Published: January 13, 2014
Girls' swimming season may be more than a month from its conclusion at the state meet, but Cheyenne Mountain's Rhyann Lowrey is looking like she's ready right now.
The junior won both the 200 and 500-yard freestyles in helping her team take the title at the Hornet Invite at Pueblo County on Saturday.
Lowrey broke the 2-minute barrier in the 200, finishing in 1 minute, 58.34 seconds. She followed that by winning the 500 by more than seven seconds with a time of 5:25.93.
"Breaking two minutes is awesome and that was her goal," Cheyenne Mountain coach Kate Doane said of Lowrey's efforts in the 200. "They are both fantastic swims for this time of the year, six weeks out from state."
Anchored by Lowrey, the Indians accumulated 276 points - 69 more than second-place Rampart - to win the team title.
"I'm very excited about my wins, and I'm really proud of the team overall," Lowrey said. "They were tough races, but in the end it worked out. I'm more proud of the 500 because that's the one I've been working on. I've been improving my endurance and pacing, and I do a lot of distance sets in practice to focus on that event."
On a squad laden with talent, Lowrey stands out as a team leader.
"She's a hard worker and is a really great teammate and always looks out for everyone," Doane said. "Rhyann is admired by her peers, and she knows when she needs to put the pedal down and has a good concept of when is a good time to work the hardest and be fully engaged."
Lowrey's younger sister, Meg, is a freshman on the team, mainly competing in diving. Doane says Lowrey is a good big sister and that "it's fun to have two Lowreys on our team."
This season is just Lowrey's second at Cheyenne Mountain. She moved to Colorado Springs from California before last season. She says her teammates and coaches made it an easy transition.
"It was great; I felt welcomed right away and I loved the team from the first moment I met everybody," said Lowrey, who competed in both the 200 and 500 freestyle at state last year. "I had a big improvement from my freshman year to last year, and it was an exciting experience. I think with more experience I'll continue to improve."
Doane was happy with Lowrey - and the team - after bringing home the first-place hardware.
"I've always loved the Hornet meet because it shows me where we are at this point, and we're way above the point we were at a year ago," Doane said. "The girls who were on the cusp of making state times did it this weekend. I'm a very proud coach right now, and the atmosphere and camaraderie are fantastic for this team."