Losing a two-time state champion diver figured to have quite an effect on the Conifer boys swim team.
Fortunately for the Lobos, and unfortunately for the teams they competed against, the lack of a diver on this year’s squad only helped to fortify the rest of the ranks.
Propelled by a strong showing from Clear Creek junior, Christian Treat, Conifer placed fourth at the Class 4A State Swimming Championships, held over the weekend in Fort Collins.
Treat placed second in the 200-yard freestyle and third in the 100 breaststroke. He also swam in two relays, helping the Lobos to a second-place finish in the 400 free relay and fourth-place finish in the 200 free relay.
“This year we were very motivated, both as a team and as individuals,” Treat said. “We all stepped up to the plate and performed our best at state. It was special to be able to do that at that level.”
The top-five finish in the team standings vindicated the team’s hard work throughout the year.
“It was definitely a goal of ours,” Treat said. “Coach (Jeff Armstrong) said that one of our primary goals was to make a presence at state. I think we did that.”
Treat certainly left his mark at the year’s biggest meet. His time of 1 minute, 43.61 seconds in the 200 free earned him All-American consideration.
“I’ve been working really hard,” said Treat, who finished the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.16. “Balancing school with swimming and it all paid off in the end. The times I swam were a great product of what I did to get ready for state.”
Treat, along with Geoff Gilmer, Sawyer Franz and Greg Fowler, nearly rallied back from an early fifth-place start to win the 400 free relay. Treat swam the anchor leg and made up three spots to move the Lobos into second, and nearly overtook Cheyenne Mountain.
“That was quite a race,” Treat said. “We really stepped up and everyone had their lifetime best times in that race.”
Franz, a freshman who attends Platte Canyon High School, finished second in the 100 backstroke with a time of 54.91 seconds.
Gilmer, a senior, took fourth in the 100 butterfly, touching the wall in 55.25 seconds.
Fowler placed eighth in the 50 free. The junior clocked in at 22.06 seconds.