Stoeckle decided to concentrate on club swimming and sophomore Megan Grier transferred to Chaparral. Despite the losses, Regis Jesuit remains loaded with top-end talent, even when Franklin isn’t around. The sophomore Olympic hopeful will be around for the team’s dual meet with the Bruins on Jan. 22 — the most anticipated dual of the season — and the state meet, but in the meantime the Raiders will continue to roll behind a senior class with three Division

I signees in Alex Todd (Purdue)), Hillary Thomas (Northwestern) and Meagan Smith (Akron). A senior group further bolstered by Hannah Chase, Miranda Morton, Melissa Norrish and Alex Vossmer along with youngsters such as sophomore Delaney Lanker and versatile freshman McKenna DeBever, is just part of Frasersmith’s incredibly deep roster. Smoky Hill’s new swimming pool is ready for action and coach Scott Cohen has an outstanding team to break in the new water. The Buffaloes finished ninth as a team at last season’s state meet — and just 13 points out of sixth — and only one senior who scored any of their 109 points graduated in diver Paige Gaydos. The rest of Smoky Hill’s contingent is back, helped by its leader in senior Caroline Piehl, who signed a national athletic letter of intent with the University of CaliforniaBerkeley. Piehl is looking for the capper on a career in which she’s won two state championships and finished in the top three of all six of her individual state races. Seniors Courtney Wedel, Mackenzie Wyman and Meghan Plachy will be vital, as will juniors Kelse Johnson and Elysia Erickson, sophomore Alyse Miller and freshman Lizzie Wiley among others. Sophomore Kianna Lee returns to lead the way for Grandview, which tied for 13th last season. A freshman crew headed by Madison Dirks should give the Wolves a boost. Gateway returns state qualifiers in sophomore Barbara Barocio and junior diver Cassie Brozek as it tries to unseat APS champ Rangeview. for the full state preview story, visit our website at www.aurorasentinel.com

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G irls Swimming Capsules

Aurora Central Mascot: Trojans

last year: No individuals at 5A state meet coaches: Anne & Sarah Ferris, 8th season swimmers to watch: Jessica Sondgeroth, sprint,

distance freestyles, sr.; Alex Buzick, 100-yard breaststroke, middle distance freestyle, sr.; Lexi Kromarek, utility, sr.; Alicia Naranjo, diving, sr. 2010-11 outlook: The Trojans moved back into

GirlsSwimming 2010-11

Regis Jesuit swim team members from left: senior Hillary Thomas, sophomore Missy Franklin, freshman McKenna DeBever and senior Alex Todd pose Dec. 7 at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora. The Raiders lost just three swimmers from the team that finished second at the Class 5A state meet last season and they have a legitimate chance to unseat the Bruins at this season’s meet on Feb. 11-12, 2011, at the Edora Pool & Ice Center in Fort Collins. Franklin will be swimming a number of national and international events througout the season, but will be with the Raiders for select meets, including a dual with Cherry Creek in January and the state meet. Thomas and Todd are looking to finish their careers with a bang before heading to Division I schools next year, while DeBever is expected to make a major impact in her first season. (Heather L. Smith/The Aurora Sentinel)

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third place between Rangeview and Gateway at last season’s Aurora Public Schools Championship meet and coaches Anne and Sarah Ferris are again looking forward to that meet as the highlight of their season. Aurora Central is still developing depth, but should be competitive at the top end against its APS rivals and the other teams in the newly-formed East Metro

See GSWIM, Page 6


I ce Hockey 2010-11

Page 4 | Aurora Sentinel | Winter Sports Preview 2010 - 2011

Winter Sports Preview 2010-11

Regis Jesuit hockey team members pose Dec. 13 at The Ice Ranch in Littleton. Back row, from left: Marshall Conrad (7), Thomas Stack (4) and Tanner Ottenbreit (28). Front row, from left: Matt Conrad (16), Andrew Fioretto (27) and Nick Davis (9). The Raiders fell short in their quest for a third straight state championship last season when they lost to Ralston Valley in the semifinals. With another high-powered, deep offensive attack and experience at the top end of its defensive pairings, Regis Jesuit expects to be on hand for a shot at the title on Feb. 26, 2011, at Broomfield’s 1stBank Center. (Heather L. Smith/The Aurora Sentinel)

Regis Jesuit set for return to the top Raiders seek to get back to championship ways after loss in state semifinals last year By Courtney Oakes

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The Aurora Sentinel

he three-peat wasn’t to be for the Regis Jesuit ice hockey team in 2009, but coach Dan Woodley believes his team is ready to start another title streak. The Raiders skated off the ice at the 1stBank Center last season with a feeling they hadn’t had since 2007 — the sting of postseason defeat. Ralston Valley derailed Regis Jesuit’s run at a third consecutive title with a 3-0 upset in last season’s semifinals. With the type of no-nonsense determination he’s seen from his team so far, Woodley believes the Raiders can be back on the same ice in Broomfield on Feb. 26, 2011, playing for the state championship. “We’re not looking to just make the final four, our goal is to win the state title this year,” said Woodley, whose team finished 18-4 last season and lost for the first time in the playoffs since going out in the first

