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Girls swimming: Fairview's Byrn lights up the competition at BoCo Invite

Jan. 13—BROOMFIELD — Lexi Byrn may not have a lot of data to work with when it comes to the atmosphere of high school swim meets, but she still shined at the Boulder County Invite at the Broomfield Community Center on Saturday morning.

In one of the first high school meets of her career with Fairview, the freshman collected wins in the 50-yard freestyle (24.62), the 50 butterfly (26.11), the 400 free relay (3:38.77) and the 200 medley relay (1:49.21), further flexing Fairview's collective muscles in the water.

The Knights blew the team competition out of the water with 1,131 points, easily beating out second-place Legacy's 953 points.

She believes that her performances at the more-relaxed BoCo meet will give her the confidence she needs to end the season on a high note and perhaps chase some podium spots at the state meet next month.

"It's been really, really fun because I've been with all my friends and I get to see my friends on different teams that are from club," Byrn said. "It's just really fun because the energy is super good and everyone's cheering for everyone. I feel like it just helps everyone swim faster."

A cold shoulder

Adversity in swimming can come in many forms, but Audrey Shambo's affliction could be seen by every coach, competitor and spectator on Saturday morning. She advertised it with purple KT tape on her left shoulder.

Monarch's sophomore standout, who put together a strong freshman season a year earlier, pushed through the pain caused by a "tweak" from a few weeks before to win the 100-yard breaststroke outright with a time of 1 minute, 5.32 seconds. She also placed second in the 200 individual medley (2:11.32), third in the 200 free relay (1:43.04) and fourth in the 200 medley relay (1:54.62).

"It's my first real meet back," Shambo said. "I went to the Sprint Eliminator and had to scratch out of a few events because it hurt a little too much. One thing I'm really happy about is that I was cleared to do breaststroke first, and that's my stroke."

For the time being, she can't do backstroke or the butterfly, but hopes everything will be cleared up in the next week or two as she tapers off toward the state meet at the beginning of February. Injured or not, she seems to be flying through the water just fine.

"It's definitely better than I thought it would be. I kind of just went out there attempting to do my best and that's how it ended," Shambo said. "I think my body has been through so much and is so strong. I just love the sport so much and it makes me feel really good that I'm able to push through whatever I'm going through."

Bouncing back

Centaurus junior Virginia Walsh didn't always have the greatest sprint throughout her sophomore season, but that hasn't stopped her from shining as a junior.

At the BoCo Invite on Saturday, the Warriors upperclassman brushed off the self-doubt to win the 100-yard butterfly (58.01) and place third in the 50 freestyle (24.93), all while propelling the 200 free relay team to fifth (1:46.42) and the 400 free relay to eighth (4:01.25).

She couldn't help but smile at her accomplishments during the meet, knowing what she went through last year.

"This season has been really, really good for me," Walsh said. "I struggled my sophomore season. I went through a lot of stuff, and so I wasn't dropping as much time, but I've dropped like five to two seconds in like all my events. I've been doing really well this year and so I'm really happy about it.

"My hope for state is to finish top two. I think I'm going to swim the 100 fly and 100 back. I mean, the placement doesn't really matter to me. I just really want to go swim best times at state and just push myself to do the best I can."

A fresh outlook

As a small, 3A fish in a large pond, Holy Family sophomore Lorelai Frauenfelder certainly had her work cut out for her in an invite that welcomed teams from all three classifications. That didn't seem to faze her much at all, as she secured victory in the 100 IM (1:01.64) and second place in the 50 fly (26.73), all while dipping her toes in new events.

It certainly helped her stand out amongst a big crowd three weeks before she hopes to stand at the very top of the 3A state meet podium.

"It's a much bigger meet for high school than I've been to so far," Frauenfelder said. "I haven't gone to a lot of invites, because I have a lot of club meets to go to. This one is so fun. I like doing races that aren't usually in the program like the 50s and the 100 IM.

"I just really like being able to do something I don't do all the time. Once I do a race all the time, I plateau a little bit, so doing something that I don't get to do gives me more confidence."

Adding to her collection

As the regular swim and dive season begins to taper off, Boulder junior Sloan Zallen is picking up state qualifications like trophies.

After already hitting state marks in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 100 back and 500 free, Zallen added further to her resume on Saturday when she won the 100 free (53.72) and helped pace her 400 relay team to third place (3:45.73).

All of the extra time spent in the pool and in the weight room seems to be paying off. She plans to focus on swimming the 200 free and 500 free at state next month.

"(My times) are definitely faster than last year, especially my sprint events, which I'm excited about. Both my 100 and 200 free times are really good for this point in the season," Zallen said. "It definitely prepares me to just get the opportunity to race some of the girls that I'll be racing at state and also go over my race plans and make adjustments going into state."

Event winners:

1-meter dive: Elizabeth Fay, Niwot (485.95)

200 medley relay: Fairview (1:49.21)

200 free: Morgan Cady, Fairview (1:53.75)

200 IM: Ellie Foulke, Broomfield (2:10.12)

100 IM: Lorelai Frauenfelder, Holy Family (1:01.64)

50 free: Lexi Byrn, Fairview (24:62)

25 free: Izzy Schroeder, Broomfield (12.21)

100 fly: Virginia Walsh, Centaurus (58.01)

50 fly: Lexi Byrn, Fairview (26.11)

100 free: Sloan Zallen, Boulder (53.72)

500 free: Morgan Cady, Fairview (4:59.54)

200 free relay: Fairview (1:40.38)

100 back: Charlotte Zana, Boulder (1:01.30)

50 back: Ellie Foulke, Broomfield (28.63)

100 breast: Audrey Shambo, Monarch (1:05.32)

50 breast: Claire Burkhard, Fairview (31.82)

400 free relay: Fairview (3:38.77)