It’s not hard to prove Kate Doane’s impact on the Cheyenne Mountain swim program.
Just count the five state championships between the boys’ and the girls’ programs in her 12-year tenure.
But for Doane, it’s not all about the hardware, but the tradition of excellence and pride ingrained in those who don a maroon and white speed suit.
“I think with the rich tradition at Cheyenne Mountain everyone knows we have it in us,” said Doane, The Gazette Preps girls' swimming Coach of the Year. “It really just comes down to believing in each other and trusting who we are and that everyone will rise in each of their events.”
And they did as Cheyenne Mountain quietly dominated its regular-season slate, battling through a host of injuries and road bumps on the way to the girls’ program’s second state title in the last four years.
“As the season went on we knew we needed to throw down in the fourth quarter, and we did,” Doane said.
But it wasn’t about the individual champions as much as the points earned by the deep pool of Cheyenne Mountain talent, which accumulated 348 points, good enough to beat two-time defending 4A champion Rampart, and the most points scored by Cheyenne Mountain at the state level in the last 10 years.
“Every year everyone thinks, you have to win, you have to win. But you don’t have to win,” Doane said. “If you are in 20th place, you are still helping the team.
"We are constantly telling the girls, it’s not about winning, it’s about basically second through 20th place.”
Doane said that team mentality in a traditionally solo-classified sport was one of the hardest things to instill when taking over the program, but one she can attribute to the team’s long-lasting success.
Along with two state championships the Cheyenne Mountain girls’ team has finished in the top three of 4A state competition each year since 2012.
“It's about believing in the tradition, believing in one another and trusting the coaching staff,” Doane said. “I couldn’t be prouder of who I am around every day and I am proud to coach this group of girls and the boys I coach. If you believe in who you're around every day, that will take you further than anything.”