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Regis Jesuit Ice Hockey last year: 18-4 overall (lost in state semifinals) coach: Dan Woodley, 6th season conference: Foothills players to watch: Nick Davis, forward, sr.; Tanner Ottenbreit, defense, sr.; Thomas Stack, defense, sr.; Matt Conrad, forward, sr.; Marshall Conrad, forward, jr.; Andrew Fioretto, defender, sr.; Rory Futz, defender, sr.; Brian Burlage, forward, jr.; Nathan Haas, forward, soph.; Matt Lechner, goalkeeper, jr. key dates: First round of playoffs, Feb. 18-19; semifinals, Feb. 25 and championship, Feb. 26, at 1stBank Center

round of the 2007 postseason. “We felt like last year we didn’t perform to the best of our abilities,” he added. “That is hard to say when you lose in the semifinals, but that’s the way all of us felt. “That talent is here to do it again.” The Raiders — and many other teams around the state — have more all-around talent this season thanks to one of a handful ce of changes for 2010-11. Periods have been extended from 15 minutes to 17 minutes, which hasn’t had much of an effect in Regis Jesuit’s first three games — all victories — according to Woodley, and warm-ups and overtimes have been reduced from eight minutes to five minutes. But the biggest difference is that the AA Midget Major club hockey season ended Dec. 4 this season, allowing talented players from all but two teams in that league to disperse and join high school programs. “There should be a lot more talent, so it should really be a better league, top to bottom,” said Woodley, who has at least one such player in standout freshman goaltender Sam Harden, who is part of a AA team that will go to nationals in March. The reinforcements, which also include four new players from the AAA level, serve to make a Regis Jesuit team already flush with talent deeper. Offensive firepower has been the Raiders’ trademark for several seasons, and they’ve already shown they haven’t forgotten how to score. Regis Jesuit has put in 15 goals in

the first three games, and five players have scored at least twice. Thirteen have recorded at least one point. Two of the team’s top three scorers are back in seniors Nick Davis and Marshall Conrad, who combined for 27 goals and 26 assists last season. They have accounted for seven goals and seven assists already this season. With Matt Conrad, emerging sophomore Nathan Haas and newcomer Brian Burlage among others, Regis Jesuit can score with any team in the state. “We’ll have four good lines again who can play with anybody; we are carrying 13 forwards this season and the top seven are very skilled, but all 13 can play,” Woodley said. “I don’t think we’re going to be as physical as we have been in the past, but we have plenty of speed and can execute at a pretty high pace.” The Raiders have another experienced forward on the roster, but senior Andrew Fioretto has been shifted to defense to make up for the notable absence of stalwart Tanner Scales. Scales, a two-year starter, is currently at the Salisbury School in Connecticut. Woodley would love to have Scales, especially for ockey his physical presence and passing, but he has quality at the blue line in the senior group of Tanner Ottenbreit, Thomas Stack, Rory Futz and Fioretta. Ottenbreit, a lacrosse star who also helped the Regis Jesuit football team to the state championship game this season, provides plenty of leadership in the back, as Davis does up front. “Tanner and Nick are our on-ice leaders and I’ve seen a big difference in their intentions,” Woodley said. “They are out there to win games. They aren’t there for personal glory, they just want to win.” Junior Matt Lechner takes over as the regular starter at goaltender with the graduation of Mitch Sungelo, who posted 11 wins for the Raiders last season. Lechner won all five of his starts last season and is 3-0 in the new campaign, letting in just one goal on 55 shots. Harden is also likely to see some action in the nets and Woodley has confidence in both.

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for the full regis Jesuit ice hockey preview story, visit our website at www.aurorasentinel.com


Winter Sports Preview 2010-11

Aurora Sentinel | Winter Sports Preview 2010 - 2011

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Wrestling Capsules From WRESTLE, Page 2

Cherokee Trail Mascot: Cougars last year: Seven qualifiers for 5A state meet (two returning) coach: Jeff Buck, 4th season wrestlers to watch: Chris Buccieri, 125 pounds, sr.; Keith Johnson, 189, sr.; Nicholas Buccieri, 119, soph.; Bryant Brown, 135, sr.; Bruno Nicoletti, 103, soph. 2010-11 outlook: The Cougars keep pushing forward as a program and coach Jeff Buck is looking forward to what this season’s team can do following a year that saw his team win the Centennial League championship, finish second in regionals and send seven wrestlers to the Class 5A state tournament. Now that Cherokee Trail has had the first placers in school history — two thirds, a fourth and a sixth — the next bar is a state championship. The Cougars best bet for that might be senior Chris Buccieri, who placed third last season at 119 pounds and is currently ranked second at 125 by On The Mat. Keith Johnson is also back at 189 pounds, where he finished fourth last season. He should again be a challenger once he works his way into wrestling form after a long season with the Cherokee Trail football team. With those two leading the way, a group that includes senior Bryant Brown, a regional placer last season, Buccieri’s sophomore brother Nicholas at 119 pounds and Bruno Nicoletti at 103s, the Cougars seem ready to continue their recent roll. Quoting the coach: “Each year has been a step in the right direction. We have a lot of kids who are putting in the time in the weight room and in matches, so hopefully we can put it together by February.”

