Boys' swimming: Coronado seniors relish senior day, in and out of the pool

April 29, 2014 Updated: April 29, 2014 at 10:31 pm
photo - Coronado and Air Academy swimmers dive into the pool during Tuesday's meet between the two teams. Photo courtesy Norman Black.
Coronado and Air Academy swimmers dive into the pool during Tuesday's meet between the two teams. Photo courtesy Norman Black. 

Coronado's final home dual of the season brought about different levels of satisfaction for the three Cougars' swimmers who will graduate next month.

Kyle Allison claimed a pair of victories in the 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle, while diver Zach Finley placed a close second but had previously achieved a state-qualifying score.

The third senior, Theo Reitwiesner, hair dry, stood by idly as his teammates took to the pool. Given the choice, he would have been right there with them.

But after recently suffering his fourth concussion since 2011 - the latest one by hitting his head against the pool wall in Pueblo - Reitwiesner still took in the moment, looking forward to his return to practice on Friday and counting his blessings in the meantime.

"It's awesome to be here," Reitwiesner said. "And at the same time, it's really sad since I couldn't swim. I love everybody in that locker room, and I wouldn't miss it for anything. It was a rough transition, but it's good to be around the positive energy and friends."

The sums of the 12 events added up to a 98-87 Air Academy victory on Tuesday afternoon, but that didn't matter much to the Cougars, especially Allison.

He woke up Monday feeling stomach pains and missed practice, and longtime coach Bob Bell even doubted Allison's participation in the hours leading up to the dual.

For his last home meet, Allison never considered sitting for a minute.

"It was my last dual meet," said Allison, the school's record holder in the 100 breaststroke. "I was just a little sick, but I knew when I woke up the next morning that I was going to swim. Theo had a concussion and still showed up to be there for the team. For the last meet, I would have had to have been really sick to not make it here."

Allison, along with teammate Will Chaney (50 free) and Ben Topper (100 backstroke), earned individual honors for Coronado, whose 400 freestyle relay team also took first. Air Academy, the two-time defending 4A state champions, got individual wins from Ben Martinez (200 free), Blaine Wuertz (diving), Alex Occhi (100 butterfly), Zach Reeder (500 free) and Brennan Mays (100 breaststroke) along with triumphs in the 200-medley and 200-freestyle relays.

The fact that Coronado played host to Air Academy to end the regular season hit a chord with Bell, who has mentored too many athletes to count in 39 years of coaching in the area.

"It's fun watching some of the Air Academy kids," Bell said. "I coached some of their dads. That's the rewarding part. You take it one year at a time and don't worry too much about the future."

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