LAKEWOOD — Fifteen teams from all over Jeffco converged at Carmody Pool, a tiny pool not typically used for high school meets except for the occasional dual meet. But due to structural issues at Arvada’s Meyers Pool, all Jeffco invites, as well as the league championships, will be held at Carmody.
But as soon as the relays started Jan. 14, the Evergreen Lady Cougars eased into the water and let the waves tell the rest of the story.
In the first event, the 200 medley relay, Evergreen took first place with a time of 1 minute, 56.54 seconds, clocking the best time in both 4A and 5A. It was the first of eight events won by the Lady Cougars, who scored a meet-high 134 points.
Evergreen beat out D’Evelyn, which finished with 116 points, for 4A honors. The top 5A school was Lakewood, which won with 112 points. Ralston Valley came in second with 106.
The Lady Cougars came off the blocks strong in each leg of the 200 medley relay. Senior backstroker Myriah Ariza-Balter glided back to the blocks well before anyone else, giving sophomore breaststroker Lindsay Morrow a good head start. By the time sophomore flyer Josie Pearson hit the water, Evergreen had such a good lead that even if sophomore freestyler Kamryn Holland swam her absolute slowest Evergreen would still have won.
“I think the girls are having a lot of fun, but the girls are working really hard at practice so, Evergreen has a really strong team this year,” Evergreen head coach, Jeannie Godaire said.
Relay meets are unique in that they are mostly for fun. The 200 butterfly/freestyle, 200 backstroke and the 500 freestyle crescendo relays are a just a few events that spectators won’t see in a regular-season meet. The 500 crescendo is particularly challenging because the race builds in intensity. The first leg swims 50 yards, the second 100, the third 150, and the anchor 200.
Again, Evergreen, behind Gretchen Shepard, Pearson, Lexie Malazdrewicz and Holland, stole the show, finishing first with a time of 4:54.92.
“I feel like we could really do well at state, especially with all of our new freshmen and having Myriah Ariza-Balter back. It feels like it’s going to be our year,” Holland said.