Eaglecrest Mascot: Raptors last year: Three individuals at 5A state tournament (zero return) coach: Dan Wrona, 4th season wrestlers to watch: Tim Rice, 160 pounds, sr.; Dustin Lucas, 130, sr.; Devin Garcia, 119, sr.; Justin Gomness, 140, soph.; Andrew George, 125, soph. 2010-11 outlook: Coach Dan Wrona starts fresh this season after losing all three of his qualifiers for last season’s Class 5A state wrestling tournament to graduation. The Raptors have seven sophomores and a freshman in the lineup, but Wrona’s seen them progress quickly over the summer and at various camps. Eaglecrest finished ninth out of 18 teams at a solid tournament in Colby, Kan., in the early part of the season. Though there is no state experience on the team, seniors Tim Rice at 160 pounds — a regional placer last season who has a good chance to take the next step this season — Dustin Lucas at 130s and Devin Garcia at 119s set good examples for the young wrestlers in the room. Sophomore 140-pounder Justin Gomness already has a tournament win to his credit and has busted into the On The Mat rankings at No. 9 in his weight class. Andrew George at 125 pounds is another sophomore who has shown promise. Quoting the coach: “We’ll be competitive, so if we can stay healthy, we could be in the right place by the end of the season. This is a pretty young team, but if we can

Grandview junior Sean Burroughs qualified for his first Class 5A state wrestling tournament last season. He didn’t place at the Pepsi Center, but he won two of his four matches and finished the season 34-11 overall. Burroughs came into this season ranked fourth and the 145-pounder is one of coach Greg Maestas best bets to qualify for state again this season. (File photo by Heather L. Smith/The Aurora Sentinel)

Cherokee Trail senior Chris Buccieri rests after winning the third-place match at 119 pounds at last season’s Class 5A state wrestling tournament at Pepsi Center. Buccieri finished 42-3 overall last season and is currently ranked second at 125 pounds. He and Keith Johnson will try to lead the Cougars to another Centennial League championship and successful state showing this season. (File photo by Courtney Oakes/The Aurora Sentinel) grow and get the correct matchups, we could do some things.”

Gateway Mascot: Olympians last year: Three individuals at 5A state tournament (one returning) coach: Steve Ontiveros, 1st season wrestlers to watch: Dylan Avery, 171 pounds, sr.; Branden Muniz, 130, jr.; Josh Butler, 125, soph. 2010-11 outlook: Steve Ontiveros takes over as head coach at Gateway after serving as an assistant last season when the Olys had three state qualifiers, including a pair of placers in LaDaris Mungin and David Anderson. Those two graduated, but senior 171-pounder Dylan Avery returns with a good chance to make it back to Pepsi Center. He went 23-16 last season and has opened the new season 11-3, showing the form Ontiveros belives could put him on the medal podium at state. Junior Branden Muniz and/or sophomore Josh Butler could also make it downtown. Muniz was a regional placer as a freshman, but couldn’t make it further last season when he ran into a stacked weight class. He’ll wrestle at 130 pounds this season and train regularly with Butler, who had a solid debut season and could be a threat at 125 pounds. Other than that, Gateway’s lineup is very new and will face a challenging schedule that Ontiveros has put in front of them in hopes of getting them to peak for regionals. Quoting the coach: “We lost a lot of seniors from last year, so I don’t think we’re going to compete a ton as a team, but we have solid individuals. If we can all grow individually, hopefully we can build a team. My main thing is getting them tough matches.”

G randview Mascot: Wolves

last year: Four individuals at 5A state tournament (two returning) coach: Greg Maestas, 13th year wrestlers to watch: Josh Fed-

erico, 103 pounds, sr.; Sean Burroughs, 145, jr.; Jake Fisher, 160, sr.; David Rose, 145, sr.; Pavlo Ivanusa, 189, sr.; Tony Mendieta, 119; Eric Ruoff, 112, sr. 2010-11 outlook: The prospects for coach Greg Maestas in his 13th season at the helm at Grandview are bright. Not only did Maestas have nearly 80 wrestlers creating good competition in the room, but 11 of his 14 starters from last season are back — including Class 5A state placer Josh Federico and another qualifier in junior Sean Burroughs. Federico made his first state appearance last year and made the most of it, placing fifth at 103 pounds. He’s in the same weight class this season and started the season ranked No. 1 by On The Mat. Jake Fisher is also ranked at 160, as are Burroughs

at 145, Pavlo Ivanusa at 189, Tony Mendieta at 119 and Eric Ruoff at 112. With that group, plus a numbers of others with experience, the Wolves have a chance to complete some or all of Maestas’ three annual goals: win the Centennial League championship, finish top three in regionals and make top 10 at state. Grandview will have to overcome Cherokee Trail to win the league and the last goal will depend on how well the Wolves are wrestling going intoa regional Maestas considers the toughest. Quoting the coach: “We’ll be a little more seasoned overall than we have been and we have great numbers. I think that will be really good and we’ll have wrestleoffs every couple of weeks, so guys will have to be ready.”

