The perfect dive: Montrose’s Rogers wins Class 4A title with great performance
Kyle Rogers had something saved up for this moment.
The Montrose High School senior was on the verge of winning the state diving title with one dive remaining Saturday in the Class 4A state swimming and diving championships.
He was behind, and his final dive — a reverse 21⁄2 with a high degree of difficulty — was one he had difficulty with all season.
This time, he landed it perfectly.
The big score of 48 from the judges at the El Pomar Natatorium earned him the school’s first state diving title in the 16 years coach Silas Almgren has been at the team’s helm.
“That dive was something I’ve been working on all year,” said Rogers, whose big smile after his head popped up from under the water said it all.
“This time, I really employed everything at the right time.”
Rogers, however, hadn’t wrapped up the title.
Silver Creek senior CT Robinson, who after the meet was selected the Class 4A Diver of the Year by the Colorado High School Swim Coaches Association, needed judges to award him more than 41.4 points on his final dive — one with a higher degree of difficulty — to win the title.
Robinson scored 36.5.
“Kyle is just a fun-loving kid who goes hard for everything,” Montrose diving coach Michelle Cimaglio said. “He was wavering on whether to play it safe or throw huge dives and hope for the best. He went for it, and that made it a really fun meet to watch.”
Rogers finished with a winning score of 411.25 to move past Robinson (406.35) and Broomfield’s Simon Latimer (369.80).
Rogers’ teammate, Drew Herder, placed sixth with a score of 353.75.
“Last year when I went to state I was just happy to be here, so sixth place is great,” Herder said. “This time I was a lot more comfortable with this pool because it didn’t feel like a state meet. It felt more like a home meet.”
Those big scores by Rogers and Herder vaulted the Indians to a sixth-place finish in the team standings. Mullen ran away with the team title with 277 points. The Mustangs were followed by Cheyenne Mountain (195), Silver Creek (170.5), Air Academy (157), D’Evelyn (148.5) and Montrose (146.5).
Aside from diving, the Indians had top-eight finishes in four other events. The most successful was the 100 breaststroke, where Michael Barnosky took fourth in 59.49 seconds and Dustin Cooper finished sixth in 1:00.56.
Moffat County’s Matthew Hulstine was fifth in the 200 breaststroke and Max Bryant of Glenwood Springs placed eighth in the 500 free.
The most successful swimmer of the meet was Mullen’s PJ Wickwire, who pulled off a rare double by winning the 50 freestyle in 21.40 and the 500 freestyle in a 4A state-record time of 4:33.52.
He also anchored the Mustangs’ second-place 200 medley relay team and their winning 400 freestyle relay.
“I’ll admit that’s a little different,” said Wickwire, smiling. “I guess I’m just lucky.”
The Mullen senior wasn’t the only swimmer to win two individual state titles or break a state record. D’Evelyn junior Jeff Garnier, who set a 4A record in the 200 freestyle during Friday’s preliminaries, broke his own record in the event with a winning time of 1:38.44.
He also set the pace in the 100 freestyle, winning in 45.88.
“I guess you could say I’m speechless,” Garnier said. “Yesterday I was feeling tired in the last 100 (of the 200 free), but I wasn’t today. I had tons of energy even when I finished.”
Arvada senior Eric May pulled off a three-peat in the 200 intermediate medley by winning in 1:52.59.
“I can’t say that I didn’t come in nervous,” said May, who had to rally from one second down near the middle of the race to win it. “I guess you could say I’m a second-half swimmer.”