An explanation on how we select The Gazette's all-area teams for girls' swimming and diving.

At The Gazette, we would like to be able to objectively rank athletes in all sports based on a national standard. For many sports that is impossible, however in swimming and diving, it can be done. All swimmers and divers were ranked using the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association's Power Points for each individual event. These Power Points have been standards for the past three decades and the calculated point scores are used throughout the U.S. to rank high school swimmers, divers and teams.

In order for a swimmer or diver to be ranked by The Gazette, they must achieve 5A state qualification standards during either the 4A or 5A state championships. Only performances at the 4A or 5A state championships will be used for this ranking process and the best swim in an event, whether accomplished in prelims or finals, will be used for the ranking.

Because Colorado swimmers perform at altitude and the national Power Point standards were developed for sea level, the USA Swimming Altitude Conversion Factor of 1.2 seconds for a 200 and 5 seconds for a 500 have been subtracted from the 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle events, respectively.

The all-area first team consists of the top eight swimmers and the top diver. The second team consists of the next eight swimmers and second-ranked diver. The honorable mention team consists mainly of remaining swimmers and divers who performed 5A qualification standards in either the 4A or 5A state championships. If two athletes are tied, then the highest power point event breaks the tie.