See WRESTLE, Page 8

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Page 6 | Aurora Sentinel | Winter Sports Preview 2010 - 2011

Winter Sports Preview 2010-11

Smoky Hill swimmers from left: sophomore Alyse Miller, junior Elysia Erickson, senior Caroline Piehl, senior Courtney Wedel, senior Mackenzie Wyman and junior Kelse Johnson pose Dec. 3 in the new swimming pool at Smoky Hill High School in Aurora. The Buffaloes lost just two seniors who were part of last season’s ninth-place finish and could make a run into the top five this season. (Heather L. Smith/The Aurora Sentinel)

G irls Swimming Capsules From GSWIM, Page 3 Athletic Conference behind seniors swimmers Jessica Sondgeroth, Alex Buzick and Lexi Kromarek and diver Alicia Naranjo. Besides their individual contributions, Sondgeroth (who will swim both sprint and distance freestyles), breaststroker Buzick and the versatile Kromarek give the Trojans the foundation of two solid relays. Aurora Central’s ambitious goal is to finish in the top four of the league, which includes some teams it is familiar with from the old Skyline League along with district rivals Gateway, Hinkley and Rangeview. quoting the coach: “We have a few holdovers with a lot of experience who give us some faster girls at the top. What we’re missing is those in the middle group that you need every year for depth. We’ll have to fight, but our hope is to be competitive in the new league.”

Cherokee Trail Mascot: Cougars last year:One individual at 5A state meet coach: Kevin Chatham, 1st season swimmers to watch: Michelle Phelps, freestyles,

sr.; Lanie Pandes, freestyles, sr.; Cara Daugherty, sprint freestyles/100-yard breaststroke, jr.; Karli Wagner, 100 backstroke/freestyles, jr.; Michelle Brown, freestyles, jr.; Mariah Hodges, 100 butterfly/freestyle, soph.; Alexis Gonzales, sprint freestyles, soph.; Anastasia Farberov, 200 individual medley/100 breaststroke, soph.; Shay Pendleton, sprint freestyles, fr.; Claire Coker, freestyles, fr.; Jacqueline Kardell, diver, jr. 2010-11 outlook: Kevin Chatham spent last season as an assistant coach with Cherokee Trail, so it wasn’t a big jump for him to take the top job when it came open. The Cougars have had at least one qualifier for the Class 5A state swim meet since moving up from 4A two seasons ago, but none are back as diver Kelly Kaspar — a two-time qualifier — graduated. Cherokee Trail has an experienced pair of senior captains in Michelle Phelps and Lanie Pandes, who each excel in freestyle events, while the rest of the team is very young, including a slew of freshmen. With the combination of the seniors, plus juniors such as Cara Daugherty, Karli Wagner and Michelle Brown, sophomores Mariah Hodges, Alexis Gonzales and Anastasia Farberov and freshman Shay Pendleton and Claire Coker — plus promising junior diver Jacqueline Kardell — Chatham has a goal of taking a handful of individuals and at least one relay team to state, with the 200-yard medley relay team showing the most potential early. The young swimmers will get tested early and often in the loaded Centennial League. quoting the coach: “Our vision for the year is to get the young people used to the program since we don’t lose a lot going into next season. Taking a good group to state would be huge for the young swimmers.”

Eaglecrest Mascot: Raptors last year: One individual at 5A state meet

coach: Jillian Taylor, 2nd season swimmers to watch: Jenna Behm, 50 free-

style/100 butterfly, jr.; Claire Mills, distance freestyles, sr.; Jamie Allen, 200 individual/100 backstroke, fr.; Shelby Barner, sprint freestyles, soph.; Alison Morris, diving, sr. 2010-11 outlook: The Raptors enter their second season under coach Jillian Taylor with their lone Class 5A state qualifier back in junior Jenna Behm and more potential for Fort Collins. A mix of youth and experience is headed by sprinter Behm — who finished 42nd in prelims of the 50yard freestyle at state last season and is a second off qualifying again in the event this season — and senior Claire Mills, who has a chance to make the cut in the 200 and 500 freestyles. Taylor sees individual state potential in the future from freshman Jamie Allen, who is swimming as well as her sister Jordan did last season for the Raptors and helps make the 200-yard freestyle relay team — which got the time needed to make the Coaches Invitational prior to winter break — a state-qualifying threat. Sophomore Shelby Barner rounds out the relay foursome and will also contribute individually in the sprint freestyles. Eaglecrest has a whopping 10 divers out, but won’t have the services of junior Emma Olson, last season’s top performer who broke her leg during the gymnastics season. Senior Alison Morris is at the top of the diving group in the early season. quoting the coach: “Our goal is to get a little better every day. We have so many tough meets, the goals aren’t really going for wins, it is about times. That is hard because you always want to win, but for us we’re going for time.”

