5A state swimming: Fairview, Monarch swimmers rake in silver medals

May 11—THORNTON — In the immediate aftermath of the Class 5A state swim and dive finals on Saturday night, Monarch junior Gavin Keogh, his voice hoarse from a recent illness, was already looking ahead to his next big move.

In just two weeks, he heads to Ireland to compete in its Olympic Trials.

Keogh chose not to taper for the high school meet at the Veteran's Memorial Aquatic Center, instead opting to go full throttle in the days leading up to it. That led to times that he admitted he wished were better, even as he claimed second place in the 100-yard backstroke at 48.07 seconds and second in the 200 freestyle relay.

In the relay, he swam an anchor leg of 19.85 seconds behind Ethan DiFronzo (20.39), JC Holmes (21.34) and Tobin Howe (21.53). They clocked in at 1 minute, 23.11 seconds to trail champion Cherry Creek by 0.79 seconds.

"I shaved and tech-ed and whatnot, and I rested a little bit," Keogh said. "But honestly, I got sick before this. I'm not really happy with where I am. And honestly, looking back at this meet, I'm kind of hoping it doesn't really tire me out too much for trials."

Keogh will enter the Irish Trials as the No. 2 seed (1:59.19) in the 200 back and said he will have to hit 1:58.00 to qualify for the country's Olympic team. He's hoping he can maintain that No. 2 spot — or maybe even pull out a victory — when his fingertips hit the wall. Once that meet is all set and done, he'll try out his luck in the U.S. Trials.

"That's a little over a one-second drop, which I think is doable in my training. That's about it. I'm mostly just going to Ireland to have fun, hang out with family," Keogh said. "For U.S. trials, it's kind of the same deal. I'm still trying to hit that 1:57, 1:58. It's more just a midseason meet for me to kind of hit some fast times and just have fun with it."

He helped lead the Coyotes to eighth place (179 points) at an incredibly stacked meet that Cherry Creek dominated (458.5). Fairview sped to fifth overall, raking in 205 points.

The Knights pulled out a stunner in the final race of the night. They gained on Cherry Creek through each leg, closing the gap just a little bit more, before stealing second at 3:02.69. Wesley Schlachter started it off with a 47.08 split, followed by Soren Koschmann (44.90), James Kershaw (46.40) and Layton Sealman (44.31).

Sealman, a Utah commit, also contributed third in the 50 free (20.42) and fifth in the 100 free (45.64) to the Knights' overall score.

"I think we were all expecting to win that last race but, I mean, second place is amazing. Everyone had a great swim on that," Sealman said. "We gave it our all. We left it all in the pool. I think we all wanted to do a little better at this meet. The medley relay didn't go how we wanted and the individuals weren't the best, but that's just how it goes sometimes.

"I think everyone had fun. We showed up, we did what we wanted to — almost — and I think everyone's happy that it's over and we had a good season."

Full area podium finishes are below:

200 medley relay

Fairview, fifth, 1:32.26; Legacy, eighth, 1:34.05.

200 free

Gavin Keogh, Monarch, fourth, 1:40.17.

200 IM

James Kershaw, Fairview, fifth, 1:52.03.

50 free

Layton Sealman, Fairview, third, 20.42; Ethan DiFronzo, Monarch, fourth, 20.48.

100 fly

James Kershaw, Fairview, ninth, 50.90.

100 free

Ethan DiFronzo, Monarch, third, 45.16; Soren Koschmann, Fairview, fourth, 45.40; Layton Sealman, Fairview, fifth, 45.64.

500 free

Wesley Schlachter, Fairview, 10th, 4:46.05

200 free relay

Monarch, second, 1:23.11; Legacy, sixth, 1:26.34

100 back

Gavin Keogh, Monarch, second, 48.07; Soren Koschmann, Fairview, fifth, 50.96.

400 free relay

Fairview, second, 3:02.69; Monarch, fourth, 3:05.24.