Gateway sophomore Barbara Barocio

Gateway Mascot: Olympians last year:Three individuals at 5A state meet coach: Dan Ambruso, 8th season swimmers to watch: Barbara Barocio, 100-yard

backstroke/500 freestyle, soph.; Cassie Brozek, diving, jr.; Alex Cohenour, sprint freestyles/100 butterfly, jr.; Amanda DiMarino, 200 individual medley/100 breaststroke, fr.; Olivia Tyce, 200 freestyle/100 backstroke, fr.; Lisa Lane, 500 freestyle, sr.; Christy Lentz, sprint freestyle, soph. 2010-11 outlook: The Olys — who move from the Continental League to the East Metro Athletic Conference this season — have the least overall varsity race experience coach Dan Ambruso has seen in his eight years as head coach, but the new swimmers he has aren’t starting from scratch either. A number of natural athletes have joined Gateway, which welcomes the new additions since seven seniors were lost to gradu-

ation, including three-time Class 5A state qualifier Chelsie Barocio. Sophomore Barbara Barocio and junior diver Cassie Brozek are back after appearing in Fort Collins last year and bring the leadership and competitive intensity Ambruso needs as examples for his younger swimmers. Barocio won the Aurora Public Schools championship in the 100-yard backstroke last season and set the school record in the event in the first home meet of the 2010-11 season. Her best event may be the 500 freestyle — in which she finished an Aurora-best 13th at state last season — and she’ll likely swim a number of other events this season. Brozek scored at state as a freshman and might have again last season, but she hit the board and had a zero dive in prelims. Brozek may have her return trip to state locked up by winter break. Junior Alex Cohenour remains a key piece, while senior Lisa Lane, sophomore Christy Lentz and freshman Amanda DiMarino and Olivia Tyce add depth that should help Gateway succeed in the EMAC. quoting the coach: “This is the most swimmers who have come in at least being ready to learn, so I haven’t had to start from scratch. It’s been a nice surprise. The new league has already benefitted our low- and mid-level swimmers who have confidence knowing they can compete.”

G randview Mascot: Wolves last year: Five individuals, three relays at 5A

state meet coach: Brandon McBrier, 3rd season swimmers to watch: Kianna Lee, sprint freestyles, soph.; Madison Dirks, sprint freestyles, fr.; Emily Barboa, 500 freestyle/100 breaststroke, fr.; Sydney Williams, 200 individual medley/100 butterfly, jr.; Sara Falkenberg, diving, soph.; Maddie Richardson, diving, sr. 2010-11 outlook: The Wolves had five individuals in the pool or on the diving board that contributed to their 13th-place finish at the Class 5A state meet — a two-spot improvement from the previous season — but four of those point-scorers graduated: divers Jessica Heap and Demetria Longo and swimmers Cayla Wood and Emily Essig-Peppard. The one qualifier coach Brandon McBrier has back is a major building block in super sophomore Kianna Lee, who helped Grandview to many of its 55 state points. In her state debut, Lee qualified for the consolation finals in both the 50-yard freestyle (13th-place finish) and 100 freestyle (16th), as well as swimming on the 200 medley relay team that was 12th and the 10th-place 400 free relay. She is rounding into form after playing volleyball in the fall. The Wolves have a wave of freshmen who have made an impact from the moment they hit the water and helped them win their first three dual meets of the year. Of those first-year impact swimmers, Madison Dirks has separated herself from the pack and already qualified for the state meet in five events, while Emily Barboa also sets a good example in the pool among the young swimmers. Junior Sydney Williams missed last season, but is back and has slid into the role of team captain. Sophomore Sara Falkenberg, an exchange student, and senior Maddie Richardson are next in line to keep the Wolves’ div-

ing tradition strong. McBrier believes his team has potential to crack the top 10. quoting the coach: “We lost a solid group of seniors, both in talent and leadership, but we replaced them with a really stellar freshman class. We are having some really surprising swims here at the beginning of the year, so I’m looking forward to what can happen at the end. Sky’s the limit.”

H inkley Mascot: Thunderbirds last year: No individuals at 5A state meet coach: Beth Himes, 11th season swimmers to watch: Magnolia Landa-Posa, 200-

yard individual medley/100 butterfly, jr.; Ashley Powell, distance freestyles, sr.; Emma Goos, 100 breaststroke, sr.; Zoe Thomson, 200 IM/100 breaststroke, soph.; Imal Khelik, diving, sr. 2010-11 outlook: Coach Beth Himes had limited varsity experience going into last season and she’ll have even less this season as the Thunderbirds move into the East Metro Athletic Conference along with Aurora Public Schools rivals Aurora Central, Gateway and Rangeview. Though Himes has big numbers with nearly 40 girls in the pool, only a handful have swum competitively and a few of them have learned to swim from scratch just recently. Senior 100-yard breaststroke specialist Emma Goos and junior Magnolia Landa-Posa — who swims the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly primarily — serve important roles as team captains, while sophomore Zoe Thomson has the type of work ethic in practice that Himes is glad to have as an example of her new swimmers. The leader of the diving program, which is guided by Darren Hesse, is senior Imal Khelik. With such a lack of experience and top-end talent, Himes has just a select group of teams in the EMAC she believes she can compete with. The Thunderbirds represent a cause every time in the water this season as they will wear pink swim suits and caps to bring awareness to the fight against breast cancer. quoting the coach: “I’ve got a ridiculous number of swimmer, but a lot of them are very new. I have quite a few freshman and sophomores, which is great, but they are young and it is hard to be competitive when they are so new. Their improvement is phenomenal from meet to meet, so hopefully we can focus on that.”

Overland Mascot: Trailblazers last year: No individuals at 5A state meet coach: Mike Pineda, 8th season swimmers to watch: Shantelle Diaz, 100-yard

butterfly, 100 backstroke, sr.; Amanda Thomas, sprint freestyles, sr.; Bailey Jensen 100 backstroke, 200 individual medley, sr.; Yasmine Dahkama, 100 breaststroke/500 freestyle, soph.; Kirsti Anderson, sprint freestyles, 100 breaststroke, fr.; Emma Tappe, diving, fr. 2010-11 outlook: The Class 5A state swim meet has been without Overland representation for seven seasons now and coach Michael Pineda is

See GSWIM, Page 7


Winter Sports Preview 2010-11

Aurora Sentinel | Winter Sports Preview 2010 - 2011

| Page 7

G irls Swimming Capsules From GSWIM, Page 6 hoping he will be on the deck at this season’s meet in Fort Collins. Pineda feels the best chance is likely with a relay, as he feels he can find the right recipe from the group of seniors in Shantelle Diaz, Amanda Thomas and Bailey Jensen, sophomore Yasmine Dahkama and exciting new freshman Kirsti Anderson, younger sister of Lars Anderson, a multiple-time state qualifier for Overland’s boys team. The group is especially effective in the 200-yard medley relay, which put up an early time that looks like the state standard could be reachable later in the season. Diaz is a four-year varsity swimmer who Pineda expects big things from in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, while Thomas and Anderson are sprint freestyle specialists, Jensen takes care of the individual medley and backstroke and Dakhama flourishes in the distance freestyles. On the diving board, the Trailblazers have high hopes for freshman Emma Tappe, a home-schooled athlete who has a background in gymnastics. quoting the coach: “Our medley is going to be strong, so hopefully we can make it to state in that. Everybody is improved, and we only lost one swimmer from last year’s team, so it will be close. I’d also like to increase the number of girls at (Centennial League) ‘A’ League and we could have as many as five make it.”

Rangeview Mascot: Raiders last year: Two individuals, three

relays at 5A state meet coach: Peter Gerard, 5th season swimmers to watch: Jenna Haynes, distance freestyles, sr.; Kinsey Corby, freestyles/100-yard backstroke, sr.; Anyia Khatsenko, 200 individual medley/100 butterfly, sr.; Cassie McPeek, freestyles/100 backstroke, sr.; Dali Van Dyke, sprint freestyles/100 breaststroke, jr.; Mariah Franklin, 100 butterfly/100 breaststroke, fr.; Dawnetta McGowan, diver, sr.; Haylee Fleck, diver, fr. 2010-11 outlook: Rangeview has been on the rise for several seasons and is coming off its most successful season in terms of Class 5A state qualifiers in several years, as all three relays and two individuals represented the Raiders in the state meet in Fort Collins. Both individual qualifiers graduated, but two relay swimmers are back in senior Jenna Haynes and junior Dali Van Dyke, along with a slew of others experienced in the tradition that’s produced seven consecutive victories in the Aurora Public Schools Championship meet. Gone are the days of competing in the loaded Continental League, but coach Peter Gerard expects his team to be one of the top groups in the newly-formed East Metro Athletic Conference, although there’s a lot of unfamiliarity with the teams outside of APS rivals Aurora Central, Gateway and Hinkley. Haynes is the defending APS champion in the 500-yard freestyle, an event she is close to matching her best time from last season already. Senior Anyia Khatsenko is out to defend her 200 individual medley APS crown and make a run at state, while seniors Kinsey Corby and Cassie McPeek are experienced standouts as well. Juniors Van Dyke, Jess Hoffman and Lily Williams and freshman Mariah Franklin add plenty of depth, while senior Dawnetta McGowan and freshman Haylee Fleck lead Rangeview’s diving contingent. quoting the coach: “There’s some good leadership coming back, some kids who went to state last year and then some girls who weren’t main swimmers last season and some freshmen who are stepping up and filling in the gaps that we have.”

Regis Jesuit

Mascot: Raiders last year: 17 individuals, three re-

lays at 5A state coach: Nick Frasersmith, 2nd year swimmers to watch: Missy Franklin, utility, soph.; Alex Todd, 100 butterfly/200 individual medley, sr.; Hillary Thomas, freestyles, sr.; Delaney Lanker, sprint freestyles/200 IM/100 butterfly, soph.; McKenna DeBever, utility, fr.; Meagan Smith, 100 freestyle, sr.; Hannah Chase, freestyles, sr.; Miranda Morton, freestyles, sr.; Jackie Macke, 100 breaststroke, jr.; 2010-11 outlook: The Raiders gave Cherry Creek a major challenge at last season’s Class 5A state meet, riding a pair of championships by phenom Missy Franklin, three secondplace relay teams and a slew of finals and consolation finals appearance to their best-ever showing of second place in three seasons in 5A. Of the 11 swimmers who made at least one finals or consolation finals appearance at state, eight return, led by Franklin, who will be with the team off and on this season while she swims a handful of national and international meets as part of Team USA. She’ll help anywhere in the lineup coach Nick Frasersmith puts her and she’ll put at least two of the Raiders’ relays in championship contention. On top of that, three swimmers who have signed with Division I programs are in the pool in Alex Todd (Purdue), Hillary Thomas (Northwestern) and Meagan Smith (Akron), while individual state scorers are also back in seniors Miranda Morton and Hannah Chase, junior Jackie Macke and sophomore Delaney Lanker, who took third in the 100-yard butterfly. Add in impactful young swimmers like versatile freshman McKenna DeBever and a number of other swimmers who have been to state or will go this season across all the grades and the potential is there for Regis Jesuit to unseat Cherry Creek. The Raiders and Bruins square off for the first time in a dual meet, which has the potential to be the highlight of the season other than the state meet. quoting the coach: “We’re approaching the season like we want to be contenders at the state meet. We believe we can give Creek a run for their money, but we’ll be the underdog since they are always so dominant. We have a group of girls who are pushing each other and working very hard. We’ll see where that takes us.”

Smoky H ill Mascot: Buffaloes last year: Eight individuals, three

relays at 5A state meet coach: Scott Cohen, 14th season swimmers to watch: Caroline Piehl, 200-yard individual medley/100 freestyle, sr.; Kelse Johnson, 200 IM/100 breaststroke, jr.; Courtney Wedel, 100 freestyle/relays, sr.; Elysia Erickson, 100 backstroke, jr.; Mackenzie Wyman, 200 freestyle, sr.; Alyse Miller, freestyles, soph.; Meghan Plachy, 500 freestyle, sr.; Lizzy Wiley, 100 backstroke, fr. 2010-11 outlook: The Buffaloes have a lot to look forward to this season, from breaking in a new swimming pool to bringing back a group that’s stronger than the one that finished ninth at the Class 5A state meet last season and was within a handful of points of seventh. Coach Scott Cohen has called Caroline Piehl the finest allaround swimmer the school has ever had and he gets one more season with her before she graduates and heads to the University of California-Berkely. Piehl would like to add to her haul of two career state championships — both in the 200-yard individual med-

ley — and she’s given Cohen no reason to believe she won’t. Seniors Courtney Wedel and Mackenzie Wyman are state veterans ready to go out with big seasons, while junior Kelse Johnson should return to being a scoring force after swimming last season’s state meet with a fractured wrist. Junior Elysia Erickson is back for a run at her third trip to state, while senior Meghan Plachy should join a large Smoky Hill state contingent this season. Sophomore Alyse Miller and freshman Lizzie Wiley will be building blocks for years to come and will do plenty this season. The Buffaloes had a pair of top-five relays last season and could reproduce that. Smoky Hill’s biggest loss came on the diving board where it hopes to still find some points. quoting the coach: “I really think we have a great group of special swimmers who are capable of a lot this season. Of course we’re excited about the new pool and hopefully we have a lot to be excited about come the end of the season as well.”

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Page 8 | Aurora Sentinel | Winter Sports Preview 2010 - 2011

Winter Sports Preview 2010-11

Wrestling Capsules From WRESTLE, Page 5

H inkley

Hinkley senior Joaquin Reyna, right, makes a move against holds down Cherokee Trail’s Bryant Brown in Class 5A Region 4 match last season. Reyna went 28-15 last season and became the program’s first 5A state tournament qualifier since Derrell Finch in 2005. Reyna is one of a number of potential qualifiers on a senior-heavy Thunderbirds team this season. (File photo by Courtney Oakes/The Aurora Sentinel)

Mascot: Thunderbirds last year: One individual at 5A state tournament (one returning) coach: Andy Ventura, 5th season wrestlers to watch: Joaquin Reyna, 130 pounds, sr.; Morgan Newton, 152, sr.; Rodolfo Gonzalez, 160, sr.; David Gomez, 112, sr.; Luis Del Villar, 215, sr.; Jessie Crowe, 171, jr. 2010-11 outlook: Coach Andy Ventura has been waiting for this season for awhile, as he’s helped a group that came in together as freshmen grow into a senior-heavy team that looks poised to break out this season. The Thunderbirds saw some signs last season when Joaquin Reyna became the program’s first qualifier for the Class 5A

state tournament since 2005 and Morgan Newton, Rodolfo Gonzalez and David Gomez all placed at regionals. It has all been building to this season, when Ventura expects his group to really open some eyes and possibly qualify as many wrestlers for state as any team in school history. Reyna (130 pounds) — who went 0-2 at state, but lost two tight matches to finish 28-15 — Newton (152) and Gonzalez (160) all serve as team captains and form the nucleus of a team that nearly won its opening tournament in Boulder. Gomez (112) and Luis Del Villar (215) are also strong leaders, while juniors such as 171-pounder Jessie Crowe are trying to make this season one to remember for the Thunderbirds. Quoting the coach: “These guys have put in so much and I see so many good signs from them. They are winning the close matches and trying to learn from their losses. They want to close this thing out right.”

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Mascot: Trailblazers last year: No individuals at 5A state tournament coach: Nathan Jacob, 3rd season wrestlers to watch: Ameer Tipura, 215 pounds, soph.; Armon Hayes, 140, soph.; Shaq Childs, 215/285, sr.; Victor Veleta, 189, sr. 2010-11 outlook: The youngest overall wrestling team in Aurora likely resides at Overland, where coach Nathan Jacob expects roughly 80 percent of the wrestlers in his program are sophomores and freshman. Seniors Shaq Childs — who placed sixth at regionals at 189 pounds — and Victor Valeta each offer plenty of athleticism in the upper weights, where the Trailblazers could be Flickr strongest, especially Twitter if sophomore Ameer Tipura progresses. Tipura won a wrestleoff against Childs for the 215-pound position, pushing Childs to heavyweight for now. Twoyear wrestler Joe Askins did not reMySpace StumbleUpon turn to the team this season, which hurt middle of the lineup, but sophomore Armon Hayes at 140 pounds has shown he is ready to compete at the varsity level. Jacob has some lineup, but still Mixx dead spots in his Skype feels there are some league teams the Trailblazers can challenge. Quoting the coach: “We have a few guys who are ready for varsity competition, but everybody else is in the early stages. Hopefully in a FriendFeed YouTube couple of years it will pay off.”

Rangeview Mascot: RaidersGoogle SlideShare last year: One individual at 5A state tournament (none returning) coach: Tim Corby, 10th season wrestlers to watch: Jaire Fortt, 130 pounds, sr.; Gabe Conley, 135/140, Yahoosr.; BuzzThomas Gonzales, Netvibes 125, sr.; Brandon Watts, heavyweight, sr. 2010-11 outlook: Rangeview makes the switch from the Continental League — which includes teams such as perennial state champion MSN Ponderosa — toApple the East Metro Athletic Conference this season, which is good timing for coach Tim Corby’s group, considering the level of inexperience in several spots in his lineup. The Raiders, who lost Amazon Last.fm Daymeon Vaughn — their lone Class 5A state qualifier last season — to graduation, had to forfeit five weight classes at the Grandview Duals and still managed to four matches. SeVimeowin two of their Viddler nior 130-pounder Jaire Fortt didn’t

get a chance to wrestle at regionals last season due to illness, but he is off to a fast start this season and could earn his first state trip. Seniors Thomas Gonzales (125), Gabe Conley (135) and Brandon Watts (heavyweight), one of a few football players who are working their way back into wrestling shape after helping the Raiders make the 5A quarterfinals, should also be strong for Corby. Quoting the coach: “With each match, we’ve grown and the younger guys have become more aware of the challenge that’s ahead of them. They are learning how much work it takes and how to be ready.”

Regis Jesuit Mascot: Raiders last year: Three individuals at 5A state tournament (one returning) coach: Adam Reid, 3rd season wrestlers to watch: John Crowley, 160 pounds, jr. (state champion); Jimmy Canny, 140, sr.; Gable Pratch, 125, jr. 2010-11 outlook: Regis Jesuit has an overall lack of experience — especially with the graduation of state placers Andrew Onorato and Gordie Pisciotta — but coach Adam Reid couldn’t ask for more than having a defending state champion in the wrestling room to help his young wrestlers grow. Junior John Crowley is back at 160 pounds this season after winning the Class 5A state title at the same weight a year ago. Crowley is easing into the season after playing on the school’s state runnerup football team, but is ramping up his workouts and is focused on earning a shot at his second straight title. Senior 140-pounder Retweet Jimmy Canny is another anchor of experience for Reid, while junior Gable Pratch at 125 pounds continues to develop. Reid has some freshmen he is excited about for the future and hopes the feeder Digg program Regis Jesuit started two years ago begins to pay off soon. Quoting the coach: “We lost a huge class last year with Gordie and Onorto and guys who didn’t make it to state, but were keys. Technorati We’re going to take some lumps.”

Smoky H ill Mascot: Buffaloes LinkedIn last year: No individuals at 5A state tournament coach: Jim Opperman, 4th year wrestlers to watch: Garrett Mowbray, 135 pounds, sr.; Kirk Owens, heavyweight, Google Talk jr.; Tyler Knigge, 189, sr.; Jon Sidhu, 145, jr. 2010-11outlook:TheBuffaloesdidn’t have anybody make it to the Class 5A state tournament for the first time in three seasons under coach Jim AOL Opperman, but an experieced core gives him reason to believe he could be able to return to Pepsi Center. Seniors Garrett Mowbray (135 pounds) — who placed fifth at regionals last year — and four-year varsity wrestler MobileMe Tyler Knigge (189) and juniors Kirk Owens, a heavyweight who was sixth at regionals last year, and three-year Jon Sidhu (145) represent the best chances. There is potential in other spots in a lineup Opperman calls Mister Wong “decent” in the early season with the potential to improve. Quoting the coach: “Consistency and preparation are items we’re working on really hard as a team. The Virbopportunity is there for many of them if they want to seize it.”

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